Bitcoin prices could see a healthy rally as the world’s biggest sporting event, the FIFA World Cup, kicks off in two weeks. Host country Russia faces a range of economic sanctions imposed by the United States – potentially opening the door for cryptocurrency.
As a result of the economic blockade, two of the world’s biggest digital payment processors Visa and Mastercard are partially hindered during FIFA 2018, prompting consumers to turn to bitcoin as a means of payment for hotels, flights, and daily expenses. Will the bitcoin price respond to the potential increase of use at the World Cup?
Bitcoin to Score Big
Despite the sanctions, Visa and Mastercard will still process most of transactions using a range of workarounds. However, the rise in demand for bitcoin as a payment option could lead to its most significant price breakout for the year.
Reportedly, Kaliningrad – one of the eleven host cities – is offering to accept cryptocurrency payments for hotels. A number of bars and travel agents are open to accepting payments in bitcoin, to capitalize on the trend.
CryptoCup, a blockchain-powered betting platform explicitly created for FIFA 2018, along with other projects aimed at crypto and football lovers, could add value to bitcoin.
The international football event will function as a stage for bitcoin to prove its worth as a means of exchange, something it has been as yet unable to achieve. The increased circulation of bitcoin is expected to drive the price up.
Turning the Quarter
Bitcoin, along with other cryptocurrencies, have had a rough first quarter of 2018. A turnaround was expected during and after Blockchain Week in New York City. Superstitious as it may sound, history has indicated that during and after the Consensus Conference, one of the biggest crypto conferences, bitcoin prices tend to surge.
Even Robert Sluymer, managing director and technical strategist at Fundstrat Global Advisors, predicted the bitcoin price would catapult after the Consensus Conference. However, none of these predictions materialized.
Bitcoin – the Only Global Currency
Predicting a bitcoin price surge during the football event is more reasonable if fundamental demand and supply forces are taken into account. According to Thorsten Koeppl, professor of economics at Queen’s University in Canada, the more bitcoin is used as a means of payment, the higher its value:
“The value of Bitcoin is partly driven by its potential as a payments tool and, before the fees rose along with the price, there were people using Bitcoin for international transfers. This has become more expensive to do now. But the price is still being supported.”
It remains difficult to argue for a need for a global digital currency. Yet, the particular challenges that the 2018 World Cup faces – a host country in Russia facing economic sanctions with which large – particularly American – multinational corporations need to comply, demonstrates the usefulness of bitcoin. Bitcoin’s relatively broad adoption compared to fellow digital assets has it in the driver’s seat in any race to claim “global currency” status.
Will the price of bitcoin surge due to the World Cup in Russia? Share your views in the comments section below.
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