Each day there are several news releases that affect Bitcoin and the Bitcoin community. As recently as two weeks ago the online store known as Overstock.com announced that it would start accepting Bitcoin as payment for purchases on their website. The president of Overstock.com announced their first-day results for exceeded expectations in two ways. First the total dollar amount of sales was greater than expected but more importantly most all of the sales were made to new customers. It seems that Bitcoin is bringing to Overstock.com customers he otherwise might not have gotten if it were not for their adoption of Bitcoin as payment.
Up until now the greatest problem with online stores was the conversion of Bitcoin into currency avoiding the fluctuation in exchange rates between Bitcoin and the US dollar or currency of the country in which sales are made. That risk and volatility has been removed by an exchange platform developed by Coinbase.com. With Coinbase a vendor can immediately change their received Bitcoin payment into US dollars through an automatic transfer into their designated bank account. Coinbase is by far the leader in this market platform and some say it is the PayPal of the Bitcoin marketplace. As an individual I have an account with Coinbase which allows me to transfer Bitcoin into or by Bitcoin from their online website with payment going directly into my bank account or if purchasing Bitcoin coming directly out of my bank account. There is a daily limit on individuals of 50 BTC sales or purchases through Coinbase. To qualify for the ability to buy or sell 50 BTC per day you have to jump through a lot of security hoops to prove who you are and to establish the accounts.
Now that Overstock.com is accepting Bitcoin as payment how long do you think it will be before other online marketers follow their footsteps and do the same thing? It's not going to happen in the next few months but it seems to me it would be imprudent for an online company like Amazon not to accept Bitcoin's and lose potential customers to Overstock.com or other such online stores. There has been news reported about eBay, Amazon and Newegg adopting a Bitcoin except its policy but none have done so yet. There are heart ever many smaller online vendors which are starting to adopt BTC payments. It is my belief that by the end of 2014 the number of stores accepting Bitcoin will have grown geometrically if not exponentially.
With a finite number of Bitcoins available to make purchases one could make the logical conclusion that the value of Bitcoin will go up and the purchase price of an item will become small fractions of the Bitcoin. Remember that unlike other currencies Bitcoin can be exchanged in fractions as small as 0.00000001!
Around the world are continues to be a great deal of discussion and uncertainty about Bitcoin. It is not controlled by any central bank, cannot be printed or made, is exchanged with total anonymity, and most importantly is not controlled by any one entity or country. This "digital currency" is completely controlled by the Bitcoin community and no one else. No one will be surprised if governments try to control it, regulate it, and tax it but just how are they going to do this? The answer as I see it is governments do control banking activities and thus can prohibit transactions by banks with Bitcoin exchanges. Having said that, I am positive some countries will realize the tremendous advantage if they are a country with banks that do not prohibit such transactions. I would relate this to Las Vegas because US citizens can legally gamble in Las Vegas and that's where people go. If major governments limit BTC transactions I would bet the farm that those same transactions would not be limited in some countries or even islands in the Caribbean.
There still is a great deal of uncertainty about the future of Bitcoin but I would claim there is a future and it might be greater than any of us can imagine now!