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Digital technology is now affecting many lives in the developed world. Music and movies are available to stream wherever you have an internet connection, and more of us are doing our shopping online than ever before. Statistics show that shop sales are suffering in the face of digital alternatives.
Naturally, these changes are going to have an impact on our local businesses in Harrogate, however, local retail and home-grown start-ups are holding firm in the face of the ongoing digital uprising. One thing they may not be reckoning for is the advancing interest in cryptocurrency. Recent news suggests that an increasing number of people, including locals to Harrogate, are investing and trading in cryptocurrencies.
Cryptocurrency is money that can be traded online. More than that though, it is digital money, meaning that people ‘mine’ the currency from a digital ledger. This involves the use of several pieces of hardware, and it can take considerable time for even one ‘coin’ to appear. Therefore, currencies such as Bitcoin often trade for high prices online thanks to the time and effort people take to source it.
How could Harrogate businesses be affected?
Trends on the horizon suggest that more of us are getting into digital money. Cryptocurrency remains hugely appealing to many people for many reasons. As Bitcoin, for example, is decentralised, there are no ties to central banks or businesses. This means that trading is almost instantaneous. It also means that businesses and traders will rarely have to pay fees for money to change hands. Also, entrepreneurs and small businesses are free to take advantage of fewer barriers and borders. This is likely to appeal to many local businesspeople in Harrogate, as not only will it mean that they receive payments for services more quickly, they may be able to open their projects and services online, and to sell to international customers.
Beyond this, cryptocurrency is, reportedly, simple to get into. There are a variety of different currencies, from Bitcoin to Litecoin and Ethereum. There are also more online resources and programs to help investors than ever before. New traders are able to head to online markets and talk in forums to discuss factors that affect Ethereum price, for example. They may even use ‘bots’, or automated programs, to do a lot of the difficult investing for them.
Will businesses in Harrogate adapt?
If trends in the UK continue as they are doing, it will not be surprising to see more local businesses in the area starting to embrace cryptocurrency. UK trends indicate that more individuals are investing in a variety of currencies. This runs against negative media spreads which suggest that Bitcoin and other digital money is unsafe to trade in.
It is also understandable why many businesses, particularly bigger firms, are wary of digital money. Without centralisation, some sources argue that there is little security. Some cryptocurrencies also regularly rise and fall sharply in price. Bitcoin, in particular, has been to the edge of very public ‘bubble bursts’ and back again.
Some businesses in Harrogate may be keen to stay clear of crypto until the UK feeling towards digital money relaxes. While the Bank of England has suggested that there may be movements towards global digital money in future, the law remains a little unclear on where we stand with cryptocurrency, and many financiers are pushing for regulation, or bans on trading platforms.
Should businesses take advantage?
Regardless of whether trends will change, there appear to be arguments in favour of Harrogate businesses adopting cryptocurrency sooner rather than later. Some crypto experts suggest that accepting Bitcoin payments, for example, will open up a lucrative market. Smaller businesses in the area may benefit from embracing digital money now, or risk getting left behind later.
There are no trends to suggest that the British Pound will be affected by cryptocurrency any time soon. While the status of GBP remains unclear with regard to Brexit, Harrogate businesses are likely to continue to use legal tender for decades to come. That doesn’t mean we won’t be using digital money alongside.
Some entrepreneurs in the area already accept and trade in Bitcoin and Ethereum. These businesspeople are – on the whole – aware of the risks and are willing to take advantage of rising faith in digital cash.
What does this mean for your own local business? The general feeling is still one of confusion, however, the consensus is that it may be safe to take a look at cryptocurrency on a private basis, rather than to throw all your business investments into online exchanges just yet.