Bitcoin Now More Currency than Commodity: BitPay

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Bitcoin is now being used more as a currency than as a simple investment commodity, according to data released by bitcoin payment service provider BitPay and IBTimes UK. Most BitPay transactions are for gift cards, followed by IT services, e-commerce, food delivery and a relatively tiny number of precious metals transactions. The total number of bitcoin transactions processed by BitPay more than doubled last year from 209,420 to 563,568, a 170 percent increase. The average order value dropped during the same period by more than 45 percent, from $513 to $281. More than 100,000 retailers now accept bitcoin, according to IBTimes UK, including Microsoft, Dell, Wikipedia, Twitch, Greenpeace, Expedia and PayPal. Fifty-three percent of all bitcoin merchants use BitPay, according to the newly released data. North America is still the largest bitcoin market for BitPay, with 57 percent of their global business. The top emerging markets are Brazil, India and Indonesia with rapid growth in BitPay signups. “We see bitcoin being used in emerging markets as a supplement to the current banking and monetary systems,” said Wouter Vonk, BitPay’s European marketing manager. “Bitcoin breaks down the barriers to financial tools that many people in emerging countries are facing.” Bitcoin mining …