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Many people need no convincing to believe that Apple Pay is doing better than Bitcoin right now, at least in terms of acceptance, and that it would continue to beat the cryptocurrency in the coming years. However, Netscape co-founder and Bitcoin investor Marc Andreessen thinks Bitcoin has what it takes to out-perform Apple Pay.

Observed volatility has done no good to the popularity and adoption of Bitcoin. This, on the other hand, has helped other payment systems such as Apple Pay in a way. Another factor that has also worked to boost the appeal of Apple Pay is the Apple connection, which seems to put the mind of people at rest. The trust people have in the Apple brand has been helpful in boosting the acceptability of Apple Pay.

Why the optimism about Bitcoin?

In the light of Bitcoin’s volatility as well as the large user base and wide acceptability of Apple Pay, it may be hard to see how the cryptocurrency can surpass the latter payment service in popularity.

But Andreessen was quick to point out the anonymous nature of Bitcoin, which Apple Pay and similar services cannot boast of. The cryptocurrency is a wholly new and completely anonymous payment system, unlike Apple Pay. The import of this anonymity is that people need not share their private, personally identifiable details to carry out any transactions. This can help immensely in guarding consumers against data breaches. While critics may point to the anonymous nature of Bitcoin as opening it up for illegal uses, the truth is that traditional systems of payment have not helped to completely eliminated illegal transactions in the many years they have been in use.

In addition, Bitcoin is all-embracing, very much unlike Apple Pay whose use is limited to only Apple devices. The cryptocurrency can be used on diverse platforms, including on computers and mobile devices.

Allaying volatility fears

One main point that Bitcoin critics are ever ready to bring up is the somewhat wild volatility of the digital currency. But in a series of tweets in January (see below), Andreessen pointed out that these opponents usually preferred to analyze the performance of Bitcoin over a very short time span. He noted that if the performance of the cryptocurrency analyzed using a one-year window, it would leave much to be desired. However, a two-year window will reveal a currency that has performed spectacularly well, given the fact that the value of Bitcoin was less than $14 in January 2013. Andreessen stated that critics will always slam the cryptocurrency no matter what since they still had something negative to say even when price was soaring two years ago.

Andreessen appeared to agree with the argument that Bitcoin is not a good store of value to an extent. However, he said those holding on to this view seem to miss the point that the cryptocurrency represents a distributed transaction and trust network. Speculation cannot be completely ruled out as it is useful in dealing the chicken/egg bootstrapping problem usually experienced by new networks. Andreessen expressed the belief that Bitcoin will become less volatile in the long run through the interplay of economics of scale and the use of derivatives (hedging).