Bitcoin was originally created as an alternative, decentralized payment method. Unlike international bank transfers, Bitcoin was cheap and almost immediate at the time. An additional benefit for traders (to a lesser extent for users) was that transactions with bitcoins were irreversible, eliminating the risk of costly returns.
However, the improvement of domestic payment methods and the rapid development of alternative (non-cryptocurrency) forms of international transfers have reduced Bitcoin’s advantage in this area. Especially considering the growing fees and frequent bottlenecks of the network.
In addition, the growing supervision and regulation aimed at preventing money laundering and illegal transactions limited the use of cryptocurrencies, due to the protection of privacy.
In some parts of the world, Bitcoin is still a more efficient and cheaper way to make foreign transfers. A few startups dealing with sending money online use this feature. However, the cost and speed of Bitcoin transfers are no longer favorable, while traditional channels are improving (and network fees are still increasing). Liquidity remains a problem in many countries.
In addition, a number of large and small sellers accept the cryptocurrency as a payment method. Although the reports suggest that the demand for this function is not high.
Many people feel more comfortable by storing some of their wealth in securely stored bitcoins, where central authorities can not block access or liquidate resources.
More recently, Bitcoin seems to have taken over the role of investment assets. Institutional investors and small savers have woken up at the prospect of potential profits from price appreciation.
According to some sources, bitcoin is increasingly used to launder dirty money. But we know that it does not interest you. What’s more, bitcoin is not, as it is generally believed, a good tool for money laundering, extortion and financing of terrorism because it can be traced and is transparent – which can be confirmed by the wave of recent arrests.