According to a recent BitPay research, Bitcoin has significantly shifted towards being used as an actual currency, meaning being used to pay for goods and services. The data indicated that the total number of Bitcoin transactions more than doubled last year.
As said by Wouter Vonk, BitPay’s European marketing manager, the company expects more customers to use Bitcoin for currency as the technology becomes more established.
“The investors are usually the first ones to hop on new technology, but as bitcoin circulates more, and as the amount of transactions increases, we should see bitcoin being used by more and more average consumers,” he said.
At the moment, more than 100,000 retailers accept Bitcoin as a payment option. According to the report, major companies and organizations such Microsoft, Dell, Wikipedia, Twitch, Greenpeace, Expedia and PayPal accept Bitcoin.
53 percent of companies and organizations accepting Bitcoin as means of payment, use BitPay’s payments platform, which represented $150 million in 2014. The total number of Bitcoin transactions was 563,568 in 2014 compared to 209,420 in 2013, besides, the average order value was $281 in 2014 compared to $513 in 2013.
In 2014, the amount of transactions by industry comprised: 3,242 for precious metals, 24,128 for food delivery, 41,121 for e-commerce, 69,832 for IT services, 88,288 for gift cards.
According to the research, North America represents 57 percent of the global Bitcoin volume, which makes it the largest Bitcoin market, moreover, the U.S. dollar led all currencies exchanged for Bitcoin in 2014. A total of $87.7 million in Bitcoin was converted to U.S. dollars, followed by $37 million converted to EUR, $3.1 million converted to CAD, and $3.0 million converted to GBP.
Only 3 percent of worldwide transaction volume takes place in South America and Africa. These markets are expected to post rapid growth due to a large migrant population and lack of access to financial services.
“We see bitcoin being used in emerging markets as a supplement to the current banking and monetary systems,” Vonk explained. “Bitcoin breaks down the barriers to financial tools that many people in emerging countries are facing.”
The top emerging country in 2014 was Brazil, with 406 percent merchant signup growth from the previous year. India comprised a 212 percent growth while Indonesia grew 199 percent.
Check out the infographic bellow in order to perceive the information vividly.