Guest Column | May 20, 2014

What The Mobile Payment Industry And Bitcoin Can Learn From Napster

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Bitcoin Virtual Currency

By Mostafa Razzak, Principal, JMRConnect

Years ago when the first BlackBerry “smartphones” came out there was a running joke among flip-phone advocates that when BlackBerry users answer their phones it looks like they’re holding a wallet to their faces. Who would have thought 10 years ago that this snarky remark was actually a prophetic word, with smartphones now playing a key role in the $235 billion mobile payment space?

What’s even more impressive is the fact that leading research firm Gartner estimates that mobile payments will top $720 billion a year in the next three years. Lots of big name companies are battling to become our mobile digital wallet of choice, such as Amazon, Apple, Google, MasterCard, Visa, PayPal, and Square. While the competition heats up among these companies, there’s another contender that has the potential to cause a bigger disruption in the market: Bitcoin.

Although Appinions Inc.’s recently released 14-page mobile payment study, Digital Mobile Payments: An Industry Influence Study,  makes no mention of Bitcoin, and leading spokespersons from Apple, Google, and PayPal avoid opportunities to comment on Bitcoin’s role in this evolving market, it’s too important to overlook.

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