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Bitcoin pros and cons

Many are attracted to Bitcoin by its independence and pseudo-anonymity. But its convenience of use, speed and costs are not always as attractive as one would like.

The main advantage of using Bitcoin for payment is you do not need a middleman, like a bank, to complete a transaction. In some cases, however, transaction speed and costs are a downside for this currency.

Pros
- You can make payments with bitcoins 24/7 all over the world, even where there’s no banking system.
- International payments with bitcoins can be faster and cheaper than with traditional banking.
- You can spend bitcoins in the same ways you spend traditional digital money – from a desktop computer, a mobile phone or a debit card.
- Bitcoin has valuable features for business, too, like multi-signature authorization and accounting transparency. Multi-signature means that several people need to sign off on a payment, which provides more security. And the very nature of a blockchain – where all transactions are public – improves a business’s transparency.

Cons
- Despite attempts to enable offline bitcoin payments, use of the currency still largely depends on internet availability.
- While Bitcoin beats traditional banking in international payments, it’s too slow and expensive for retail transactions like buying tea or groceries. The speed can be expected to improve in the future.
- As Bitcoin is still in development, the transaction speed and fees are not stable.
- Converting bitcoins into fiat money is costly.
- Not every shop or service provider accepts bitcoins. The number is growing, though.

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