Is Bitcoin the Next Square?
By: Rachel Pollard 03/04/2015
There are countless ways for companies to enter the future of business. New and innovative ideas are created on a regular basis, changing the standards by which people shop and entrepreneurs operate. Square is one such company that has helped revolutionize the shopping experience, offering convenience to both customers and businesses. However, the recent dawning of Bitcoin, a digital currency, has raised quite a bit of attention. People have speculated about its role as a method of payment, leading us to a specific question: is Bitcoin the next Square?
Be there, or Be Square
Square, a service for paying via credit card through a phone or a tablet, is a fairly simple service. Users safely and securely link their Square account to their bank account, attach the card reader to their device through the headphone jack, and swipe a card. The payment is sent directly to the user, and Square takes a small cut of the payment (roughly 3%). Activate everything and the ~$10 cost of the card reader is refunded, too, making it essentially free. Countless businesses use it, big and small, because of its sheer convenience and brilliant, intuitive design.
How many Bits are in a Coin?
On the other hand is Bitcoin. Entrepreneur defines Bitcoin as “a decentralized digital currency that can be exchanged directly from peer to peer.” It is used exclusively on the internet, and unlike cash, it is entirely digital - there are no bills to keep track of, nor any coins jingling in your pocket. Its value fluctuates regularly; it has ranged from being worth fractions of a dollar to hundreds of dollars over the course of its life thus far. Bitcoin is found through the process of mining, in which users use programs to solve complex problems to generate the currency. It can be a fairly confusing process to explain, but in essence, it is a controversial currency that has caused quite a few waves amongst online vendors.
The rise and fall and rise of bitcoin
One issue that plagues Bitcoin, however, is stability. The value has occasionally found itself fluctuating wildly. As of this writing, one Bitcoin sits at $245.42, though over the past few months, it has ranged from $381.54 to $177.28. Where Square doesn’t have to worry quite so much about the fluctuating value of the USD, Bitcoin’s constant shift in value might concern potential users. However, it is not without its perks. It is not particularly heavily regulated as it’s still a fairly new currency, which makes online interactions a breeze. More and more vendors are beginning to accept it, too, so any concern that it’s a fad is relatively baseless at this point. It offers users full control, a factor that has undoubtedly attracted many.
It’s unlikely that it’ll replace Square, but Bitcoin acts as a great alternative to financially adventurous individuals who prefer the level of control that comes with the currency. Square isn’t going anywhere, as customers and businesses have built a relationship with the company (something Bitcoin is still too young to do). However, Bitcoin isn’t going anywhere, and it’s entirely unlikely that it’ll suffer any damages anytime soon. Keep an eye on it; its growth and popularity is truly something to behold.