Number of UK firms using cryptocurrencies expected to double in 2018
A fifth of UK business owners will be using cryptocurrencies to process payments in 2018, new research has suggested.
In a study of almost 3, 500 business owners in Britain, invoice finance firm MarketInvoice assessed decision makers on their awareness of financial technology (fintech) products and services, and how far they would go in adopting new developments.
Overall, 89 per cent of respondents had never used cryptocurrency, like Bitcoin, before. But despite low use so far, awareness seems to be growing over one in five expected currencies like bitcoin to feature in their payment transactions over the next 12 months.
Cryptocurrency is a digital or virtual currency. The defining characteristic of cryptocurrency is the absence of a centralised repository, meaning it cannot be manipulated by government and is immuneto interference.
Aprimary benefit of cryptocurrency is the easeat which funds can be transferred, with processing fees at a minimum. However, the data-based nature of virtual currencies means a cryptocurrency balance that isnt backed upcould be wiped out by a computer crash.
Bitcoin, likely the most well-knowncryptocurrency, was launched in 2009 as the world’s first decentralised currency. Since then, Bitcoin has acted as acted as a peer-to-peer enabler for transactions between users. As a company, Bitcoin has been subject to at least 40 thefts, exceeding millions of dollars in value.
The digital Liverpool Poundis powered bythe same blockchain technology as cryptocurrencies
Greater adoption of fintech
Wider findings revealed a greater adoption among British business owners of fintech products, alledgedly saving 4.6bn every year, according to the research.
Some 77 per cent of respondents were aware of fintech services, while two-thirds claimed to have adopted at least one fintech application. A fifth claimed to have adopted at least four. On average, respondents reported annual savings of 5, 500.
Banking transactions was the primary use for fintech products, the study found, followed by foreign exchange services.
Commenting on the findings, Anil Stocker, CEO and co-founder of MarketInvoice, praised the remarkable? expansion of tech-driven services in the past five years.
Praseeda Nair is the editorial director of Business Advice, and its sister publication for growing businesses, Real Business. She's an impassioned advocate for women in leadership, and likes to profile business owners, advisors and experts in the field of entrepreneurship and management.