A few weeks ago the IRS killed off any chance that Bitcoin could become a mainstream currency. That’s probably for the best since it clears the way for it to become something much more important: the world’s first completely open financial network.
Timothy B. Lee has a superb article explaining why this could be transformative. Lee highlights one particularly helpful innovation:
One obvious application is international money transfers. Companies like Western Union and Moneygram can charge as much as 8 percent to transfer cash from one country to another, and transfers can take as long as 3 days to complete. In contrast, Bitcoin transactions only take about 30 minutes to clear, and Bitcoin transaction fees could be a lot less than 8 percent.
An “alternative to Western Union” doesn’t sound revolutionary, does it? Now look at this graphic produced by The Daily Mail which shows how much money is being sent by migrants to their families back home.