Can I pay with Bitcoin for my latte?

Can I pay with Bitcoin for my latte?

The answer to that question in most cases is no. For a number of reason sellers haven't adopted Bitcoin as a payment currency and probably never will. It's not to say that cryptocurrencies will never be used to buy your morning coffee but it will most likely not be Bitcoin.

Once upon a time, a few major online retailers like Microsoft and Dell have actually implemented Bitcoin as a payment method. You could also browse and find the odd local restaurant or shop accepting Bitcoin.

Nowadays the transaction fees are prohibitive and payments may take minutes, hours or days depending on how much you are willing to pay per transaction.

With the increasing volume of transactions, to be exactly from 100,000 per day last year to around 260,000 per day this year, fees fluctuate anywhere from $3 to $6 USD. It's not a problem if you want to transfer $10,000 but paying for a coffee where the fee for payment is double the price of the coffee? Um, no.

The scalability of the Proof-of-Work protocol is really showing its limits and turns out to be unsustainable. Miners - the people who actually make Bitcoin work and process transactions are rewarded less than before and the number of transactions they have to process into the blockchain has almost tripled.

But that's not the main problem. It's the global acceptance of Bicoin as a currency. Why would Joe's Special Brew next your house start accepting a new currency when you still get your salary in dollars every fortnight?
Are you really going to convert your pay into Bitcoin for Joe to then convert it back into dollars so he can buy groceries from Fresh Produce Co when he goes home for the day?

Even if Bitcoin transactions fees were still at 5c, then include the payment gateway fees, cryptocurrency fluctuation, additional oveheard of conversions and bookkeeping, etc. you get the idea - it's just not worth it.

With over a thousand of crypto tokens out on exchanges today, some have solved the scalability and fee problems, but the main problem of global acceptance and use of a particular cryptocurrency in the global economy remains in its very early days.