The world of bitcoin has been a little bit of a mess in the last few years. In fact, it could be argued that it's had a bumpy journey from its invention back in 2009. Unlike what many bitcoin lovers had hoped, the digital currency has yet to take the world by storm and become the coinage that not only compliments the current digital age, but has everyone scrambling to use it.
This is due to many complicated issues which are mostly legal and business-related, but a recent conference in the Netherlands showed that it's in perhaps bigger trouble than everyone thought. This was where the supposed inventor of bitcoin Craig Wright spoke passionately about the state it's in and claimed that it could even be “destroyed.”
Out of all the nations of the world that allow gambling, bitcoin is available in only about a handful of them. It can be used with a fair few mobile casinos here in the UK, but it's a very small number and, because of it's non-widespread status, many casinos won't even touch bitcoin.
There are also a lot of other complicated issues, such as he exchange rates and how the gambler could end up winning less if they didn't choose to gamble in their own currency as well as other things like tax. This has obviously been a problem from its inception. Not all operators or vendors were going to immediately accept it.
However, there seems to be a sense of shock in the bitcoin community at just how little progress they have made. As of 2015, 100,000 merchants allow for bitcoin payments. That is worldwide. Now take a look at a financial transaction service like PayPal, where millions of merchants and buyers use it everyday, and you can see the numbers are disappointing.
Some companies that use it can't even open a bank account. Technically speaking, the money doesn't actually exist. There are no notes or coins like with traditional money. It's all digital and asking every country in the world to accept it so quickly would not work. Many fear it'll undermine efforts to tackle corruption, particularly in the online gambling industry.
The man allegedly behind the pseudonym of Satoshi Nakamoto is Dr Craig Wright. He made a rare appearance at the Future of Bitcoin event in the Netherlands. During it, he gave a speech on the the current state of the community. The speech itself was recorded and in it, he claimed that his creation could be ‘destroyed' by too much distribution and sharing among partners.
He took an incredibly irritated tone as he discussed how much stronger it could be if it was a single unit, pointing at graphs and figures to show how all this squabbling has affected bitcoin's progress. He finished the speech with a kind “f**k off”, demonstrating his passion for the idea.
While many people dispute that he is the creator of bitcoin, it's hard not to see how passionate he is about it. “I don't just want some people using bitcoin,” he said. “I want everyone to be using bitcoin”. We'll just have to wait and see if those listening to his speech agree.