Bitcoin Usage Low Due To Disinterest From Consumers (Op-Ed) -

Bitcoin Usage Low Due To Disinterest From Consumers (Op-Ed)


Earlier today, I had the chance to speak with several merchants accepting Bitcoin payments for a while now. My main concern was whether or Bitcoin is being used by customers on a regular basis, and if so, whether or not there were any noticeable trends occurring. I did learn one thing though, Bitcoin is fine in terms of supporting merchants but needs to convince everyday users to work with digital currency.

Also read: Ghent Bitcoincity: Creating Bitcoin Use Cases

Bitcoin Use Cases Are Not The Problem


When we talk about Bitcoin use cases, we actively refer to places where you can spend Bitcoin. Granted, if there was no place to spend Bitcoin, it wouldn’t be much of a currency to begin with. And luckily for us, there is a boom in terms of merchants starting to accept BTC payments, both online and in physical locations as well.

It’s not like the types of merchants are disappointing either, as there is almost nothing you can not buy with Bitcoin these days (depending on your location.) Common use cases such as ordering food online, topping up mobile credit or doing all of your shopping on Amazon can all be completed by using Bitcoin, if you know where to look.

And the merchants themselves are benefiting from this, as they can increase their profit margins due to paying little to no transaction fees. On top of that, they can expand their customer base worldwide, as Bitcoin is a decentralized payment method that works across borders without any issues. Plus, it can be converted into a ton of different local fiat currencies if needed.Bitcoinist_consumer_Adoption

Accepting Bitcoin is free of charge for nearly all merchants, depending on which payment processor you decide to work with. Companies such as BitPay or BitKassa won’t even charge you a fee per transaction either, and they will even go as far as converting the Bitcoin to local fiat currency the next business day. While we all want merchants to keep a small portion of each transaction in Bitcoin, that is not always possible.

So why is it that Bitcoin is being used by so little people outside of the “bitcoin community” these days? There are plenty of places to spend Bitcoin, and some of those might even be places where you already go shopping right now. But what is the incentive for consumers to start using Bitcoin over traditional currency? That, dear reader, is where the problem lies.

Consumers Don’t Know or Care About Bitcoin

Before we go any further, you have to realize there is a huge market for merchants in terms of potential Bitcoin customers. That being said, most of that market consists of people who already own Bitcoin and have been in the community for a while. In terms of novice users, the numbers are far less dense than one might hope or assume.

There is no real incentive for the average consumer to use Bitcoin compared to traditional payment methods such as bank/credit cards or even cash. Even though most people are losing faith in the financial powers that be, they do not care enough to look at alternative ways of making payments or controlling their finances.Bitcoinist_Digital_Payments

And even though Bitcoin is a very convenient payment method, it does take some time to get used to it. Most people are afraid of all the technological baggage associated with Bitcoin, and they feel they will not be able to comprehend fully its potential. One could argue that most people also have no real idea how bank and credit cards work, yet those methods have seamlessly integrated into our society.

Whether or not that is because people feel somewhat “protected” when using these payment methods – it is issued by a bank after all – is a question we can not answer. The reason behind such a decision is different for any reason, and there is no straightforward answer. But one cannot deny that people are trusting the financial institutions in one way, and distrusting them in another way.

What can we do to increase consumer awareness for Bitcoin? Let us know in the comments below!

Source: Local Research in Person

Images courtesy of Shutterstock.

The Author’s views are not necessarily those of

Jp Buntinx

Jp Buntinx

JP Buntinx is a freelance Bitcoin writer and Bitcoin journalist for various digital currency news outlets around the world. In other notes, Jean-Pierre is an active member of the Belgian Bitcoin Association, and occasionally attends various Bitcoin Meetups in Ghent and Brussels

  • Monk฿TC

    Most “Sheople” ie: consumers are idiots – have a old crusty pineal gland, can’t think for themselves and actually think a piece of paper with an old dude and some latin writing has value – no wonder consumers have low interest, they are morons, just following the herd… who is smart – the banking and credit industry, they are jumping all over bitcoin right now. no one ever got rich or ahead of the crowd by following the herd… oh and they will ALL jump on board once paypal fully integrates it… hey “Sheople”, consumers, ya you, you use eBay right? you see the notice at the top about eBay and Paypal splitting up? you don’t know why do you? no, you think it has something to do with their policies or some crap… the real reason ebay and paypal are splitting up is because the second paypal fully integrates bitcoin, which has more daily transactional volume than paypal has already… paypal is going to be so big that if it was still part of eBay it would be a monopoly… Bitcoin has already been accepted by the ‘system’ and there is in place a drip-feed campaign to roll-it out to the mass public… get it now – or sell your body for a snickers in the breadline next year.

  • Matthew Barnes

    Nice rambling. Were ya a big user of Silk Road?

  • Wolfman Jack

    The early internet was hard to use so only the techies used it. As it improved it became more mainstream. There is a billion dollars worth of venture capital going into bitcoin companies that will make it more polished and easier to use.