PayPal vs BitCoin: Virtual Money Smackdown

PayPal vs BitCoin: Virtual Money Smackdown
  • Opening Intro -

    If you've recently been standing in line at the grocery store and the customer in front of you pulls out a checkbook, you probably groaned and tried to catch the eye of the person in front of you ...,

    ... grasping the reality that wow, this outdated form of payment is still viable and accepted at many businesses today.

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Paper checks are losing their stronghold due to inefficiency, potential identity theft risks, and simple lack of interest in the money format, but could cold hard cash be starting its own cold hard descent into obscurity?

The Rise of Virtual Money

It may seem impossible that so many people would sign up for a monetary format that actually gives them zero tangible representation of their funds, but virtual money is hot. Many people were first introduced to the idea of virtual money as they hoarded Beanie Babies and other items on eBay, which basically cornered the market on virtual payments.

While PayPal (www.paypal.com) originally was used mostly on the auction site as a protected way to pay for those goodies, it’s spun its web far and wide. You can now use PayPal (and other of its ilk, including Square) to:

  • Pay onsite in stores via a password protected pin pad (no extra PayPal credit-type card required)
  • Purchase items online from a majority of vendors outside of the eBay purview
  • Send money to other PayPal users for goods and services
  • Pay for services onsite such as massages, meals, etc

The Itty Bitty BitCoin Committee

When you’re the top dog, the view is the best, but you always have to worry about someone nipping at your behind. PayPal had a great view, but small rumbles from the BitCoin world has taken it down a peg. Unlike PayPal, BitCoin isn’t accepted hardly anywhere, but to BitCoin “farmers,” that makes it all the more interesting.

BitCoins are perhaps the most virtual of virtual money, and in fact, their entire existence is shrouded in mystery.

According to Penn State research (http://bit.ly/2maiDS5), no one has ever admitted to “starting” BitCoin. And unlike the funds in your PayPal account, which the IRS considers – you know, money – BitCoins are property. So why are they giving PayPal a run for its – you know, money?

  • BitCoins can be a bit of a gamble. When you have $25 in your PayPal account, you have $25. (Ok, maybe even a bit less, with all those PayPal fees.) Depending on the BitCoin market, though, that $25 worth of BitCoin may be very different depending on who else is buying and selling.Some folks like the idea of playing with their money, and with BitCoin, you don’t even have to hold ’em before you fold ’em (you actually can’t hold ’em even if you wanted to).
  • Although BitCoin is coming up on its first decade in existence, it’s still incredibly new. Some folks simply like to be on the forefront of the trend and BitCoin lets them feel that way.(As a detractor, they should revel in enjoying those feelings, because BitCoin is not accepted in even one percent of the places PayPal is accepted and certainly can’t stand up with the ease of tossing a dollar bill at a fast food worker for a quick checkout.)

Right on the Money

In a world where we do everything from visit relatives to date to send sympathies online, it’s no wonder that we’re looking to lighten our loads (aka: wallets) with virtual money. The good news is, there’s something for everyone. Folks who want to dip in their toes yet feel a bit more secure may opt for PayPal before moving into the nebulous world of the BitCoin.

If you’ve tried either of these virtual payment options or have others to recommend, pass this article on to your friends. You’ll stand out as someone in the financial know, something money – virtual or otherwise – just cannot buy.

Money Management reference:

card purchasing management

 

Last update on 2017-10-16 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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