Who’s using Bitcoin to buy and sell goods and services?
A lot fewer people than you probably would have guessed. After peaking at $411 million in September, the amount of money the largest 17 crypto merchant-processing services received in the best-known cryptocurrency has been on a steady decline, hitting a recent low of $60 million in May, according to research that startup Chainalysis Inc. conducted for Bloomberg News.
While the amount merchant services such as BitPay, Coinify and GoCoin received increased slightly in June to $69 million, it was still a far cry from the $270 million received a year ago, Chainalysis found.Amount of Bitcoin Received by Top Merchant Processors In millions of U.S. dollars Source: Chainalysis Inc.
Bitcoin advocates have long suggested the virtual money would one day replace fiat currencies as a means of doing business, but after a rise in use last fall, the cryptocurrency has lost what little appeal it had as a way to buy goods or services.
“It’s not actually usable," Nicholas Weaver, a senior researcher at the International Computer Science Institute, said in an email. Often, he said, "the net cost of a Bitcoin transaction is far more than a credit card transaction." And Bitcoin-based transactions can’t be reversed, an issue when a merchant or a consumer comes up against fraud.
The decline in use for payments coincided with the spike in speculative investing that drove the price of the biggest virtual cu...