Take a monetary system that exists but doesn’t really exist, add in a few creative tech types and let their imaginations run wild and what do you get? Yes, you’ve guessed it: some cool business ideas. Bitcoin may have come into existence only in 2009, but as we head into 2017 it’s starting to become a mainstream hit to some interesting and innovative ideas.
For those who don’t know, Bitcoin is basically a virtual currency that’s created online, transferred and spent online and, importantly, has no physical form. Made by computers in a network using a process known as mining, Bitcoin isn’t controlled by any government and, in essence, is the perfect Internet currency.
With Bitcoin opening up new ways for people to pay online, it’s little wonder that you can now get slicker, cheaper and better services in the virtual arena. In fact, when you take a look at the following business ideas, you’ll see why Bitcoin is now fuelling the next stage of the digital revolution.
What’s the most frustrating part of sending money abroad? That’s right, the conversion charges. Not only that, but when you’re sending money to a country that doesn’t have the most advanced banking systems, time can also be an issue. Fortunately, Bitcoin has an answer to that problem. Because the currency is universal, it doesn’t incur any exchange fees when you’re sending it across borders.
With this in mind, BitPesa launched in 2013 with the aim of improving the money-transfer process to African countries. Charing a 3% transfer fee, BitPesa allows users to send Bitcoins to its platform where they will then be converted into shillings and passed on to the recipient. Thanks to his service offering a faster and cheaper way of sending money to Africa, BitPesa secured $1.1 million (£880,000) in funding in 2015 and is now thriving.
Joining the ever-expanding online gaming market in recent years is BitCasino. Taking the traditional online casino format and tweaking it, this platform essentially makes Bitcoin the standard currency for betting. Instead of players using their native currency, BitCasino allows them to deposit, play and withdraw funds using nothing other than Bitcoin. One of the reasons BitCasino’s Bitcoin slots like Twerk and Star Cash have become popular is because they offer a universal betting currency.
When a player in Canada wants to play on a British casino site, it’s usually the case that they have to convert their dollars into pounds and then back again. This process can cost a player money because of differences in exchange rates between the time of depositing and the time of withdrawing. In contrast, slot players at BitCasino will know that the currency they’re betting is the same regardless of where they live.
Ever wanted to show someone some love on the Internet but didn’t know how? Well, thanks to ChangeTip, Reddit and social media users can now tip their favourite figures using Bitcoin. In the past, one of the main reasons tipping small amounts of money to people was impractical was because of fees. Unlike leaving a few dollars on the table for a waiter, banks and financial institutions take a sizeable chunk of change when you try the same thing online.
Although it previously didn’t charge any fees, ChangeTip now takes just 1% of any tip you give to someone online. What’s even cooler about this system is that you use commands to tip set amounts. For example, “beer” will tip the Bitcoin equivalent of $3.50 (£2.81) while “donut” is $0.35 (£0.28). As a testament to the popularity of a virtual tipping system powered by Bitcoin, ChangeTip raised $3.5 million (£2.8 million) in funding back in 2014 and is now a leader in its field.
As you can see, technology has once again given rise to some cool ideas. Virtual currency has not only given people a new way to pay, but, as we’ve shown, a new way to send and receive money in a more efficient and cost-effective way.