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Bitcoin is Finally Becoming an “Everyday Use” Currency



Bitcoin is Finally Becoming an 'Everyday Use' Currency

Bitcoin is Finally Becoming an “Everyday Use” Currency

Over the last few years, Bitcoin has gained a reputation as an investment commodity. It has been toted as a method to preserve wealth and to hedge against currency devaluation as bitcoins cannot be “printed”.

This reputation still holds true today. With Greece’s economy on the rocks and the unfolding aftermath of a “no” decision, the bitcoin price has skyrocketed by around 20% in the last month. While Greeks are having difficulties buying the cryptocurrency due to capital controls, Coinbase has reported that buys across Europe have increased 300% as others observe what is happening in Greece.

However, recent transaction data also shows that more bitcoins are being spent on “everyday use” items. Bitpay, which facilitates retail transactions using bitcoins, reports that the number of transactions has increased from 209,420 to 563,568 (from 2013 to 2014). Interestingly, the average order amount decreased substantially from $513 to $281 per order as more people bought more everyday items.

What are people buying with bitcoins? It turns out the list is pretty boring: bedroom sheets, headphones, area rugs, mattresses, coffee tables, sunglasses, and donations to non-profits all help round out the top ten items bought on With the cryptocurrency becoming more ubiquitous as shown by reaching the 100k daily transaction mark (not including popular addresses) this year, it is being used more and more for regular ecommerce purchases.

As we’ve previously shown with technology hype cycles, it takes some time for new innovations to develop the infrastructure to reach their hyped potential. There is evidence that shows that cryptocurrencies and Bitcoin are along this path. Even though they are primed to change the world and spur even more innovation, the world has not yet been ready. It seems to be getting closer, though.

Original graphic by: Coupofy

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Charting the Next Generation of Internet

In this graphic, Visual Capitalist has partnered with MSCI to explore the potential of satellite internet as the next generation of internet innovation.



Teaser image of a bubble chart showing the large addressable market of satellite internet.



The following content is sponsored by MSCI

Could Tomorrow’s Internet be Streamed from Space?

In 2023, 2.6 billion people could not access the internet. Today, companies worldwide are looking to innovative technology to ensure more people are online at the speed of today’s technology. 

Could satellite internet provide the solution?  

In collaboration with MSCI, we embarked on a journey to explore whether tomorrow’s internet could be streamed from space. 

Satellite Internet’s Potential Customer Base

Millions of people live in rural communities or mobile homes, and many spend much of their lives at sea or have no fixed abode. So, they cannot access the internet simply because the technology is unavailable. 

Satellite internet gives these communities access to the internet without requiring a fixed location. Consequently, the volume of people who could get online using satellite internet is significant:

AreaPotential Subscribers
Households Without Internet Access600,000,000
RVs 11,000,000
Recreational Boats8,500,000
Commercial Aircraft25,000

Advances in Satellite Technology

Satellite internet is not a new concept. However, it has only recently been that roadblocks around cost and long turnaround times have been overcome.

NASA’s space shuttle, until it was retired in 2011, was the only reusable means of transporting crew and cargo into orbit. It cost over $1.5 billion and took an average of 252 days to launch and refurbish. 

In stark contrast, SpaceX’s Falcon 9 can now launch objects into orbit and maintain them at a fraction of the time and cost, less than 1% of the space shuttle’s cost.

Average Rocket Turnaround TimeAverage Launch/Refurbishment Cost
Falcon 9*21 days< $1,000,000
Space Shuttle252 days$1,500,000,000 (approximately)

Satellites are now deployed 300 miles in low Earth orbit (LEO) rather than 22,000 miles above Earth in Geostationary Orbit (GEO), previously the typical satellite deployment altitude.

What this means for the consumer is that satellite internet streamed from LEO has a latency of 40 ms, which is an optimal internet connection. Especially when compared to the 700 ms stream latency experienced with satellite internet streamed from GEO. 

What Would it Take to Build a Satellite Internet?

SpaceX, the private company that operates Starlink, currently has 4,500 satellites. However, the company believes it will require 10 times this number to provide comprehensive satellite internet coverage.

Charting the number of active satellites reveals that, despite the increasing number of active satellites, many more must be launched to create a comprehensive satellite internet. 

YearNumber of Active Satellites

Next-Generation Internet Innovation

Innovation is at the heart of the internet’s next generation, and the MSCI Next Generation Innovation Index exposes investors to companies that can take advantage of potentially disruptive technologies like satellite internet. 

You can gain exposure to companies advancing access to the internet with four indexes: 

  • MSCI ACWI IMI Next Generation Internet Innovation Index
  • MSCI World IMI Next Generation Internet Innovation 30 Index
  • MSCI China All Shares IMI Next Generation Internet Innovation Index
  • MSCI China A Onshore IMI Next Generation Internet Innovation Index

MSCI thematic indexes are objective, rules-based, and regularly updated to focus on specific emerging trends that could evolve.

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Click here to explore the MSCI thematic indexes

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