London, UK, Binary News Network, Cryptocurrencies are the digital currencies most commonly seen in the media today. Popular ones are Bitcoin, Litecoin, Namecoin, Monero and Dogecoin. There are many more however these mentioned are some of the more popular ones. Grand Pacific Trade Broker Tony Nikolaou says that these cryptocurrencies have been increasing in popularity over the years especially with the lack of regulation on them making them a common choice for criminals. The appeal is that it can’t be manipulated by any government or any one group of people, the currency only has value because people agree with it having value, so if everyone decided they didn’t want to use them anymore they would have no value.
The law all over the world has not yet caught up with digital currencies so there are few regulations on them, meaning people can buy and sell cryptocurrencies with little consequences if it is kept anonymous. Cryptocurrencies have been around since 2009 but are just now gaining popularity. The first bitcoin transaction was between Satoshi and Hal Finney, a computer scientist who had been diagnosed with ALS at this point. The concept of Bitcoin was to create a digital currency that did not rely on trust from anyone’s central system; however , it currently relies on miners who use large amounts of electricity.
The initial creation of the currency was to be decentralised but as time has gone on and more transactions have been made a large mining community has risen up. The currencies are created through a technique called Cryptography, each transaction is verified by users who solve cryptographic puzzles. Each time the puzzle is solved it creates 25 Bitcoins for the user solving it; this prevents users from creating multiple accounts and making new transactions as the cryptographic puzzles are difficult to solve.
Popularity and Acceptance
Mr Nikolaou says that cryptocurrencies have been widely used for illegal activities, this is due to it being hard to track, additionally people who live in countries where their governments tightly control the flow of currency can use cryptocurrencies as a way around this rule. As well as this cryptocurrencies are becoming increasingly popular as a funding tool for terrorist attacks, this has to lead to many countries increasing their monitoring of the currencies to prevent terrorism from being funded.
The main benefit of cryptocurrencies is the ease with which money can be transferred between parties, this has much appeal to those who do not have access to financial services. It also protects users from inflation as nobody can control the currency making it a good choice for businesses who are concerned about their profits. Mr Nikolaou says that many companies have started to accept cryptocurrencies as a form of payment for their goods or services and this has really helped to push the use of them. These companies have included Microsoft, Paypal and Dell Computers. Through this acceptance by recognised companies, they have become more widely accepted across the world.
Alibaba is an Asian company that is one of the most popular wholesale websites. The company started off as a way to help local companies sell their goods overseas however over time they have expanded into more areas. They currently offer more than 7 million products and have a considerable number of customers and vendors on their website. Alibaba has a wide customer base but they haven’t started accepting bitcoin so far. The founder of Alibaba, Jack Ma had said earlier that Bitcoin is a bubble and that the company would not be accepting bitcoin anytime soon.
However, just recently, Alibaba’s Vice Chairman Joe Tsai expressed his interest in Bitcoin. He made a three-word tweet saying “I like Crypto” Tsai is a Taiwanese billionaire who owns Brooklyn Nets. Mr Tsai has been interested in cryptocurrency for a while now and made a similar comment in an interview a few months back. In Mr Nikolaou’s opinion, this comment has put the hopes of the bitcoin community up as they see this as a sign that Alibaba might be planning to accept bitcoin soon.
Experts think that Alibaba could be one of the first few companies to accept bitcoin as they have a massive customer base and will be able to influence other companies. He says with these comments from Tsai, many experts are saying that it is just a matter of time until Alibaba starts accepting bitcoin as the currency becomes more widely used. It would not only increase business for itself but also for its vendors and suppliers who accept bitcoin and could increase the currency’s popularity more. He said, “I think the only thing that is missing now for bitcoin to really take off as a form of payment is more widespread acceptance from merchants, Alibaba accepting Bitcoin could be a huge turning point for cryptocurrencies and I predict they will start doing so very soon.”
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