Is Bitcoin the future of consumer money?

By Rizza Sta. Ana

Nov 27, 2013 12:09 PM EST

The Bitcoin frenzy finally caught the eye of the regular consumer. After a US Senate Hearing was held and attended by high-profile individuals from US Federal Reserve Ben Bernanke, officials of the Bank of England, the Olympic-rowing and Zuckerberg-bothering Winklevoss twins, and representatives of the US Department of Homeland Security, consumers are swiftly paying attention to Bitcoin.

Pundits have yet to accept the potential real-world aspects of the Bitcoin, said a report by the UK's The Guardian. In the report, Bitcoin regarded as a digital form of gold, was just virtual in value. To educate the average consumer, Bitcoin is defined as a virtual currency mined by solving mathematical problems. A network existed solely for the purpose of tracking Bitcoin-related transactions and one could keep his trove of Bitcoins in a virtual wallet.

The Guardian report argued that the use of the Bitcoin is tricky as the way on how to actually acquire them. In order to prepare one to invest in the Bitcoin, one needs to set up a wallet via special sites like, and pay in physical currency to have someone transfer the coins into the virtual wallet. The investor will have a Bitcoin payment address, which is a short string consisting of random characters that one could use to make anonymous transactions on the Web.

The report published at The Guardian stated its case that for the average consumer, it is hard to find and hire someone outside of the tech industry who can understand how Bitcoin works in detail. Moreover, Bitcoins do not have all the advantage of cash.

On the other hand, the report cautions the average investor that despite the astronomical rise of the Bitcoin, the virtual currency needs to overcome landmark hurdles.

"Some of the hurdles left between Bitcoin and widespread adoption can be fixed. But until and unless Bitcoin develops a fully fledged banking system, some things that we take for granted with conventional money won't work," the report said.

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