In an ever-changing digital age, online banking is old news and Paypal is accepted almost everywhere. The virtual wallet that once sparked controversy and doubt is now the easiest form of online payment. Just as companies were settling in with Paypal options at checkout, there is another form of currency threatening to take the online retail world by storm.
Created in 2009, Bitcoin is online currency that is completely independent from banks, government regulation and interpersonal tracking. This system allows users to transfer coins unanimously, internationally and without government interference or taxation. The medium has attracted users purchasing drugs, as well as those looking to by legal goods and services. Businesses are slowly and cautiously making the move to accommodate customers looking to spend Bitcoins.
Last week, Mountain Plus became the first outdoor company to accept Bitcoin as payment. According to Outsideonline.com, Mountain Plus CEO Erik Viafore said the company has been looking at Bitcoin for the past six months and is not concerned about the potential security risks.
It's kind of like what Paypal used to be in the old days," he said. "People weren't sure what do with it, and they wondered if a digital wallet was real. But more and more people are trying [Bitcoin] out. More people will adopt it.
Some of the larger companies now accepting Bitcoin include Overstock.com, OkCupid and around 100 different Etsy vendors. Though Mountain Plus is the first of the outdoor retailers, Viafore predicts others will follow.
Security is the main issue for those hesitant. With the fragility of web security fresh on headlines and everyone’s mind, it seems we might be waiting awhile for other outdoor retailers to get on board accepting Bitcoin.