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Bitcoin payments to become mainstream, says Morgan Stanley

The bank pointed out that the recently announced partnership between payments company Strike with points-of-sales supplier NCR and payments firm Blackhawk Network would soon allow a large number of U.S. stores and restaurants to accept Bitcoin (BTC) payme

Morgan Stanley Headquarters / Image by: Wikimedia Commons

Mon, 25 Apr 2022, 11:03 am UTC

The number of people who own crypto has spiked in recent years as last year’s market rally sent the pries of popular tokens, such as Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH), to new all-time highs. However, most crypto owners hold them for their store of value or as investments and now many holders use crypto for everyday purchases because merchants don’t accept crypto as payment and the high transaction fees.

But that might change soon, according to Morgan Stanley research. The bank pointed out that the recently announced partnership between payments company Strike with points-of-sales supplier NCR and payments firm Blackhawk Network would soon allow a large number of U.S. stores and restaurants to accept Bitcoin (BTC) payments.

The bank described the collaborations between physical stores and crypto companies as a key milestone in the “evolution of Bitcoin usage as a medium of payment.” Acceptance of crypto payments in physical stores is important as over 85 percent of sales in the U.S. happen in shops rather than online.

While the high Bitcoin transaction fees have deterred the use of the crypto as a payment method in the past, it won’t be an issue in Strike’s planned payment system, which uses the Lighting Network to process transactions. Morgan Stanley pointed out that there is almost no fee for sending Bitcoin using the Lightning Network, which makes it even more practical for small payments.

The historical volatility of goods prices in Bitcoin has deterred its use as a payment method in the past. However, Morgan Stanley said that the ability of merchants to accept crypto, either through existing payment terminals or crypto cards, will likely result to a decrease in volatility.

The bank pointed out that crypto is already widely used as currency in the digital asset world. For instance, Ether (ETH) is the popular crypto of choice when buying non-fungible tokens (NFTs). More companies entering the metaverse to advertise could also mean a rising need to accept a variety of payment methods, which could eventually include crypto.

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