A UK survey spanning business owner-managers and entrepreneurs in the region revealed a few takeaways of their outlook on bitcoin.
A majority of the respondents to the Smith & William Enterprise Index survey that polls entrepreneurs and owner-managers in the UK said bitcoin will fail to become a widely accepted payment method, reports UK publication City AM.
The quarterly survey polls business-owners to gauge their views on industry affairs. 61% of respondents to the poll also said they did not see the cryptocurrency having a “big impact” on the predominant payment methods or major currencies, in the past five years.
Speaking to the publication, Fergus Caheny, a partner in investment management at Smith & Williamson stated:
Once heralded as the currency of the future, bitcoin has taken severe hits to its reputation and popularity over recent years.
He further added:
Whilst still having its place, as an international currency and within certain sectors, our respondents thought it would fail to become a widely accepted method of payment.
The somber outlook by UK-based business owners and entrepreneurs toward the cryptocurrency is surprising, primarily due to the region’s reputation as a leading fintech destination. Prominent government officials and authorities such as UK Chancellor George Osborne and the UK Treasury have backed digital currencies and blockchain innovation.
George Osborne has notably bought bitcoins in the past. In November 2015, Osborne was speaking about digital currencies at the Bank of England (England’s central bank) Open Forum conference, where he stated:
[Digital currencies] may now well play a big part in our financial future.
More recently, the British government was revealed to be considering disbursing research grants using bitcoin or a blockchain-based digital currency.
Contrary to the opinions revealed in the survey, bitcoin has gained further ground in the retail space as an accepted mode of payment. Some prominent examples from the turn of the year include:
- Gaming distributor platform Steam enabled bitcoin as a payment method to some 125 million active users around the world in April this year.
- Japanese entertainment platform DMM.com, among the top 25 websites in Japan enabled the cryptocurrency as a payment option for its 19 million users.
- South Africa’s biggest e-commerce marketplace Bidorbuy, a portal that sees over 30 million page views every month enabled payments in bitcoin in March this year.
- The town of Zug in Switzerland made headlines when it began accepting bitcoin as valid payments from its residents for municipality services.
- The bitcoin-friendly Dutch city of Arnhem further endeared itself to enthusiasts and adopters by adding Burger King to over 100 businesses in the city that accept the cryptocurrency.
- Several taxi providers in the Hungarian capital of Budapest now accept the cryptocurrency.
- There was considerable criticism directed toward Microsoft when speculation rose that the company had disabled bitcoin support. Mainstream media and the internet went into a tailspin, giving plenty of coverage to the now-redacted and deleted post which was described by Microsoft as “inaccurate information”. The software giant apologized and insisted that bitcoin is still being supported.
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