Bitcoin is usually portrayed as “high risk” by the mass media and industrial-age bureaucrat structures alike. Reports of spectacular thefts abound, the EBA (European Banking Authority), while also officially saying Bitcoin is legal to use Europe and here to stay, warned against alleged safety risks, and hyped stories about people “finding” abandoned hard drives on garbage dumps or “losing” bitcoins through an incredible variety of (usually stupid) ways are littering magazines and newspapers everywhere.
The truth is, Bitcoin is safe. The code works, and it is highly resistant against all sorts of operational concerns, including Block delays or non-syncronisation, and still works flawlessly in preventing double-spending or any kind of deliberate or involuntary subversion of the system. Also, Bitcoin is extremely low cost: there are no middlemen pocketing chunks of amounts you send, as is usual with conventional banking (SWIFT, credit cards, bankers’ drafts, Letters of Credit and other not-so-fancy ways of payment transmission from the telegraph-age).
Just note that SWIFT costs participating banks roughly $30,000 per year in “membership” dues in order to just be admitted to the club and able participate (plus a sizeable minimum amount per transfer, usually north of $6 per “wire” when you actually do). Also note that all credit card businesses pay around 41% of their total revenue for “fraud prevention” alone (this is where the total of billions from your 3% to 3.5% of “credit card usage” or “foreign card usage” and similar fees are going).
Neither credit cards nor “telegraphic” transfers have any meaningful error correction algorithms built into them. So even if no one attempt anything fishy there, money in transfer can still be lost — or delayed.
As Bitcoin is designed to be used in electronic communications and, thus, perfectly suited for worldwide transmissions, e-mail use, and immediate communications, it is clearly superior to those legacy systems that major banks desperately cling to and apparently try to “defend” using whatever means they can think of (government regulation, limiting access even further, introducing all sorts of hurdles).
Bitcoin’s other major advantage is the irreversibility of payments once sent. Chargebacks are not an issue, merchants accepting Bitcoin (or any other Crypto currency) payments need not worry about a thing. That way, there is no need for ridiculous “fraud prevention” teams, mechanisms against fraudulent chargebacks, or similar risk when using Crypto coin payments, eliminating these 41% of “security costs” (totalling billions of dollars every year) and making all transactions cheaper for everyone involved. Crypto currency payments such as Bitcoin transactions can be sent with zero or very low overall fees, therefore enabling improved integration and utilisation of all e-commerce aspects in the payments arena alone.
The arrival of Bitcoin, often praised as the biggest invention since TCP/IP (the protocol underlying the World-wide web) will likely bring about an entire new “Web 3.0” era.