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Grokking Bitcoin: Getting more companies to accept Bitcoin  RSS feed

 
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Hi Kalle,

What is preventing more companies to accept Bitcoin as payment?

Thanks!
 
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Hi Carl

As you hinted, today, Bitcoin functions more as a store-of-value or speculation object rather than a means-of-exchange. There are some reasons for this:

* Bitcoin as a payment option is not very mature yet; Bitcoin payments are slower (and in some cases even more expensive) compared to legacy systems like credit cards.
* Bitcoin "on-chain" payments doesn't scale up to thousands of transactions per second as would be needed for large scale adoption.

What Bitcoin provides (in my opinion), is a base layer for money, on which systems can be built on top. For example, Lightning Network is a system that enables instant payments that can be arbitrarily small. You can pay 0.00000001 BTC (a satoshi, the smallest unit in Bitcoin) instantly over the lightning network to anyone else on the lightning network. These payments are backed by bitcoins in the Bitcoin blockchain (ledger), but the actual on-chain settlement is deferred to a later point in time.

So until we have more mature and scalable options for merchants, I don't think we'll see much adoption. But I think it might go fast once the ball starts rolling.

On the other hand, Bitcoin works amazingly well for larger payments (values of $100 and upwards), especially internationally.
 
Kalle Rosenbaum
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Let me clarify what I meant above:

Bitcoin on-chain payments are pretty mature, there's not much we can do to improve that experience. But the capacity is limited to a few MB of blockchain data per 10 minutes, which roughly  results in about 5-10 transactions per second.

So what I was trying to say is that on-chain payments is not an option for large scale merchant adoption. We'll have to rely on systems on top of Bitcoin, like the Lightning Network, and those systems are not very mature today. Lightning Network does kind of work today, but it's still considered experimental.
 
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