Is Bitcoin now a means of payment or not? Bitcoin acceptance is making great strides, but the price continues to drop – and one may be related to the other. Find out why in the new news review. Smaller rolls are baked here.

Well. Last week the lovely course was hardly an occasion for jumping for joy. It started on March 31st at around 345 euros, followed by a brief upward trend that raised the price to a proud 370 euros, but before you could even mumble “The bull market is back”, it went down again. The price only picked up again at 330 euros.

But, at least, on a monthly average it almost looks as if we have landed on new ground, despite the whole China drama.

Land in sight? I hope so, at least. But as a Bitcoin blogger I’m usually pretty optimistic. To be honest, my glass is not only half full, but sometimes two-thirds full. Which somehow corresponds to the cliché of the Bitcoin enthusiast.

Old and young continents

Sure: A cliché is not a thought, but a bad habit. Something for lazy people who would rather use stencils than think for themselves. Still, clichés are sometimes funny, especially if they come true. When you go to France and everyone has a baguette under their arm. Or when you move to Reutlingen and your neighbor explains the intricacies of the small and large “Kehrwoche”. And so on. If you do not understand a little about what we are writing, then read, then it will be clearer for you.

One of the clichés that are being confirmed in the Bitcoin world is that of the old continent of Europe and the young continent of America. While Europe remains skeptical, the US is galloping ahead. While Bitcoin is still mostly a private pleasure in this country and you mine and trade, but you don’t want to take yourself seriously, and most of the shops where you can pay with Bitcoins still belong to the “Club Alpacca” Big business in the USA has meanwhile entered full steam ahead. Week after week, new, not so insignificant companies are accepting Bitcoin. Recently there were even two payment providers among them. The impacts are getting closer.

Square and Stripe

Square is big enough to have its own Wikipedia entry.The California-based company was founded the same year Bitcoin was founded, 2009, and actually has the same mission – to make it easy for people to process payments. Whether as a retailer or a consumer. Square offers both card readers and numerous programs for PCs, I-Phones and Android smartphones. The company was valued at $ 5 billion earlier this year. Famous customers include the Whole Food Market and Starbucks.

Square has now announced that it will accept Bitcoins on the Square Market. The Square Market is a kind of Ebay for Square customers where they can offer goods. Square takes care of the smooth payments. From now on, buyers can also pay with Bitcoins – without the sellers having to accept the virtual currency or even noticing anything: Square, in cooperation with Coinbase, converts the Bitcoins directly into dollars.

Also Stripe has an entry in Wikipedia. The young payment service provider from Silicon Valley advertises with a simple implementation of payment systems in the homepage. Especially for smaller businesses, Stripe competes with the top dog PayPal. The company has now announced that it will implement Bitcoin in the software, but would like to take it slowly and carefully: First, companies can apply for a beta test. The first tester is Tarsnap, a provider of encrypted backups. According to a spokesman, Stripe’s plan is to accept any currency the customer wants in the future.

Over 30 independent grocers in Great Britain

Something is happening in Great Britain too: Wedeliverlocal is an e-commerce platform on which 30 independent local grocers are currently selling their products. Wedeliverlocal describes itself as a “local shopping revolution”. And which revolutionary is already rejecting the currency revolution called Bitcoin? From now on, customers can pay with Bitcoins at wedeliverlocal – at every participating shop. The trick is, once again, very simple: the shops do not receive Bitcoins, but British pounds. The virtual currency is changed immediately here as well.

And that now means that the price will finally rise again, doesn’t it?

Probably not. It is great that you can always buy more with Bitcoin, as it is a condition of a real currency that you can exchange it for products. However, Square, Stripe and Wedeliverfood ultimately do not accept Bitcoins, but rather dollars or euros. Platforms such as BitPay or Coinbase immediately change the virtual currency into fiat currencies. How exactly they do this is one of the mysteries of the Bitcoin ecosystem. Some claim that they trade the bitcoins to increase profits, while others claim that they are selling them to private customers and simply throwing them on the market, i.e. on the exchanges. In order to operate economically, the companies should be forced to sell the entire amount – or at least a large part of it – instantly.A purchase with Bitcoins thus creates exactly the opposite of what it should: Instead of Bitcoins circulating in the market as a means of payment, they are simply exchanged for the respective currency. For the Bitcoin price it means the same thing to use a Bitcoin as to sell it. Stupid, right? Then you could also pay in euros straight away. BitPay’s offer to accept bitcoins and deliver dollars or euros has already won so many customers that the current bear market may have less to do with China or Mt. Gox and more to do with the success of bitcoin as a means of payment. The next example shows that there is another way.

Irish company pays employees partly in Bitcoin

GSM Solutions, a Dublin-based consumer electronics retailer, already plays a central role in the Irish Bitcoin scene (see our article “Bitcoin in Ireland”). Now the company will pay some of its employees in Bitcoin in the future. The salary of five employees at the company’s headquarters will of course still be calculated in euros – but part of it will be paid out in the virtual currency at the current rate. The employees themselves already work with Bitcoin on a daily basis, which is why they should know what they are getting into. As a Bitcoin blogger, also partly paid in Bitcoin, I can confirm that it is possible. When the price rises, it’s awesome, when, as in the past few months, it tends to trickle down, it’s a bit tough. You should just be careful not to keep too large a share of your own assets in Bitcoin.

Anyone who is interested in the continued implementation of Bitcoin as a means of payment will find this last message from Ireland to be the most gratifying look at this news review. Because being a means of payment means fulfilling this function without being changed. If GSM takes Bitcoins, pays them out to employees and the employees then spend them in a pub and the pub owner orders from a delivery service that changes Bitcoins directly via BitPay – then Bitcoin has already taken several steps as a means of payment before it goes back to Euro was.