More and more people from all aspects of life are starting to see the value of Bitcoin not only as a technology, but also as a currency. As a result of this increase in Bitcoin awareness, more and more small shops and organisations are starting to accept Bitcoin payments. In the state of Washington, we now have the very first doctor accepting Bitcoin payments.
Bitcoin Popularity Increase
The term Bitcoin is being associated with a lot of things these days, ranging from illegal activity and terrorism to charities and money remittance. But when we finally have the ability to use this beloved digital currency for everyday tasks such as grocery shopping or, in this case, paying for the visit to the doctor, the story changes dramatically.
Dr. James Attaman is – according to Komonews – the very first doctor in the state of Washington to openly accept Bitcoin payments for services rendered. In fact, Dr. Attaman is doing this from the perspective of adding an extra layer of privacy to his business and clients. At the same time he also sees the ease-of-use associated with Bitcoin payments as a major advantage.
“I want to make it easy for patients to pay me and I have an interest in technology. I wanted to adopt this for other patients like me. We live in a very tech savvy area.”
- Dr. James Attaman
Unlike most traditional doctors, Dr. James Attaman specializes in pain treatments. Whilst his area of expertise is in the field of physical pain, he is also well aware of the mental pain brought on by dealing with insurance payments, co-pays and even something generic as the cost of health care. Accepting Bitcoin payments provides a relief in all of those areas.
Additional Privacy From Bitcoin Payments
One of the major advantages Bitcoin has over any traditional form of payment is that there are no banks or governments involved. Furthermore, with little to no fees per transaction – removing some of those overhead costs – and no way of tracking a patient’s health care via their payments, Bitcoin provides a lot more privacy for both the patient and doctor.
After all, doctor-patient confidentiality is a key element in building a relationship in this field and if people can easily track your every step, in terms of health care, there is no foundation on which to build trust. However, Dr, Attaman is one of the very first doctors to openly accept Bitcoin payments, so it remains to be seen whether others will follow his example.
Bitcoin would not be making so many media headlines were it not for its infamous price volatility on a daily basis. Where one Bitcoin could be worth US$250 right now, it could be either US$220 or US$275 tomorrow. Price volatility in the Bitcoin scene is very hard to predict and it forces most people to cash out Bitcoin payments to fiat currency immediately.
Such is also the case with Dr. James Attaman. He is not in a position to risk losing any funds by accepting Bitcoin payments. However, as the digital currency becomes more mainstream, and is regulated up to a certain extent, those volatile price swings may decrease over time, opening up a possibility to start storing [a part of] Bitcoin transactions in BTC.
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