Will we see autonomous transactions?
The viability of micropayments as a killer bitcoin app has proven to be questionable at best over the past seven years.
There's the issue of "mental accounting barriers" which were highlighted by cryptographer Nick Szabo as far back as 1996 – do we have the mental capacity to truly pay attention to the difference between $0.05 and $0.10 in a single payment?
There's the chicken-and-egg issue of whether it is even worthwhile for content platforms to spend time and energy accepting and supporting bitcoin payments when the community of active wallet-holders is still somewhere in the mere hundred thousands globally. (Remember how little even the most savvy promoters made from their bitcoin paywalls?)
And then, of course, there's the block-size issue, which, unresolved, would render micro-payments uneconomical for consumers anyway.
Yet some of these critical issues seem to fade away when it comes to smart device transactions.
For one thing, mental accounting isn't very difficult for computers. And using a digital currency like bitcoin for micropayments as a method for verifying the identity of a connected device or for metering machine-to-machine transactions is more natural.
Embedding chips into sensors, phones, and other everyday smart devices at scale could also obviate the need for consumers to explicitly opt-in to using bitcoin, while simultaneously resolve the demand issue: with the right supplier relationships, it costs less to on-board a new device 'customer' than a new human customer. What is your oppinion ?