As a crypto-community, we’re all guilty of trying to predict the next bitcoin bull-run.
Just wait until the bitcoin ETF is approved!
It’ll explode when Wall Street embraces crypto.
Bitcoin will soar when pension funds start buying bitcoin.
JP Morgan’s new cryptocurrency will send prices higher! (Just kidding).
Instead of sitting around waiting for these institutional changes (which may or may not even happen), we can do something ourselves. Start spending bitcoin.
One sure-fire way to increase bitcoin’s price is to increase demand for crypto payments. The more active bitcoin becomes, the more we prove it’s a viable alternative to traditional payment systems.
Mass Adoption Will Trigger the Next Bitcoin Bull Market
Satoshi Nakamoto described bitcoin as a “peer-to-peer version of electronic cash”.
But most of us aren’t using it for this purpose. According to the University of Cambridge, only 38% of crypto wallets are active. The rest are dormant or passive.
The vast majority of bitcoin holders are “hodling” (or they’ve lost access to their wallets).
I’m guilty of this too. I want to do better and start spending bitcoin whenever it’s available. It’s getting easier than ever. You can now buy Domino’s pizza via the Lightning Network or tip someone with bitcoin on Twitter.
I hooked this up and already got tipped some satoshis https://t.co/zvwdkZTN1Q
— jack (@jack) February 20, 2019
Wider adoption of bitcoin payments will increase awareness of crypto. And it will build trust for those that are still skeptical. It will establish bitcoin as a legitimate, accepted form of payment.
That’s the key to increasing demand and triggering the next bull-run.
You can now buy Domino’s Pizza via the Lightning Network for *5% off* from anywhere in the US with <$0.01 fees, instant transactions and ~30 min delivery. Get it while it’s hot at https://t.co/3tn7O9eexo ?⚡️ pic.twitter.com/zvco9xU7mC
— Lightning Pizza (@ln_pizza) February 13, 2019
Bitcoin Transactions are Growing
Since lows in April and July last year, bitcoin’s transaction count is growing steadily. We’re approaching the all-time highs we saw at the peak of 2017’s bull market.
Surpassing previous highs could be a pivotal moment for the bitcoin price. It would indicate that confidence had fully returned to bitcoin and that the network could handle the volume.
It’s up to us to increase that transaction rate. Start spending bitcoin. Start sending it to your friends and family.
Is the Infrastructure Ready?
Critics will point out that last time transaction volume soared, the bitcoin network couldn’t handle the traffic.
But we’ve come a long way since December 2017. The Lightning Network now has a capacity of 703 BTC (about $2.75 million) to help facilitate cryptocurrency micropayments. And there are now more than 27,800 open channels.
The Lightning Torch is helping to bring even more awareness to the micropayments network. Participants pass tiny amounts of bitcoin to each other to create a chain of payments. Dubbed the #LNTrustChain, it has passed through Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and Lightning Labs co-founder Elizabeth Stark.
Phew, @jack takes the Lightning Torch, sends it to me, tweets a bunch about #bitcoin, agrees to do a podcast on the spot with @stephanlivera and me. Pretty sure #LightningTwitter is now officially a thing!⚡️https://t.co/m2XRb5NmvH
— elizabeth stark (@starkness) February 6, 2019
How to Spend Bitcoin
In most places, paying with bitcoin still isn’t possible. However, there are plenty of places you can spend bitcoin. Overstock, Microsoft, and Cheapair.com are some of the biggest vendors accepting bitcoin in some form.
Many Shopify stores accept bitcoin, as do a handful of VPN services. A full list of crypto-accepting vendors can be found here.
Coinmap.org lists 14,366 restaurants, bars, and coffee shops around the world that accept bitcoin. If your favorite retailer, bar, or restaurant doesn’t take crypto, ask them to consider it. And if you’re a vendor yourself, start using BitPay or something similar and open up your customers to bitcoin.
If you owe money to a friend or family member, try sending it to them in crypto. It’s a good way to introduce new people to the technology.
Together we can kickstart the next bull-run by using bitcoin for what it was truly designed for.