Bitcoin is primed to become a noticeable component of international commodity trading as a Ukrainian shipping company plans on accepting it, and others are going to follow suit.
While there are instances of people buying a home or paying their rent with Bitcoin, it seems that the vast majority of transactions are relatively minor. However, the cryptocurrency is starting to move into the much deeper waters of international commodity trading where the stakes, and the amounts, are much higher. A Ukrainian shipping company, Varamar Ltd., has announced that they will start accepting Bitcoin as payment.
Shiver Me Timbers!
Varamar Ltd. is currently is in negotiations with a client that will see Bitcoin being used as the means of payment. The founder of the shipping company, Alexander Varvarenko, says that accepting Bitcoin has a lot of advantages. He says:
Paperwork for transactions is a complicated issue with banks, and bitcoin payments will help solve that by being faster. It could also help solve payment problems in countries like Pakistan, Russia, Sudan, Yemen, and Qatar, which have safe companies but are victims of sanctions being imposed against their governments.
This is pretty big news and shows the increased acceptance of Bitcoin into the mainstream financial world. Bitcoin allows for quick and easy payments across national borders without all the hassle of layers of bureaucratic paperwork.
Anchors Aweigh for Bitcoin!
It appears that Varamar Ltd. will be the first of a growing number of shippers that will start taking Bitcoin. A Russian broker, Interchart LLC, says that other shippers are looking to join in as a way to deal with bank restrictions, especially for countries that are affected by sanctions.
Ivan Vikoulov, a managing director of a Gibraltar-based grain trader, talked about this new acceptance of Bitcoin by shipping concerns. He says:
We still have to do our homework on this as it’s a new way of payments. The industry has been under stress as majority of vessels are registered offshore and many vessel owners have banks in the Baltics, where there is a squeeze to send and receive payments in dollars.
There’s no doubt that cryptocurrency will become a staple of international trade, which will likely cause some angst (and upset stomachs) for bankers. The ease of use and transparency for payments, not to mention a massive reduction in legal and financial paperwork, makes Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies an attractive option. Still, the overall amount of crypto payments will likely remain a small percentage overall for international commodity trading. Of course, if the market cap for cryptocurrency reaches trillions of dollars, as one top venture capitalist predicts, then that share could become a great deal larger.
What remains to be seen is how certain governments will react to shipping companies using Bitcoin and other digital currencies as a means to circumvent sanctions on other countries or companies. The likely result will probably be an increased call for regulation and monitoring, which are things that most cryptocurrency holders are not fans of. Still, there’s no denying that this development heralds an increasing mainstream acceptance of Bitcoin.
What do you think about Varamar Ltd. accepting Bitcoin as payment? How many other international shippers will follow suit over the next couple of years? Let us know in the comments below.
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