Many people believe that Napster was the killer app for the internet. Until the music sharing program was released in 1999, the internet was largely seen as playground for geeks that didn’t have much appeal outside of the tech community.
That all changed in a matter of months when teens and tweens around the planet realized that they no longer had to pay $20 to buy their favourite Madonna, Bon Jovi or Beastie Boys records. A small piece of free software allowed them to share their music collections with other music fans around the globe. The rest is history.
A brief history of Bitcoin
Bitcoin first made its appearance back in 2008 when an unknown cryptographer going by the name of Satoshi Nakamoto released the bitcoin white paper. Since then it has become popular as a peer-to-peer currency on darknet markets and at U.S. facing offshore gambling sites. Despite the price of a single bitcoin exceeding $1,000, it is still viewed by many as “nerd money” that will never go mainstream.
However, I’d like to believe that Bitcoin will become the defacto currency of the internet due to its limitless potential to reduce transaction costs and save people money. In fact, Bitcoin’s “killer apps” are already here.
Here are just a few examples of bitcoin companies that are currently driving bitcoin adoption (by saving you money).
Purse.io – Save Up To 25% On Amazon
Purse is a peer-to-peer marketplace that acts as an intermediary between people who want to sell their Amazon gift cards and shoppers on Amazon. Amazon pays thousands of their worldwide contractors who perform basic mechanical turk tasks with Amazon gift cards. Many of these contractors live in countries like India where Amazon is not yet available and as a result they are happy to convert their gift cards to bitcoin at a discount. Using Purse you simply add any item to your Amazon wish list and select the discount that you would like to receive from 5% to 25%. Amazon gift card holders will then make the purchase for you and the bitcoin is held in escrow until you receive your item. Amazon’s gift policy ensures that you can still return the item at a later date if you encounter any problems.
Fold App – Get 20% Off Every Starbucks Purchase
Fold app is similar to Purse in that it connects Starbucks customers with Starbucks gift card owners who are happy to sell their gift cards at a discount. All you need to do is install the Fold app on your phone and for every $8 you deposit, you will receive a $10 digital gift card. You can then make purchases using a barcode on your phone in any Starbucks in the USA, Canada, Mexico, Australia, Ireland, Spain, Macau, Hong Kong and the United Kingdom and receive a 20% discount.
Bitcoin Gambling – Avoid Paying Fees
Poker players and sports bettors in the United States know how expensive it can be to deposit dollars at offshore gambling sites. Many popular sportsbooks and casinos charge their players 5% to 7% to make a deposit with Visa or Mastercard. Withdrawals by cheque can often cost up to $50. Thankfully a growing number of online gambling operators such as BetOnline, Bovada and Americas Cardroom now process bitcoin transactions free of charge. Over the course of the NFL season, switching to bitcoin will save many sports bettors hundreds of dollars in fees.
Abra – Save Up To 20% On Remittances
Companies like MoneyGram and Western Union have a near duopoly in many countries when it comes to remittance payments. As a result, they are able to charge fees in excess of 20% to some of the world’s most vulnerable people who simply want to send a portion of their salary home to their families. Abra cuts these fees to as little as 1% by using the bitcoin blockchain. Abra has often been described as the Uber of remittances because anyone with a smartphone and some cash to spare can sign-up and become an Abra teller.
Veem – Make Big Savings On Business Payments
Veem has rebuilt the global payment network for business by replacing slow and costly international bank wires with blockchain payments. Their B2B customers make huge saving by avoiding costly international banking fees. In addition, transfers are often completed within a couple of hours compared to the 2-5 business days waiting period you can expect with international bank wires. With Veem you can pay your suppliers and international contractors quickly and cheaply in over 60 countries worldwide. The best part is that Veem keeps bitcoin hidden under the hood so you don’t need to know anything about crypto-currencies to use their service. You simply deposit and withdraw in your local currency but without the cost and the hassle.
The rise of Bitcoin may be rapid, but it is no fluke. The applications of Bitcoin, its security and low transaction costs make it a serious contender to traditional means of payment. There are many more apps that utilise Bitcoin and that can make your life so much richer. I hope that you this article serves as a starting point in your journey into exploring Bitcoin and its many uses.