The situation around the UK’s overseas trade is uncertain. Brexit represents a huge shift and it carries with it both risks and opportunities.
“A big part of being able to expand our markets overseas will depend on those markets being able to compete,” Helen Child, of specialist prepaid consultancy, Striding Edge, states. “Bitcoin could be a real game-changer here.”
What are the Barriers to Trade?
For some countries, simply starting out in international trade is itself expensive because of the high costs involved in international money transfers.
“Take Africa for example,” Helen says. “There there are enormous international trading opportunities but getting started is hampered by difficulties around infrastructure and organisation.”
For these kinds of economies to grow and to make the most of their potential as our overseas trading partners, the population needs greater access to the wider economy.
“Bitcoin could unlock the potential of trade in many less privileged areas of the world that are nonetheless rich in potential, and in natural resources”
Helen Child, Striding Edge
How Does Bitcoin Work?
Computers manufacture Bitcoins cryptographically, with an upper limit. The finite amount is set at 21 million, of which some 15 million are currently in circulation. Bitcoins are traded via digital wallets, each with a private code.
“They are a virtual currency, in the sense that they do not physically exist,” explains Helen. “As such, they allow for rapid transactions that are zero-confirmation. This means that the merchant takes on the risk of accepting the transaction. Or, at most, 10 minutes’ duration if confirmation is required.
Bitcoins are trustworthy, and at the same time decentralised. Transactions are secure, digitally signed but transparent.
What is the Potential of Bitcoin?
“Initially Bitcoins earned a bad reputation,” Helen explains. “However, there is an increasing sense of momentum around them, and the global potential they can unlock.”
Bitcoin has enormous potential for allowing the person to person transfer of money regardless of national borders, or middlemen.
“It represents a certain purity of idea,” Helen concludes. “It is about overcoming traditional barriers and, therefore, has the potential to be truly global. It makes digital payments possible for people without a PayPal account, or a functioning credit system. And you can take international payments without the risk of credit card fraud.”
As a mechanism for enabling increased overseas trade with a wider range of markets, its time may soon come.
To discover more about the benefits of virtual currency to your business, please call Striding Edge on 07771 563 274or visit striding-edge-ltd.com