Banking on Bitcoin in 2018
Consumers and business alike are banking on Bitcoin in 2018. They are investing their time and resources into the development of creative new digital currency solutions. Even as the value of Bitcoin itself fluctuates, people see long term value and are willing to create the infrastructure to support a growing digital currency marketplace. These are the top trends affecting Bitcoin in 2018.
Creative Uses for Bitcoin
In Arizona, state legislators recently submitted a bill that would make it possible for state residents to pay their income taxes in Bitcoin. Arizona state bill 1091, sponsored by four legislators, suggests the creation of a payment gateway that can accept cryptocurrency through a peer-to-peer system. The system would take the cryptocurrency and convert it into United States dollars at the “prevailing rate” in a timely manner, crediting the taxpayer’s account with the converted dollar amount.
Even though the volatility of Bitcoin may deter some from the proposed system, individuals who hold a high percentage of their net worth in digital currency could find the service convenient and useful. Even if the bill isn’t passed, it shows that Americans are pushing digital currencies into the mainstream in creative and innovative ways.
While Bitcoin and Ethereum are currently the two most popular cryptocurrencies, more currencies are vying for marketspace. As these digital currencies prove their usability, they will challenge the two giants. This pressure will push all cryptocurrencies to reach their full potential.
Bitcoin ATMs Gain Momentum
“Bitcoin” was the top search term on Google in 2017 as the masses rushed to understand the cryptocurrency on its meteoric rise from a value of less than $1,000 to over $19,000 per coin. As people clamor to understand Bitcoin, they are also eager to get their hands on some for themselves. Exchanges, cryptocurrency investing apps, and Bitcoin ATMS are all on the rise as a result.
Across the US, Bitcoin ATMs are popping up and turning heads. In late 2017, Coinsource, a Texas-based bitcoin ATM network, added 20 new ATMs in Georgia, with 18 in Atlanta and 2 in nearby Athens. Of the machines, 16 are one-way machines for buying bitcoin and 4 are two-machines that allows users to both buy and sell. San Diego County’s Bitcoin ATM count surged from 5 in 2016 to 27 machines in 2017.
By the end of 2017, the US was home to over 1,200 Bitcoin ATMS and growing! This means that the US has over 75% of the Bitcoin ATM global market share. These new machines are popping up as stand-alone kiosks in high foot traffic areas and as a way to draw foot traffic to convenience stores. Small shops, bodegas, and delis with Bitcoin ATMS are seeing increased foot traffic to their location.
Blockchain Technology on the Rise
The blockchain technology that drives Bitcoin is also experiencing rapid growth. Developers created hundreds of new use-cases for blockchain and 2018 is sure to see even more activity in this space. Initial coin offerings (ICOs) are gaining in popularity, raising over $4 billion in 2017 alone. Using blockchain technology, entrepreneurs are issuing their own specific coin direct to the public in order to raise funds.
These coins are then redeemable by the owners for the company’s goods and services. This is an alternative to the traditional equity or high-interest payments that venture capital firms and banks expect when funding a company. The ICO process is already surpassing the value of early-stage venture capital financing. Even well-established companies are starting to see an ICO as an option for efficiently raising capital as they scale.
Blockchain technology is also being used to support aid and international development. The phenomenon of derisking has plagued American non profits working abroad, leaving them with no way to turn their donations into cash on the ground to fund operations. Blockchain technology potentially eliminates fraud and allows from efficient cross-border transfer of funds.
Governments are also exploring options for using blockchain to create permanent public records. Since the blockchain is decentralized, it is difficult if not impossible to hack, making it an attractive option for sensitive data. Finally, media companies are using blockchain technology to create their own mini economy. Companies like PROPS by YouNow, which competes with YouTube, rewards users with it’s own coin-based currency for uploading content, adding friends, and developing the platform.
The Evolution of Bitcoin Banking
Bitcoin businesses have their eyes on US regulators as they grapple with how to regulate the currency. As regulators hand down rulings, many banks are steering clear if Bitcoin all together. As a result, it is increasingly difficult for Bitcoin-related businesses to secure reliable bank accounts. This phenomenon of derisking is hampering growth in a climate when Bitcoin is growing in popularity.
In order to support scaling Bitcoin businesses, BankLine offers real bitcoin business bank accounts. Using a network of bitcoin-friendly banks, BankLine creates a redundant banking system to ensure that your business stays up and running – even if your bank does decide to derisk. In addition to bank accounts, BankLine offers innovative coast-to-coast insured cash logistics.
Bitcoin cash logistics allows you to deposit and withdraw cash from your operating bank account. Efficiently rotating your working capital is essential to operating a Bitcoin ATM. BankLine offers this groundbreaking service in partnership with TransGuardian and RapidArmored. Every package is insured through TransGuardian’s Lloyds of London policy and highly trackable using their RADAR system. RapidArmored processes cash for deposit into an operating account.
BankLine’s service uses the USPS to reach the entire United States. If the USPS picks up and delivers to your location (or you have a post office close by), you can conveniently and efficiently use BankLine’s bitcoin cash logistics services. Coupled with a bitcoin-friendly bank account, bitcoin cash logistics will enable you to capitalize on the recent momentum in the cryptocurrency space. 2018 is looking bright and BankLine is standing by, ready to serve your bitcoin-related business with cutting edge technology, compliance expertise, and 24/7 support. You can open an account today by filling out a form on our website or calling us at the number listed above.