In between the rising speculations of PayPal accepting bitcoins in its payments network, Norman Vialle, a 53 year old car dealer and the owner of the renowned Overland Park Jeep Dodge Ram Chrysler, has already started accepting the virtual currency. He recently sold a jeep, equivalent to about $40,000, in exchange of bitcoins.
“It’s volatile because it’s new, but it’s still a lot higher than it was a month ago,” Mr. Vialle says, on being asked about reason for using Bitcoins as mode of payment. The first car dealer merchant for using bitcoins, Mr. Vialle is among the many business owners to make deals in exchange of this virtual currency. Bitcoin has now found its place among various business sectors including art, exchanges, real estate, IT, games, health, and shopping, etc. amongst others.
First described in 2008 by pseudonymous developer Satoshi Nakamoto, Bitcoin has slowly yet steadily achieved a wide acceptance by various online/offline business shores around the world. A large share of bitcoins is now used for gaming and trading, nurturing the currency value at par with stocks and commodities.
Boosted further by the support from cadre of Silicon Valley venture capitalists, programmers and anti-establishment thinkers, bitcoins are becoming popular among many internet merchants, who believe reducing the overall costs of their deals, associated with accepting credit cards is very much possible with Bitcoins.
The gap between customers and bitcoins has been further shortened with new mobile services, which allow people pay with Bitcoins from the comfort of their smartphones. However, many critics criticize Bitcoins for their potential misuse in drug-trafficking and money laundering.
Regulators, meanwhile, encourage the virtual currencies by suggesting the same money laundering rules to be applied which has been made mandatory for companies like Western Union Co. “Every technology has its cons and pros. It is us who should find a way to encourage it properly”, says a bitcoin trader from New York.
Similar thoughts are being shared by many bitcoin supporters including Jennifer Longson, owner of a San Francisco cupcake bakery who believes the volatility of Bitcoins is not different from other currencies and stocks.
Mr. Ville, the car dealer, further believes Bitcoins may produce better opportunities. “I will hang on to my bitcoins and will surely use them someday for better profits”, he says enthusiastically.
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