Volatile or not, there is a growing demand from retailers and companies to accept cryptocurrency payments. According to a survey published in June by CreditCoin for the exchange of encrypted files based in the United Kingdom, 75% of American consumers want the option to use cryptocurrencies to pay for items purchased in stores. Unfortunately, the proportion of stores offering this option does not seem to have reached yet three quarters.
However, the number of traders who accept Bitcoin (BTC) and other currencies is steadily increasing, with the Bitcoin acceptance number the stores reported to Coinmap – worldwide – had increased by 3,716 in a single year . There is therefore a continuous interest by companies to accept cryptocurrency as a means of payment, even if the crises and upsets of the crypto-market have strengthened the popular impression that such use may not be 100 per cent. optimal hundred at the moment.
Putting aside estimates and calculations, c & # 39; is other evidence to suggest that Bitcoin is the decisive winner in bets on the popularity of cryptography In March, the consumer website Finder.com published a survey that found that 5.15% of Americans possessed Bitcoin, compared 1.8% of Ethereum and 0.9% of Bitcoin Cash. The player survey conducted by the Swiss gaming company also found that Bitcoin was the most popular cryptocurrency, with 83% having bought Bitcoin respect 75% who bought Ethereum and finally 60% of Americans have heard of Bitcoin, with only 46% and 41% of having heard of Ethereum and Litecoin respectively.
All this suggests that, for any merchant who wants to make sure to open his doors to as many potential customers as possible, Bitcoin would be the way to go – that is, if they could accept payment in a single cryptocurrency. And according to those who monitor the acceptance of cryptocurrency merchants, it seems that most customers and traders are still moving forward, despite the recent growth in the use of altcoin.
Devan Calabrez, the co-founder of the crypto-merchant Spendabit research, who is inviting retailers to participate in a new survey on the currencies they accept, told Cointelegraph:
"BTC is by far the dominant cryptocurrency for transactions, probably due to the maturity of BTC, its "recognition of the brand" and the momentum of Bitcoin. "
Calabrez explained that much of Bitcoin's attraction is its ability to attract new markets:
"Traders are always looking for ways to increase sales. Some traders are interested in riding the cryptocurrency wave from a marketing point of view and accept cryptocurrency to get more business. For them, it's a marketing experiment with minimal overhead to add acceptance and mitigated chargeback risk. "
In addition to the" brand recognition "and the momentum, Bitcoin has emerged through the recent turbulence of encryption as one of the most resilient currencies and it is this that also adds to its usability from the point of view of traders. compared to, for example, the US dollar, but held much more than its value during the recent bear market compared to its competitors, for example, in the month preceding August 14, it decreased by 2.7%, from $ 6,230.32 to $ 6,061.74 However, by contrast, Ethereum, Ripple, Bitcoin Cash and EOS fell 38.5%, 39.5%, 29% and 36.5% respectively, which is a big difference , and while many traditional economists argue against the acceptance of any type of cryptocurrency as a means of payment, it is clear that Bitcoin is the best in terms of preserving its value.
Let's face it, the fact that Bitcoin has to preserve the its value and could also continue to appreciate constantly in the future is also a blow to its usability, even if not so much from the point of view of the traders. Because Bitcoin could potentially increase – perhaps even bullishly – the owners of BTC are discouraged from using it to buy a pizza, for example, since most now are acutely aware of the fact that the BTC equivalent of a pizza could be worth a lot more in a year.
Good point. I will never be able to sell Bitcoin for Fiat. From now on I should say: "I will not spend Bitcoin until it becomes the unit of account".
– Nate Agapi | mathbot.com (@NateAgapi) 2 August 2018
"Do not spend Bitcoin until it becomes the unit of account" said MATH_BOT founder Nate Agapi on Twitter at the start of August, while another Twitter user encapsulated this anti-spending ethos of writing :
It's not just about spending Bitcoin.
