Many Americans may never have heard of bitcoins – but someday it may be the way they get their paychecks.
The move to use the digital currency got a boost last week after the Internet Archive – a digital library – announced it is considering paying its employees in bitcoins – if they want, according to a news report. Employees there have asked to get their salaries in bitcoins starting in April.
Bitcoins are used to pay for transactions offline and online. The currency does not have a government office overseeing it, the way, for instance, dollars do in the United States or pounds do in the United Kingdom.
Bitcoins are gaining in popularity, however. BitPay recently announced it processed over 10,000 bitcoin payments for merchants.
None of these payments showed any sign of payment fraud. Contrast that with credit cards, where one out of every 167 transactions is fraudulent for domestic orders and one out of every 50 transactions is fraudulent for international orders, according to a recent study.
It was also recently announced that more than 2,400 merchants use BitPay’s platform for bitcoin payments, and in 2012 it processed over $3 million in bitcoin payments for merchants, according to MSP Today.
As another sign of bitcoins’ growing popularity, over 300 people have donated bitcoins to the Internet Archive in the last couple of years, according to The Next Web.
News about the increased use of bitcoins and donations got enthusiastic responses from visitors to The Next Web site.
For example, Hans Rippel wrote, “This is fabulous news! This should make headlines.” In addition, Glen Cooper said, “Sent my donation. I’ll gladly work for any company that will pay me in BTC.” And Brewster added, “Thank you! we are jazzed about this. Now we have to get a local lunch place to accept coins.”
Edited by Brooke Neuman