The Changing Face of Bitcoin

Note: On Tuesday morning 2/16, Bloomberg reports that bitcoin reached a new record price, breaking $50,000, as institutional investors continue to buy in.

Bitcoin continues to capture headlines, as summarized by CoinDesk. As its price gains continued on news that Elon Musk purchased $1.5 billion worth of the cryptoasset for Tesla, several mainstream financial organizations move bitcoin closer to the financial mainstream, especially as a means of payment:

BYN Mellon says it will hold, transfer, and issue bitcoin on behalf of clients.

Mastercard will let merchants accept crypto payments this year.

Apple Pay supports the BitPay crypto wallet.

The City of Miami announces that it may pay with bitcoin.


Photo: Jacob Lurd

Given the increase in bitcoin investments, I don’t see much demand to use it for payments, especially as the credibility gained stokes rising prices. More to the point is a caution from Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen on the illicit uses of cryptocurrencies, along with the potential of innovative technologies to combat them.

On Friday morning, bitcoin hit a new price high. I’ve been watching the price come close to the record then retreat as I write. The announcements that make bitcoin easier to buy and move make sense. So do the announcements like Tesla’s to receive bitcoin as payment. But with the cryptoasset’s rising prices, why use it to pay?

Collin Canright