Don’t let the rise of alternative currencies sneak up on you. They might still be below the radar, but other media of exchange, particularly online cryptocurrencies, are making serious headway.
For the sake of brevity, let’s just focus on the young hotshot of the group: Bitcoin (BTC). A currency only matters if people use it, and that one fact has prevented Bitcoin from being more than a mere novelty in people’s minds. However, it turns out that our favorite little cryptocurrency has found a way into use in a variety of places already, public perception be damned. Listing them all would be a real project, so instead let’s focus on the attention-grabbers.
First up is a pub in London. Patrons can simply bring up the QR code to their BTC wallets on their mobile phone, and one quick scan later the transaction is complete. Easier than paying by “normal” means. In case you were hankering for a meal on the other side of the pond, the Planet Linux Cafe in Miami also accepts Bitcoin as payment.
Next up we have online electronics retailer Millennius, citing ease of doing business globally as the reason for expanding their menu of payment options to include BTC. The same seems to be the case with Murfie, an online music shop and the largest CD marketplace out there.
But hey, don’t go thinking it’s just limited to a few one-off kooky establishments. Go to Chicago and you have a wide array of available Bitcoin options at your disposal. You know what, forget Chicago. How about the whole world? SpendBitcoins.com is there for you to provide a nice big list of places you can use your coins. Before you know it, places sticking to the old USD or other government-run currency will be in the minority. None of your friends will want to hang out with you if you keep on dragging them to those stupid places that make them remember to bring paper money with them. If they even have any.
More that a mere hobby for the eccentric, alternative currencies are very real, and are even becoming practical to use. Still don’t believe me? Why not donate a few Bitcoin over on the right? Do it and I’ll let you know exactly how I spend them. If that doesn’t show you beyond the shadow of a doubt that there are viable alternatives to state-run paper currencies, I don’t know what will.