Cryptocurrency Payment Trends We’ve Seen in 2021

At the start of the year, Dogecoin was making headlines, and 2021 has been a year of tremendous growth for cryptocurrency, arguably making it the ‘year of cryptocurrency’. In addition to highly reliable card reader payment methods, crypto-payments have gained immense popularity during the COVID-19 pandemic. Whether it is news that Tesla Founder Elon Musk is investing billions in cryptocurrency or Bitcoin reaching record high values- cryptocurrencies are always making headlines!

El Salvador gained attention in September 2021 when it became the first country to adopt Bitcoin as legal tender. The announcement marks a new milestone in cryptocurrency’s widespread adoption. Every day, approximately 8 billion pounds are sent across the Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin blockchains, with millions of people making these kinds of payments every day.

What is Cryptocurrency?

A cryptocurrency is a digital asset that is designed to function as an exchange medium through strong encryption to safeguard financial transactions, regulate the production of extra units, and verify asset transfers. Cryptocurrencies, which use blockchain technology, enable people and companies to conduct transactions without the use of intermediaries such as banks. There are presently over 2,100 distinct cryptocurrencies, the most popular being Bitcoin, Tether, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, XRP, Litecoin, and EOS.

How Virtual Cash Works

The backbone of this new monetary system is a massive public ledger in which uses unique software to update all transactions automatically. Every device in the network has a copy of these accounts and the system adds a file or ‘block’ to the accounts holding all new transactions six times every hour.  These blocks then link together to create a chain, hence the name ‘blockchain.’ Each device must consent to a new transaction, and any trade that is not authorised will be blocked, completely ruling out human interference.

Cryptocurrency Rise from 2020

According to Coin Desk data, a few of the better-known cryptocurrencies have already shown substantial growth in value since the end of 2020. Of course, there were some variations between January and May, but the overall trend for these coins, and many others, has been solidly upward.

Cryptocurrency payments have been rapidly increasing, with more than $12 billion exchanged daily over the Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin networks – nearly 1.5 million transactions each day. Transaction volumes are anticipated to grow further, though this will require more companies to trust and support digital currencies.

The Coin and the Technology

With a market cap of £523 billion, Bitcoin is the most renowned and valuable cryptocurrency. Bitcoin is recovering from the blows dealt by Tesla and more broadly China, with an upwards trend of 18.12% seen in October. It hit record levels in April, when one Bitcoin was valued at $62,975, but has since experienced the full impact of the crypto meltdown that occurred in early May.

Ethereum enjoys the title of the second-largest cryptocurrency after bitcoin. It has a smaller market cap of $505.1B.

Tether is considered a relatively stable cryptocurrency has constantly maintained a price of roughly 71 pence in recent times, and it appeals to investors who seek to escape the market’s high volatility.

Solana is another cryptocurrency that has received a lot of attention for its disruptive potential and has already been dubbed the “Ethereum Killer.” Many parallels are being drawn between the two, especially in light of the major Ethereum London hard-fork upgrade, a permanent change made to the network in the hopes of providing a predictable, transparent transaction fee structure for its users.

Companies from Microsoft to Starbucks Accepting Payment through Cryptocurrencies

The concept of the financial supermarket is making a comeback thanks to mobile and cloud technologies. Payments industry giants are now attacking the banking and lending businesses by utilising their enormous client bases and powerful digital platforms.

Microsoft, one of the world’s leading software businesses, now accepts Bitcoin payments, thus making a big difference toward establishing trust in the use of cryptos. Bitcoin, when redeemed for credit and used to fill up user accounts, may be used to pay for a variety of services, including Skype and Xbox Live.

Moreover, Microsoft also introduced ION, a two-layered authentication tool on the Bitcoin network, using blockchain in March. Instead of money, the technology generates digital IDs that are used to verify online identities.

Coffee lovers may now use the new Bakkt app at Starbucks to pay for lattes and other items such as their famous lemon cakes using converted Bitcoin. This step was taken after an extensive trial process where 500,000 individuals were invited to test out this new payment method.

Earlier this year, it was rumoured that Amazon was joining the ranks of other digital behemoths like Facebook, in laying the framework for its unique cryptocurrency. However, the social media giant is yet accept cryptocurrency payments.

Individuals and businesses are becoming increasingly interested in cryptocurrencies, with more and more Americans investing in digital currencies. A recent survey revealed that 48% of investors in the country purchased such alternative currencies in the first half of 2021. Younger customers in particular are becoming increasingly interested in digital currencies. According to the research, 37% of investors aged 18 to 44 are interested in doing so, so it looks like cryptocurrencies are set to go from strength to strength!