Still in search of the killer app? Or non-geek awareness?
Bitcoin might someday become a currency that people commonly use to buy retail goods and services, but it has hit a snag. Though the number of merchants accepting the cryptocurrency—including big names like Microsoft, Expedia, and Overstock.com—grew fourfold to 100,000 last year, it appears there has been very little if any increase in retail purchases using Bitcoin.
The price of a bitcoin may be recovering after last month’s plunge (See “Price Slump Tests Bitcoin’s Self-Correcting Economics”), while bitcoin wallets are becoming more common and daily exchanges of bitcoins are steadily increasing. But the currency is still used primarily for online gambling, purchases of illicit goods and services, and speculation, according to several people who closely track its use.