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BTC · 4w

Bitcoin As A Payment System — Crypto Cards And The Rocky Road They Travel

(Photo Illustration by Igor Golovniov/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images) SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

The financial space was rocked by the news that German fintech group Wirecard filed for insolvency owing €3.5bn. Not only a financial failure but also a seemingly “elaborate and sophisticated fraud,” according to EY, the company’s auditor for more than a decade.  

Many companies using Wirecard’s service would have been struck by the news, and would have had to hit the panic buttons, including a few crypto companies using Wirecard for their own card payment systems. 

Already a difficult operation to get right, crypto payment, and crypto payment cards are only starting to make their way into the mainstream but it is instances like this that really hinder their potential and growth. Bitcoin has had a few changes in designation over the years, and as it stands, making it a payment system is harder than it once was.

The major cryptocurrency has undergone a number of evolutions in its some 11 years of existence. The digital currency began life as a medium for exchange in transactions, and found its first use when 10,000 BTC was traded for two pizzas (those pizza’s are now worth just shy of $100 million).

But, just like the value of those two pizzas has changed, so has the designation of Bitcoin. The digital asset is today seen far more like an investable asset. Bitcoin is spoken about in the same breath as stocks and commodities and is permeating the conversations of Paul Tudor Jones and the execs at CME, Fidelity and other corners of Wall Street. 

However, this fluid flow of Bitcoin’s designation may well be seeing a shift back towards acting like “A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System,” as it is labelled in its own whitepaper. Recent news from Visa, PayPal and Venmo have many looking towards Bitcoin (or that should be cryptocurrencies, blockchain and the entire token ec...

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