I'm going to start a meme:
"Buy just enough Bitcoin for 2 double shot half soy twenty moca lattes and get 200 in a year." pic.twitter.com/J0IBDrKpF0
– Bitcoin-Fund-Manager.com Follow + Warnings (@btcfundmanager) 4 August 2018
However, despite the reluctance of some owners to renounce their Bitcoin, BTC is still more freely spent than any other cryptocurrency. Last December, BitPay reported having processed BTC payments worth more than $ 1 billion, while currently processing a Bitcoin transaction every 10 seconds. Meanwhile, it has processed $ 591 million in the Solo transaction in the first half of 2018, up 40% over the same period last year, according to Jan Jahosky, BitPay representative. And to put it in perspective, Jahosky told Cointelegraph that even though the company started processing Bitcoin payments at the start of this year, Bitcoin remains dominant:
"Bitcoin Cash, which BitPay has started accepting at the start of this year, it is less than 10 percent of the BitPay volume.The bitcoin remains the most popular and over 90 percent. "
Altcoin has transaction costs and confirm lower
In addition to the disadvantage of discouraging a part of its owners from carrying it out, even the bitcoin does not stand comparison with certain altcoins in terms of how it can actually be used in practice to buy goods and services. Devan Calabrez recognizes:
"Bitcoin is certainly useful as a means of payment, especially for higher priced items and beyond the borders." On the other hand, few people use Bitcoin to buy cheap items like paper plates. For a good reason, the weaknesses include high volatility, time and transaction fees that are paid by buyers who create barriers to conversion, weaknesses tend to curb Bitcoin sales for low-cost items. "
Generally BTC has the highest transaction fees of the main cryptocurrencies. BitInfoCharts puts its current average transaction fee at $ 0.72. This may seem relatively low when compared to the $ 55 peak of taxes it witnessed in December, but as the list below shows, it still falls short of its main rivals:
These are current averages, but when looking at the semi-annual and annual charts, it becomes evident that, during periods of heavy congestion, even Bitcoin tends to rise more drastically than its nearest competitors: 20 June its average daily rate rose to $ 6.852, an increase of 132.6% over the previous day. The six-month highs of Bitcoin Cash and Dash were $ 0.217 and $ 1.25, respectively, with both declines peaking on February 20, when the average Bitcoin commission was $ 3.042 (up $ 6.20 four). days later). $ 0.416 (on February 26th), although Ethereum was $ 5.52 8 (on July 2nd, when it was probably subjected to a spam attack).
Bitcoin could be popular, but …
Bitcoin could be popular and could be a good store of value, but it's clearly not the cheapest way to buy goods. Although its transaction fees have gradually declined since the SegWit upgrade was launched in February, the occasional surge in congestion can raise taxes by a few dollars – something that can make a big difference when that you are buying is less expensive than the tax. In fact, Devan Calabrez told Cointelegraph that the "non-trivial transaction fees" of BTC have created a certain amount of friction with businesses, with some complaints received because of their customers who have to pay the same amount for transaction fees as they do for objects they want to buy.
"As someone who has accepted Bitcoin since 2011", said an anonymous merchant joined in Spendabit, "it is very sad for me to see that the use case is drying up … the future with the lightning net […] For now, I recommend using BCH. "
The BTC tax issue is exacerbated by its longer confirmation times, with the average confirmation time reaching a peak of 11,453 minutes, ie, seven days, 22 hours and 53 minutes – January 23rd. As for the rates, now it is going much better thanks to the SegWit update, since its average confirmation time for the week between August 1 and August 8 was only 14.7 minutes. However, he still has some work to do, not least because the average should only be 10 minutes. For example, the average blocking time for Ethereum was only 14.5 seconds during this same week (according to Etherscan), while the current averages of Dash, Litecoin and Dogecoin are respectively 2.37, 2.43 and 1.02 minutes.
However, it is not only slow confirmation times that limit the usability of Bitcoin, but also the block size of 1 MB and the average number of transactions it can process per second. This number remains technologically limited, with the current upper limit of seven transactions per second, although the SegWit update has technically multiplied by four. In contrast, Ethereum can handle a theoretical maximum of 30 transactions per second, while Bitcoin Cash's size limit of 32 million bits should mean that it can handle 32 times the number of Bitcoin transactions, ie about 224 per second. While it is not as fast as this, Litecoin is still four times faster than Bitcoin (forgetting SegWit), since the block confirmation time is a quarter of Bitcoin. Likewise, the theoretical limit of Dash at launch was four times that of Bitcoin (ie 28 per second), although in December it changed the block size from 1 MB to 2 MB, thus doubling the number of transactions that he could handle the second.
Put simply, Bitcoin can not – in its current state – manage a large volume of transactions and its main competitors. In particular, it currently does not reach almost the top of the speed offered by Bitcoin Cash, which at the most beats its closest competitor – Dash – of about 168 transactions per second. Beyond that, Bitcoin Cash also has the lowest transaction fees, which means it is the most usable cryptocurrency from a point of view that focuses primarily on costs and speed. It is largely for this reason that the currency has won many converts in the crypto community from bifurcating from Bitcoin on August 1, 2017.
Devan Calabrez agrees that Bitcoin Cash has reason to be recommended as an alternative to Bitcoin and other currencies, in particular respect for the purchase of cheaper products. "BCH seems to evolve as a compliment to Bitcoin," he explains. "Traders appreciate faster transaction times and lower fares, which are also attractive to buyers, especially for merchants selling lower ticket items, where even small taxes can increase the bottom line of A significant fraction So, for all intents and purposes, two of the three weaknesses can be considered outdated under current conditions, however, volatility is still a major concern, which is why most traders immediately convert into a & rsquo; other currency instead of keeping BCH. "
And while Bitcoin Cash may seem the best practical option for some, one of the closest rivals in terms of cost-effectiveness – Dash – Cointelegraph informed that he is getting a remarkable traction among retailers.
