By Ryan Taylor, Director of Finance at Dash
Since an anonymous inventor first introduced Bitcoin in 2009, the world has slowly gained an appreciation of the awesome potential of digital currencies and the blockchain technology that underpins them. These currencies can be sent across the Internet quickly and cheaply without the need for costly intermediaries. By the end of Q1 2016, more than $1.1 billion in venture capital funding had flowed into Bitcoin and blockchain startups.
Yet, nearly eight years after its creation, Bitcoin remains little more than a toy for geeks and a source of gossip and controversy for fintech journalists. Bitcoin – despite all its promise and media coverage – has yet to gain widespread adoption.
In many ways, this is quite understandable. The mainstream payments business is exceptionally difficult for new entrants to penetrate.
First, consumer payment behaviors are generationally slow to change. Despite decades of digital alternatives, cash and checks still comprise nearly a third of global consumer payment volume.
Second, when new payment technologies enter the market, they face a classic “chicken and egg” dilemma… consumers won’t try a new service if there aren’t many places to use it, while merchants won’t accept it unless a large share