Cryptocurrency Is Here to Stay
November 24, 2020 | Joyce Ibrahim
After suffering a setback last March amid COVID-19, Bitcoin has been steadily climbing through 2020. Bitcoin prices surged 50% this month only, and around 10% over the last three days, rising above $18,700 on Friday and moving closer to the $20,000 mark recorded by the cryptocurrency in December 2017.
This sudden surge came after BlackRock chief investment officer of fixed income, Rick Rieder, endorsed bitcoin in a CNBC interview. Rieder believes that Bitcoin “could take the place of gold to a large extent”, given that it’s a durable mechanism for trading that is more functional than gold. He also added that Bitcoin is here to stay, as millennials are open and willing to adopt the cryptocurrency and digital payments in general.
Bitcoin has been gaining more and more traction as a form of payment as well as a safe-haven asset. In fact, JPMorgan noted in October that Bitcoin has the potential to compete with gold as an alternative currency, while Square and PayPal have adopted it as a viable form of payment for users in the US. Furthermore, PayPal launched its own cryptocurrency service, which allows user to buy, hold, and sell digital currency, going as far as buying 70% of newly mined bitcoins in October.
As the pandemic has people around the world trying to avoid the virus, cash has increasingly become a risk, and experts agree that such health concerns could be pushing us towards a cashless society. Digital currencies offer merchants and consumers a cheaper and more efficient payment solution, with the flexibility needed to keep up with the demands of life after COVID-19. In fact, Visa CEO Alfred Kelly described cryptocurrency as “a developing part of payments in the world” in an interview with CNBC, and expects that cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin will be a main form of payment in the future.
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