Can Bitcoin Claw its Way Back to Being a Payment System?

The header of the Bitcoin white paper defines the digital currency as “A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System.” However, a deeper look into what Bitcoin has become, and where it has come from, shows a very different picture.

Users have flooded to the cryptomarket, usually through the gateway that is Bitcoin, for its possibilities as a store of value and an expanding asset. Its potential to work as a legitimate payment system, one that could replace fiat and revolutionize money, has fallen away somewhat.

There are ways in which to make Bitcoin work as payment system though, even for micro payments like for a cup of coffee, but in all reality, it is still very much a tool for the rich when it comes to its buying power.

There are also plans in the pipeworks to try and bring Bitcoin back to its original purpose, with the Lightning Network being tested in certain instances. The belief being that Lightening network can cut the exorbitant transaction fees, and slice the waiting times to a manageable level.

Not for your daily cup o’ Joe

The way Bitcoin has grown and been shaped with upgrades such as SegWit2x failing to firehas seen its scaling languish. This, tied to the influx of users on the network, has led to a backlog and bottleneck which in turns means slow transactions, and expensive ones to boot. Hardly ideal for a currency.

Because transactions must compete to get picked up by miners, who favor the ones that offer the biggest fees, somebody who wants to move $1 mln can easily afford to offer $20, but someone who wants to buy a pizza probably can’t.

This is why Bitcoin is still growing in adoption for things like artluxury cars, and real estate as a payment method. The fees matter little, and the transactions are speedy, but this smacks a bit of elitism and inequality, something very much against Bitcoin’s mantra…

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