There’s currently around $200 billion of bitcoin floating around in people’s digital wallets. For many of their owners, those bitcoins have proved to be a valuable asset. They’re happy to leave them to rise in value and build up their wealth. For others though, those giant piles of coins are exactly what they’re supposed to be: a currency that they want to exchange for goods and services.
But businesses are reluctant to accept them. In July last year, Bloomberg reported that just three of the Internet’s top 500 retailers were willing to accept the cryptocurrency. The biggest reason is clear enough. When the payment you take for a product can lose as much as a quarter of its value within a week, pricing becomes difficult. A seller that paid $80 for a product and sold it online for $100 in bitcoin could find that he has only $75 a week later–and no business at all not long afterwards. On the other hand, they could find that they’ve earned an additional 10 percent the day after the sale with no extra effort.