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E-commerce sites may soon embrace Bitcoin payments

16 December 2013 - 11:31 by Mike Price

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Last week, the Bank of America revealed that it believes virtual currency, Bitcoin, could become the de facto means of payment when carrying out transactions via safe shopping online, according to The Register.

Bitcoin has been hitting the headlines in the past month as a result of the dramatically increased value of the currency as a whole, as well as the successes and foibles of early investors in it, some of whom made a fortune, while others accidentally threw it all away, by losing their digital wallets.

The Bank or America report suggests that while Bitcoin's value has risen exponentially, it may still have further to climb, with estimates suggesting that it could level in the near future, making 1 Bitcoin worth about $1300 (£798).

What makes it so appealing is that it uses advanced cryptography, so you could shop online using Bitcoins to make payments and find that this is the most secure way to carry out a digital transaction.

While no one claims that Bitcoin is completely unhackable, the point made by advocates is that you would need as much knowhow and processing power to hack an entire bank, so it is not a soft target and cybercriminals will look elsewhere.

People can even mine for Bitcoins themselves, although it has got to the point that only professional teams with high end hardware have a realistic chance of achieving this.

While it may be some time before Bitcoin is standardised for e-commerce payments, if it ever reaches this point, consumers who are more comfortable paying through other means need not worry. You will still be able to use online shopping sites through your credit and debit cards, with security levels being improved persistently for all methods of payment.