Due to its massive increase in price, the Bitcoin blockchain has been headlining the news in 2017. As this chart shows, the price of one Bitcoin has risen from around $1,000 up to more than $4,000 per coin.
Along with higher Bitcoin value, the blockchain brings other benefits for its users. Users place these advantages into two general categories: consumers and merchants. These benefits amount to the convenience and leverage afforded to those spending and accepting Bitcoin.
There are many consumer perks in using Bitcoin instead of conventional bank payment tools such as credit cards.
Blockchain transactions flow from person to person. By removing the trusted third party, Bitcoin has also removed the fees charged by those entities. There is no expensive merchant processing fee or bank charge added on to each transaction. During a credit card transaction, there are automatic fees for each payment and also merchant clearing fees on the total amount. These “standard” costs are not present in a Bitcoin payment. Ultimately, these saving are passed on to the consumer in lower priced goods and services. As there are no significant transaction fees during a Bitcoin exchange, the blockchain can be used efficiently used for small transactions. While a $1 credit card charge may generate a fifty-cent fee, that same operation using Bitcoin may only create a three cent fee. These small fees allow Bitcoin to be an efficient method of payment for smaller purchases. Ultimately, the lower Bitcoin transaction expenses translate into a lower consumer cost of goods and services. Bitcoin lowers prices for consumers.
During a credit card transaction, the customer’s personal information is exchanged with the merchant. At that moment, and forever after the sale during storage of that information, the data may be exposed and stolen by hackers. Research shows that Dark The sale of stolen credit cards and hacked personal information has become an everyday online product. Market web sites are selling stolen personal data, credit card information, and bank account details for around $1 per individual. Hacked and stolen information that originated through a credit card transaction is an unfortunate reality of using plastic. However, Bitcoin never requires a user’s private information. The movement of funds during a Bitcoin blockchain transaction occurs using two numbers and no identifiable personal data. A consumer purchase generates a public key (a random list of numbers) and the amount of the payment. For a hacker to access a customer’s funds, they must have an exact copy of the consumer’s public and private key which are inaccessible through a Bitcoin transaction. By reducing fraud and removing the possibility of exposing a user’s private data, Bitcoin makes consumer transaction much more private and secure.
Anyone using a Bitcoin mobile wallet to pay for merchandise has marveled at the ease and comfort of a transaction. At checkout time, the consumer receives a QR code, which is a small (usually about 1” x 1”) square machine-readable optical label that contains information about the item or total transaction. Using a cell phone, the consumer scans the code, then acknowledges the transaction by tapping the smart phone keyboard one time; and the operation is complete. The Bitcoin payment using a mobile device is a secure, frictionless exchange that never exposes the consumer’s personal details.