Digital currencies are gradually making their entry into the mainstream economy. While the cryptocurrency-accepting community was very small only a year ago, today some of big businesses are announcing their acceptance of the new-age coin because of its growing demand.
On December 8th, US-based online gold dealer APMEX announced that it will accept payment in bitcoins on its platform.
The official announcement states: “For more than 15 years, APMEX has been an industry leader and along the way has adapted to the growing needs of our customer base. As bitcoin becomes more popular and widely accepted as payment, we are thrilled to welcome the use of this cryptocurrency for buying gold, silver and other precious metals by integrating BitPay into our website.”
APMEX has integrated Bitpay to process all cryptocurrency transactions. It is also offering a discount of 4 percent on all purchases paying with Bitcoin. Though the discount offer is only for a limited time, it will surely encourage customers to pay with Bitcoin. It is also citing the preference of customers for anonymity as one of the reasons to introduce the support of the digital coin as payment.
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Anyway, APMEX is not the first bullion dealer to accept payment in Bitcoin. Many precious metal dealers around the world are now taking payment in cryptocurrency, including UK-based Sharps Pixley which announced its interest in Bitcoin payments in September this year.
But in spite of all the attention, Bitcoin transactions have their own difficulties. Due to network scalability issues, large transactions are not appreciated on the network as they take a long time to process. Transaction fees are another issue as they have gone up from mere cents to tens of dollars.
Recently, the renowned online gaming platform Steam stopped accepting Bitcoin, citing the token’s high volatility as the reason.
Still, Bitcoin is growing tremendously on the market. It is currently trading beyond $16,800 following the initiation of Bitcoin futures trading on the US trading platform CBOE.