Peer-to-peer (P2P) transactions have evolved a lot over time, from simple barter—an exchange of goods and services without the use of money—to the cryptocurrency transactions we have today. The nature of peer-to-peer transactions has evolved so much that it has opened up opportunities for newer generations.
Although “peer-to-peer transaction” is a relatively new term, these kinds of transactions have been carried out even before the concept of currency existed. The aforementioned system of bartering is one such example. To obtain something you wanted from another person, you had to exchange your own set of goods or services. This practice allowed communities to have a wide variety of skilled artisans who were all trying to master their own crafts in the hopes of trading with others.
If you compare barter to the P2P bitcoin marketplaces we have today, they’re more similar than you might think. Instead of trading goods and services, people are trading for investment opportunities. And instead of having a community full of skilled artisans, you have a platform with hundreds of payment methods—all allowing you to obtain something that is much needed in today’s electronic economy: bitcoin.
A lot of people credit the creation of PayPal as the transition of P2P services into the digital world. Through PayPal, P2P payments were made much easier via electronic money transfers. P2P transactions were made even more popular when PayPal was acquired in 2002 by online retailing juggernaut eBay. Ever since the use of P2P transactions has grown rapidly.
The use of these transactions has experienced even greater growth as we entered into the age of smartphones. Although it doesn’t feel like it at times, the power of our smart devices has a direct effect on everyday life. Their biggest contribution to P2P finance to date is allowing people with smartphones to send money anywhere in the world within seconds—and all you need is a stable Internet connection.
Fast forward to today, where peer-to-peer payments have evolved even further with the use of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology.
Bitcoin: the natural next step
Peer-to-peer money transfers have never been easier, as not only have peer-to-peer payment apps have been more refined, but the use of bitcoin (or other cryptocurrencies) is slowly starting to get recognized as a viable option for P2P finance.
The Paxful team has recognized this and they’ve gone a step further by leveraging P2P finance, pioneering groundbreaking ways to trade bitcoin by introducing Goods and Services as payment method. This includes real estate, automobiles, and many more. Expect a new kind of barter with valiant P2P efforts like this.
Through the use of peer-to-peer marketplaces and bitcoin as a vehicle for P2P finance, people have found many real-use cases. Here are a few examples of bitcoin and peer-to-peer marketplaces being used in real life.
With the use of bitcoin, a lot of payment barriers are eliminated. Primarily, fees and long waiting times are the main obstacles when it comes to sending money. Traditional money-sending methods have gotten too expensive and take too long for the receiver to actually receive the funds. Using banks and other electronic payment apps can often take days (and sometimes weeks) depending on the availability of services. Banks, for example, aren’t 24/7 and close on holidays and weekends. This severely limits availability and can sometimes prevent your money from being sent. Payments made with bitcoin are more cost-efficient and only take a couple of minutes to process.
The use of peer-to-peer finance and cryptocurrency also helps the e-commerce side of things, as business owners have a new means of obtaining revenue; this allows them to go the extra mile when it comes to the exchange of goods and services. In essence, buying things online will remain the same, but the use of bitcoin and peer-to-peer services will elevate it a notch higher and bring proper valuation and preservation.
There are already examples of big businesses that are starting to accept bitcoin as payment, such as Microsoft (selling Microsoft products like the Xbox and its games—along with gift cards, a leading payment method on Paxful), Subway (allowing you to order your favorite sandwiches and pay with bitcoin), and even Amazon (if you make purchases via Purse). These are among other several businesses that accept bitcoin.
In relation to making payments, bitcoin and peer-to-peer marketplaces can also do the heavy lifting on sending remittances. Traditional money transfer operators and remittance service providers often take a while and charge a lot as well—making bitcoin a viable alternative for sending remittances.
As mentioned earlier, bitcoin can be sent anywhere in the world and it only takes a couple of minutes for the transaction to be verified, this makes bitcoin remittances a lot more efficient. Traditional remittance-sending methods, on the other hand, can be expensive and time-consuming. Also, you can send bitcoin at any time. Most traditional money transfer operators aren’t 24/7 and in cases where time is of the essence, traditional methods will often let you down.
This time, let’s talk about bitcoin and peer-to-peer marketplaces as a means of survival. In countries like Venezuela—where their native currency is experiencing an extreme amount of inflation—bitcoin is often used to preserve the value of their money. When you trade on a peer-to-peer platform like Paxful, the volatility of bitcoin’s price is often canceled out. By constantly trading your money, you’re converting your money into different forms—rendering the price of bitcoin irrelevant.
Studies show that citizens of a struggling economy are now looking towards bitcoin and cryptocurrency as a means of survival—a way of escaping the harsh reality they’re facing.
The peer-to-peer movement
The more we know about it, the more we start to understand the P2P marketplace’s rise in popularity. Peer-to-peer platforms are giving people the opportunity to not only use bitcoin for investment but for survival as well.
Bitcoin is finally starting to show its true potential by creating a safe space where people can not only earn a living or make a profit, but also live a life worth living. The only thing left for us to do is to spread the word that bitcoin and peer-to-peer finance isn’t something to be intimidated by, but rather something that can change the way money is used—for the better.