In this article we have a look at how bitcoin has changed finance and allowed it to be part of the sharing economy. People from all over the world are trying to buy bitcoin, yet many don't have the opportunity due to not having a credit card or due to where they live. Bitcoin should be accessible to everyone - a people's currency. Swapping online payments from people to people solves this. People have found ways, like swapping gift cards for bitcoin. There are interesting times ahead.
You may have heard of bitcoin as it is vigorously heading mainstream. Because of this you would expect it to be really easy to get your hands on some bitcoins, right? Not exactly. The more popular this awesome crypto becomes the harder it seems for a first time user to get their hands on bitcoin. It’s all well and good if you are a tech savvy crypto enthusiast but what about when you’re just getting into it? It is like at the start of the dotcom bubble. All the different tools that the internet brought us, blockchain is disrupting everything again.
How to buy bitcoin if you need it fast?
So far the most popular places to obtain bitcoins are exchanges. This is all good when you’ve set your account up and got verified already. Not so good when you need to buy bitcoin quick. Currently a lot of bitcoin exchanges are having a hard time keeping up with the huge demand and it might take days, even weeks to get your account verified. Before you’ve done this, there is no way for you to buy bitcoin with a credit card for example.
As bitcoin prices fluctuate a lot, by the time that you’ve got your account verified the price might have already gone up drastically and you may not wish to buy at this level.
What if you don’t want to buy using a credit card? What if you can’t because you haven’t got one and have no means of obtaining it? Bitcoin arrived with a promise of very fast and free transactions all over the world, for everyone. This would truly be the case, if everyone had Bitcoin. For now it seems that as time passes it is taking a lot longer and you need to jump through more hoops to get your first bitcoin.
There is a problem for a vast amount of people. 2.5 billion people today have no access to financial services. Not because they choose to, they have restraints due to their credit ratings, their income or the part of the world they were born in. People in Nigeria for example, who wish to buy something online but due to the restrictions from their banks are limited to only very small amounts.
This will make it impossible for these people to buy bitcoin the most common way, which is from an exchange. A solution here is a peer to peer Bitcoin marketplace where people can swap online payments directly with each other without a middleman. This was the core idea of Bitcoin in the first place - removing the third party and a central authority that controls the funds. To solve this issue, they buy gift cards with cash, exchange them into bitcoin and then find someone that turns the coins into Alipay for example. Give people the tools and they will find a way.
Bitcoin is a problem solver
Everyone should have a way to pay. There are so many cool things you can do and buy on the internet, that many people cannot obtain. That is just not right. Yes, it might be something that in the grand scheme of things that may seem irrelevant, like wanting that iPhone. It may also be something a lot deeper that can save lives, for example sending money to relatives at an area of conflict.
Bitcoin allows us to do this, and there should be no restrictions of entry. You may need bitcoin to pay for the things your bank won’t let you.
No authority should have the right to restrict people from using their hard earned money. It may just be the need to make some use of the gift cards people got from someone that are now gathering dust in a drawer (sorry, grandma). Buying bitcoin with gift cards is a great way as most people will be able to buy a gift card with cash. Almost any payment option is available to convert to bitcoin on the bitcoin marketplace and vice versa.
Paxful is connecting people all over the world and letting them swap almost any payment option imaginable. It was born out of a personal problem. The co-founders Artur & Ray were selling bitcoin in New York to make ends meet. Because they encountered many roadblocks along the way they decided to put their coding skills to good use and create a better system. This is how Paxful was born however they couldn’t even imagine what problems it would come to solve for all these people around the world. What we may think of as something normal, like online payments is unobtainable still for many.
ICO’s have become the next big thing and everyone wants in on it. People that are already familiar with Bitcoin are also looking at other altcoins. Ethereum has paved the way for crowd sales and some remarkable things are being created at a vast speed. People are now swapping different tokens and altcoins with one another on these peer to peer marketplaces. Many have lost out on an ICO sale and want to buy quick, many may want to cash out the tokens they acquired at a sweet price. Yet not all the tokens arrive on exchanges in a timely manner. A peer to peer system helps solve this issue as well.
This is in essence how bitcoin was made to work. From people to people without having to interact with huge corporations. Granted, big businesses are kind of making it easy and simple however it is not accessible to everyone and may take too long. As time is key in the crypto world, blink and you may miss it. This is why peer to peer marketplaces are a great place to buy bitcoin. There’s often various ways to pay and no need to wait for weeks to get your account verified.
Paxful is currently building a new option for specifically this. Watch this space!