How do digital currencies work and what impact do they have on the payment industry?
The cryptocurrency Bitcoin is one of the most exciting technological developments of recent years. The cryptography-based Bitcoin protocol was created with the publication of “A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System” (P2P). In early 2009, Bitcoin was officially introduced. The price has fluctuated since then - but at the beginning of March 2016, it reached a new record value and was worth more than an ounce of gold. Bitcoin leads the cryptocurrencies market.
Cryptocurrencies can be used to pay where accepted, online as well as, increasingly, at brick-and-mortar shops. Expedia, Microsoft and Shopify are among the big names accepting Bitcoins payments. In order to be able to do so, they teamed up with specialized payment service providers. These include payment provider Bitpay is specialized in processing Bitcoin payments. The company also operates an open-source platform, a Bitcoin wallet and the corresponding card. The payment gateway Coinpayments help merchants accept payments in over 445 cryptocurrencies.
The status of cryptocurrencies varies greatly from one country to another.
Nasdaq exchange has announced its support of Bitcoin, Litecoin and Stellar.
The partners aim at offering a fast low-cost cross-border payment solution.
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