A new research report has found that Bitcoin adoption in Italy, one of Europe’s largest economies, is steadily on the increase. Despite the super volatile nature of Bitcoin and the lack of regulatory clarity that still plagues the global crypto space, Italians still prefer paying with the digital currency to the euro.
The research report, released by SEMrush, a software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform for online visibility management, has revealed that Bitcoin, the world’s number one distributed ledger technology (DLT) based virtual currency, is now the third most used payment method in the nation.
Along with trading volume, the real usage of cryptocurrency in the economy is also important. The research by SEMRush has found that Bitcoin is the third-most preferred method for online payment in Italy. This ranking places Bitcoin way ahead of traditional credit cards such as American Express, Visa, and Mastercard. This shows that cryptocurrencies are catching up and in some instances racing ahead of the traditional payment methods.
According to the research report, Bitcoin currently occupies the third position in terms of the most used online payment methods in Italy, after PayPal and PostePay, a reloadable prepaid card developed by Italian firm, Poste Italiane. The survey revealed that PayPal was used by the public 1,383,000 times a month on an average, which is understandable given how easy it is to use as users can simply connect their PayPal accounts to their credit and debit cards. PostePay was the second most used online payment service with 1,175,000 monthly transactions. Bitcoin was used 215,800 times per month over the last year. Other payment methods such as American Express and credit cards manage just 189,000 and 33,950 transactions respectively.
More importantly, the research report further notes that the initial skepticism and suspicion that surrounded Bitcoin in Italy is fast fading away, as more and more Italians are getting enlightened about the workings of Bitcoin. The report has made it clear that even though most e-commerce platforms in the region are still reluctant to adopt Bitcoin as a payment method, in June 2019 alone, the premier cryptocurrency was used for payments in 368,000 transactions.
Interestingly, the report further notes that while notable Bitcoin and cryptocurrency haters including US President Donald Trump firmly believe that it is not fit to function as a currency or a store of value, the virtual currency keeps attracting the interest of people across the world with each passing day.