One of the most controversial and fascinating topics in the media and press lately has been Bitcoin. Some of you might be asking yourselves, “what the heck is that?” the video below is a quick and easy overview.
I wish I could be one of those people that got into Bitcoin early and profited tremendously as some have, but sadly, that is not the case.
After the price began exploding in November, I started doing some research (1, 2, 3) on the technology and potential benefits of digital currencies, and opened an account on Coinbase. After making my first small purchase of 0.05 BTC, I’ve been buying bits here and there as a speculative investment, learning more and more as I go.
In early January, overstock.com began accepting Bitcoin as an official form of payment, the largest retailer to do so. According to their CEO, their first day was a hit:
— Patrick M. Byrne (@OverstockCEO)
Until today, I was not an Overstock customer. I didn’t know anything about their product assortment. While browsing around, day dreaming about playing golf once this crazy winter weather gets better, I decided to see if they carried any golf shoes. As luck would have it, the Adidas Adizero shoes I’ve wanted for a while were available and the price was $50 less than I remember. Easy decision.
Here’s my favorite part. We all know how painful it can be to purchase something online from a brand new website. You have to make an account, go verify the account with your email, etc, etc, etc; it takes forever. When I added the shoes to my cart and proceeded to checkout, I opted to pay with Bitcoin through my Coinbase account. The entire process took less than 30 seconds.
Taking the price and its volatility out of the equation, I’m starting to become extremely bullish on Bitcoin’s potential, especially with technologies that will be built on top of its infrastructure and how it will help businesses grow. Chris Dixon had an excellent quote about this:
Let’s say you sell electronics online. Profit margins in those businesses are usually under 5%, which means the 2.5% payment fees consume half the margin. That’s money that could be reinvested in the business, passed back to consumers, or taxed by the government. Of all of those choices, handing 2.5% to banks to move bits around the Internet is the worst possible choice
Let me know what you think.
- Do you care about digital currency?
- Are you invested in Bitcoin?
- Do you think it’s a bubble that will eventually crash?