"The Dash network is specifically designed for the use of payments," said Dash Core CEO Ryan Taylor. "It offers immediate payments, which make it viable at the point of sale, and the commissions are very low, with an average transaction fee of around one-tenth of a cent.This combination makes Dash feasible for consumers' daily purchases. on making the network profitable by financing business integrations, and today Dash is among the most accepted digital currencies.The adoption by merchants is growing rapidly.The number of listings on discoverdash.com – a website for merchants to be record – recorded a growth of 250% over the last six months and Dash is now accepted in over 2,200 traders globally. "
Taylor is realistic about Dash's – and crypto's # – prospects of becoming a ubiquitous payment method, believing that this process will take "many years". Nonetheless, circumstances in some economically pressured nations reveal that the speed and ease offered by such currencies such as Dash make them ideal as new payment vectors.  "I think we can become omnipresent within specific countries or regions, or within certain sectors as a first step, which could happen very quickly, and we are already seeing it happening in certain locations. Venezuela, which is currently experiencing hyperinflation, has over 800 merchants [reportedly more than all other cryptos combined] making it the highest density of Dash acceptance in the world, I would expect that pockets of this kind will develop as a basis from which we can continue to expand. . "
Decentralization and choice
Speed and cost are important factors when considering which cryptocurrency to accept as a trader, but they can count for very little in cases where price fluctuations threaten to reduce the value of a payment received. This is the reason why there is no hard and fast answer to the question of which cryptocurrency is the undisputed champion of usability for retailers, since Bitcoin has done much better to preserve its value recently than the most of the altcoins. In addition to this, Bitcoin may not be faster or more scalable than some of its rivals, but it is more decentralized than many of them on a number of levels, and with greater decentralization comes greater security of its network.
For example, there are reports that Bitcoin Cash is significantly more centralized than Bitcoin. For example, the size of 32 MB blocks may tend toward greater centralization of the mining nodes in the future, since the ability to process 32 MB blocks requires the kind of computing power that only the major mining companies can own. Secondly, there are reports that Bitcoin Cash is already quite centralized as it is – even though most of the nodes still do not use the full 32MB bandwidth – with Jameson Lopp revealing data in December indicating that 54% of Bitcoin Cash nodes is running on Hangzhou Alibaba virtual servers in China, compared to 2% of Bitcoin nodes.
Such centralization (relative) probably puts a blockchain at greater risk of failure, since it could theoretically be disabled by an agency government that closes a handful of servers or nodes. Clearly, this is not what any company or retailer would want from a cryptocurrency they have just started to accept as payment – although, even if Bitcoin is more decentralized than Bitcoin Cash when it comes to servers, Bitmain's domain gives it problems just when it comes to mining. And in terms of blocking quota, it is not decentralized as Bitcoin Cash or Dash, since the first four Bitcoin Cash and Dash miners produce 55.1 percent and 41 percent of the blocks, against 57.5 percent for Bitcoin – currently it is 69.75 percent for Ethereum, 68 percentage for Litecoin.
However, before going into an endless debate – often subjective – on which cryptocurrency is the most decentralized, it is worth noting that traders and businesses should not choose only one currency when they decide to accept crypto as payment. Platforms are increasingly available to allow merchants to accept any of the multiple cryptocurrencies, thus offering their customers a choice of different currencies to pay – which allows them to take advantage of the strengths of each currency at different times.  For example, Coinbase Commerce was launched in February of this year and, as explained in a blog post, allows you to accept many coins easily for companies and online retailers. "Coinbase Commerce can be integrated directly into a merchant's payment flow or added as a payment option on an e-commerce platform," read the launch announcement. "With just an email address and a phone, merchants can sign up and start accepting payments in Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum and Litecoin." And since its launch, it has been integrated with a number of e-commerce platforms, such as Shopify and WooCommerce, offering the ability to accept cryptographic payments to millions of retailers, since WooCommerce feeds about 22% of online stores on the web.  And there are other platforms that make it possible to accept more cryptocurrencies, including BitPay and CoinGate. CoinGate, for example, is a platform based on Lithuania that allows companies to accept payments in Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, Dash and over 50 other altcoins. This March, it announced a new partnership with the French-based PrestaShop e-commerce platform, which allows it to reach over 80,000 merchants in the EU. As stated in its press release, the cryptocurrencies it offers "are in a single payment environment, which supplies [to] the widest range of cryptocurrency owners" and that, therefore, eliminates the need for traders to make a choice wrong among many coins, each with its own advantages and disadvantages.
As these platforms expand and proliferate, there will obviously be less need for merchants to choose between the usability of competing cryptocurrencies. And strangely, the beauty of these platforms will be that by making cryptocurrencies more accessible as a means of payment, their expansion will also make the encryption more usable. Not only will their increasing use stabilize their values, making them less volatile, but the increasing pressure and testing provided by the use of the real world will force and enable development communities to achieve innovations, error corrections and scalability improvements more quickly. . The situation will be beneficial for both merchants and customers, and since the encryption platforms will increasingly offer a wide range of coins, it will be a situation that mutually benefits all cryptocurrencies, not just the "most usable" one.