[heading]Bitcoin To Replace Pennies & Nickels?[/heading]
In this month’s edition of Futurist magazine, an article asked experts what they did not expect to be around in thirty years. One individual in particular, Virginia Holbert, responded:
“pennies and other coins are becoming less useful, as parking meters, tolls, and public transits use smartcards and RFID technologies to streamline payment. Presumably by 2030 we will also see widespread acceptance of virtual currencies such as Bitcoin.”
As inflation worsens, materials such as copper are making coins like the penny and nickel worth more than the face value of the coins in circulation, as US Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner penned in written testimony to the House of Representatives Appropriations Committee Wednesday.
Geithner told the committee that the budget proposes legislations that would enable the Treasury to use different materials, stating “Currently, the costs of making the penny and the nickel are more than twice the face value of each of those coins,” Geithner wrote.
In March, the world’s top copper producer’s exports of the red metal dropped 16.1% to $3.62 billion from $4.32 billion.
In the first quarter of 2013, an Ohio company managing municipality online payments for parking tickets, permits, etc. began processing Bitcoin. E-Gov Link noted that “credit card purchases tend to carry high transaction costs due to the middleman and due to the high costs of fraudulent online purchases.”
Since Bitcoin processes transactions at a fraction of the cost of other payment methods, because it avoids the interchange structure of keystone card processors, the decision could be one of the best “policy” decisions made by our governnment (or a contractor thereof) in recent memory. “We know the bitcoin community is passionate about using bitcoin for payments, and will be demanding it of their local governments,” E-Gov stated. “We’re happy to be here to answer the call, as municipalities scramble to find partners to help them with bitcoin.” E-Gov Link has naturally gained a first-mover advantage, as the company looks to integrate Bitcoin payments into the shopping cart while relying on payment processor BitPay to manage Bitcoin wallets.