As the Bitcoin ecosystem continues to grow and becomes adopted by an increasing amount of entrepreneurs, start-ups, and developing countries, many onlookers wonder how mainstream the cryptocurrency might become.
For many Bitcoin users there is a feeling of anonymity, and/or an attempted escape of the world’s central bank controlled, mainstream economies. Users see Bitcoins minor transaction fees as preferable to other modes of conducting business. While there is certainly a portion of the Bitcoin community that hopes and pushes for keeping Bitcoin a part of the underground economy, there are also those who push for full mainstream adoption of Bitcoin and cryptocurrency.
These individuals might be interested in working with the U.S. government’s bureaucracies to find the path towards dollar and bitcoin partnerships, or central banks backed up by Bitcoin. Still others are looking forward to the day that cryptocurrency becomes the world currency and all the world’s ills are solved.
One of these people is Rimas Kapeskas, the Managing Director of package delivery company United Parcel Service’s (UPS) Strategic Enterprise Fund. On August 27, Kapeskas wrote a blog titled “Does Global Trade Need A Global Currency?”, where he not only recognizes the current limits to international commerce but suggests that Bitcoin might be the solution.
“The rise of e-commerce has empowered consumers and changed the landscape for buying and selling goods, while transforming the worldwide economy. However, the current payment, clearing and settlement systems are major bottlenecks to the flow of global trade. They are inefficient, have long settlement times and high-cost fees and exchange rates.”
However, Kapeskas says, “consumers are still stuck in the credit card age of payments for those transactions. Sure, credit cards have been around for 65-plus years. But they are ripe for a technological leap.”
What does he propose?
“A unified, global currency is the ideal solution, as it would simplify cross-border transactions.”
Bitcoin seems to fit the bill for a global currency that has simplified “cross-border transactions”. Kapeskas goes on to tout the growth of Bitcoin.
“While Bitcoin has suffered from a fair share of controversy and volatility in its nascent stages, the block-chain technology has created numerous possibilities for improving money transfers and simplifying payment processes – and revolutionizing many other industries.
More than 100,000 businesses already accept Bitcoin, including large companies like Microsoft, Home Depot, Dell, CVS, Expedia and Amazon.
Startup companies are tapping into hundreds of millions of dollars in venture capital investments.
Leading financial institutions and technology leaders like Barclays, Citigroup, the New York Stock Exchange and IBM are also making investments in the technology.”
Kapeskas also correctly notes that “the fastest growth globally will likely be in the emerging markets of Africa, the Middle East and other areas of the world that have been traditionally less developed”.
As previously reported by Coinivore, Bill Gates and others are investing in educating the African public about Bitcoin.
Ultimately, Kapeskas notes, the world of commerce is “ready for a global exchange system that enables seamless transactions”. In his eyes, the way to do this is through “technical and regulatory advances that will allow global financial transactions to happen”, meaning not only advances in technology but advances in regulation of that technology. Which brings us back to the two crowds of Bitcoin users.
One crowd enjoys Bitcoin for the anonymity, counter-economic use, minute transactions fees, speed, and other factors that run counter to a government-run system. This crowd is likely also wary of the idea of Bitcoin (or possibly any currency) as a global currency.
The other crowd prefers that Bitcoin be regulated so that mainstream adoption will move more quickly and the Bitcoin economy will experience massive growth and recognition. The crowds have overlap for sure, but ultimately the goals of each are diametrically opposed.
Do Kapeskas’ comments signal a shift in the direction of Bitcoin adoption and regulation? Would Bitcoin as a global currency be a positive idea?
Leave your thoughts below.