The author of the recent post "You need to accept Bitcoin payments" argues that the way we pay for things will fundamentally change in the next decade. “The world is set to go through another one of those paradigm shifts that will completely change everything,” the post reads.

OK, that’s all well and good, but that conveys little urgency or relevance to small-business owners. Here’s what they should know about Bitcoin:

· It functions as both a currency and a commodity. You know, much like gold.

· It allows you to accept quick and easy international payment. No awkward PayPal invoices or Western Union money transfers. Look at how Bitcoin has already transformed one Iranian shoemaker’s business.

· It opens up a huge new customer base. If you operate locally, cash and credit cards might be sufficient. But if you have a product or service that can be sold internationally, Bitcoin allows you to receive payment from just about anyone, not simply the (sometimes minority) segment of a population with access to modern banking services. Computer access is all a potential customer needs to make payment. And, hey, even some of the homeless in America have the necessary resources to start accruing Bitcoin wealth. This is absolutely the beginning of the democratization of modern finance.

And, sure, all this sounds a little scary for the non-technical — algorithms and digital wallets and all that don’t sound too user-friendly at the moment. But there’s always a learning curve.

And, sure, Bitcoin sounds like the province of those on the margins if you consider that the above examples refer to the homeless and a shopkeeper circumventing trade embargoes. But credit cards also had a bad name in the early 70s, before everyone got on board.

And that point in the credit card’s history seems to be the analog for today’s Bitcoin development.

“2013 was the year that Bitcoin became more than just a technological curiosity and really began to build out the infrastructure it is going to rely on in the future. 2014 is likely to be the year of adoption — when we will see more and more businesses and people begin to start making Bitcoin part of how they manage their finances.”

The full article can be found here.