You’d think this problem would have been solved by now, but one of the main issues still holding back increased Bitcoin adoption is the fact that it’s rather difficult to actually get some bitcoins. The problems with exchanges and other online options have left the Bitcoin community complaining for months, and it’s possible that physical Bitcoin exchanges in every local town could end up providing the right solution. Let’s take a look at five convenient methods of buying bitcoins that are in our near future.
Cointap is a company that wants to make buying bitcoins as easy as buying a gift card for a friend or family member on Christmas Eve. The way it works is someone would buy a Cointap card at Walmart, Target, or any other retail store, and that individual could then go online and redeem the code on that card for bitcoins in their online Cointap wallet.
United States Postal Service
It was recently announced that the United States Postal Service is thinking about getting into the Bitcoin market. This idea sounds crazy at first, but it really makes perfect sense. USPS has a physical presence across the entire United States, and they can use their trusted name to instantly become a Bitcoin exchange overnight. Instead of going to the post office to buy a money order, you would head down there to purchase some bitcoins.
ZipZap recently started selling bitcoins at more than 25,000 locations in the UK, and they have plans to expand to many other countries around the world. They were originally created as a cash payment option for purchases over the Internet, but their original business model also works perfectly for being a physical exchanger of bitcoins. Their network of hundreds of thousands of convenience stores and cash payment locations creates the perfect building block for a convenient method of buying bitcoins.
There are currently some regulatory concerns with launching Bitcoin ATMs in the United States, but these ATMs are already taking off in other parts of the world. A world with a Bitcoin ATM on almost every corner could be in our near future, but we’ll need these other options to pick up the slack until that dream becomes a reality.
Western Union is going to have to become a Bitcoin exchange if they’re going to stay in business. Their old business model of charging people 10% or more in transaction fees has been disrupted by Bitcoin, but the good news is that they still have an extremely large network of agents across the globe. It makes sense for them to take advantage of their physical presence in so many different countries and turn themselves into a major player in the Bitcoin space. Western Union would be wise to make this move sooner rather than later as other players, such as ZipZap and USPS, could gain a first-mover advantage in this market.