Bitcoin is moving away from being just a speculative investment towards being an everyday means of payment, according to o online coupon code database Coupofy.
Coupofy has observed the trend from updating it database on internet merchants. From department store Neiman Marcus and clothing outlet Urban Outfitters, to the Expedia travel booking service and computer hardware giant Newegg, many merchants are moving to bitcoin payment as an option.
According to data from 2014, around 100,000 merchants are now accepting bitcoins alongside more traditional payment options such as credit cards or Paypal. The US is leading the movement along with the UK, Canada, Germany, and The Netherlands not far behind.
However, bitcoin may have the potential to revolutionize commerce in restrictive economies and failing financial systems where most of the population is un-banked. With no single entity in control, bitcoin could become a truly global medium of exchange. Coupofy reports some emerging countries like Brazil have seen an enormous 406% signup growth from Q4 2014 to Q1 2015.
Data obtained by Coupofy from BitPay reveals that the leading bitcoin payment processor dealt with the equivalent value of $158,800,000 in bitcoin transactions in 2014, an increase from 2013’s figure of $107,575,000. This represents 563,568 in total individual transactions, compared to 209,420 the prior year.
It is noteworthy that the number of transactions are going up but the average order value is going down, from $531 to $281 per transaction, according to the BitPay data. This suggests that individuals are increasingly using bitcoin to pay for everyday products, rather than buying the cryptocurrency in bulk as an investment.
Obviously, bitcoin still has a long way to go to catch up with the four credit card companies, Visa, MasterCard, UnionPay and American Express, as Coupofy reveals in their research infographic.