Wired predicts that the digital currency of Bitcoin will serve to do more than just make payments
Bitcoin has had a rather turbulent year, and we’ve already predicted that the coming year will see it jump to even greater heights – as will its peers. But the UK Wired team has, when looking forward through the innovations and trends that we will see grow in 2014, pulled Bitcoin out as a great new way to build financial services.
More specifically, it’ll help construct these services in a more cost-effective way, allowing for more freedom thanks to not needing a very expensive and powerful third party to help assist.
Wired‘s reasoning? Bitcoin’s scripting language, which is far more versatile than it’s ever given credit for.
At the moment, Bitcoin is used for peer-to-peer payments, requiring the exchanging of information to take place so a payment can be made. However, the future that Wired are envisioning sees Bitcoin take a leap forward, using its existing systems to create payments that are completely instant. This would mean that making a payment for an item in store would be faster than having to use a debit card or even a standard mobile payment. There’d be less faffing around and it could be entirely seamless.
There’d be far more leeway in terms of security and control, one example being that a parent could easily restrict money in a child’s account so only certain individuals could make a payment or withdraw money. It even points out that it could be used to deliver instant payment to suppliers the moment the goods arrive at a merchant. Money and payments could be near instantaneous and effortless, with little to no need for anybody to slow the process down.
Wired even postulates the idea that in the near future a car could be linked to a person’s bitcoin account. The moment the sale takes place, the car only unlocks when used with a device that the new owner has – which would also be registered to their account.
And it doesn’t stop there either, going by the decentralised nature and ultimately undeniable process of transaction verification via the block chain – which every Bitcoin user has – it’s not too farfetched to believe that Bitcoin systems could be used to verify a whole number of high-profile exhcanges on the stock market.
It’s far more versatile than anything else on offer, and definitely seems likely to be the driving force of digital technological evolution when it comes to the payments and commerce game.
However, one question still remains: in this future where Bitcoin rules the roost, what happens to the players in the middle? Your Visa, MasterCard, AMEX?
Does it all sound plausible to you?
[Image: sfslim - Flickr]