The Bitcoin craze just can’t be stopped. Despite the digital currency’s crash in December 2013, companies and individuals have continued to buy and sell with Bitcoin. Expedia, a travel-booking site, just joined the ranks of major online companies to accept Bitcoin.
Dish Network, Overstock, Bing, TechCrunch, Bloomberg, Reddit, Khan Academy, and Expedia are among thousands of companies accepting Bitcoin through Coinbase, a site used to buy, sell, and store Bitcoin.
According to TechCrunch, “Bitcoin fans…see this adoption as proof their coins are gaining traction. However, what’s really happening is that the companies are using bitcoin as a lure for early adopters and folks who might not want to transmit their credit card numbers over the Internet.”
Some entrepreneurs can only sing the praises of digital currency. Ripple Labs, Inc. (formerly OpenCoin) develops its own currency, Ripple protocol. CEO Chris Larsen believes Bitcoin is the future.
“Finally, a finance system in the digital era we’ve been looking for,” Larsen told USA Today.
In an interview for the Ripple blog, Larsen lists the three essentials of a successful currency as liquidity, trust, and utility. In an economy where inflation is extremely high, trust in the U.S. dollar is becoming increasingly fragile. Bitcoin, Larsen argues, is a currency that you can trust.
“Bitcoin showed the way [for Ripple protocol],” Larsen said. “Before that, people always thought crypto-currencies would break down — but that hasn’t happened. Trust is a human condition. You can apply that condition to a chunk of gold, a piece of paper, and also a distributed system. Bitcoin proved that yes, you can trust this. It’s an evolution of how we think.”
But some still distrust Bitcoin, insisting that it is still too unstable and prone to large fluctuations in price.
According to EzineArticles, “Bitcoin will likely gain more public acceptance over time, but its price is extremely volatile and very sensitive to news – such as government regulations and restrictions – that could negatively impact the currency.”
Recent crashes in Bitcoin currency have dragged down its value, but Barclays Managing Director Darrin Peller says Bitcoin will continue to grow.
“With the volatility in the currency being as much as it is, it’s going to take some time before we get enough of a comfort level from investors and merchants to enable it to be used ubiquitously,” Peller told The Christian Science Monitor.