Realistic view: BTC is used as a speculative hedge, and to evade currency controls in China.
in practice you're correct because acting maliciously would make the company lose customers and potentially get sued
There's admittedly a high cost of learning/adoption, but once that is overcome it's not an issue. My guess is that (like most technology) bitcoin will eventually be easy enough to use that we don't have to understand or think about it, the same way I don't really understand how ACH or merchant processing works but I have a credit card.
Someone described Bitcoin to me as the Internet of money. I'm guessing nobody at ARPA envisioned Facebook, Amazon, Netflix, or Google, but they created a platform upon which that innovation could occur. Bitcoin (or whatever) could be that platform for money.
Right now, I can see this being very useful for international remittances, like you have observed, commodity money (serving the role that gold does, as a hedge against currency devaluations, capital controls, etc), and in the informal sector esp. in the third world, where you have smartphones, but maybe not the financial institutions to bank with.
Something tells me you don't live in Nebraska.
>Quite convenient in a city where you usually can only pay with cash...
How is it more convenient than cash?
You cannot securely send cash across the globe without depositing it into a trusted third party
You cannot program physical cash
But okay, here's how cash is more convenient: I can walk outside my office and use this dollar bill at any store anywhere around me. It has apparent value to everyone I will talk to. I don't need the internet.
If you need to "program" or "backup" your money, I guess Bitcoin is your medium. No argument there.
There would have be something extraordinary about bitcoin or the way it was represented to society at large that attracted criminals.
That cracked me up, because it sums up much of the Bitcoin experience... but in Australia at least, there's a card (Coinjar Swipe) that you can use to pay with Bitcoin in any store that accepts EFTPOS, which is most Australian stores. (The same card terminals that accept Visa & Mastercard usually accept EFTPOS.) You can even use it to convert Bitcoin to cash as Cash Out at supermarkets.
Anyone can "contribute" to discussions on anything from the budget of the DoD to health care without having the slightest clue how anything actually works. All you have to do is instead of having to deal with those cumbersome details you just talk about "money" and suddenly everybody is free to join the discussion with great enthusiasm and unhindered by constraints of missing information or subject knowledge.
That's also why a lot of "solutions" to any problem work like this:
Problem => Money => Solution
Problem => Magic => Solution
I write meaty articles about Bitcoin; if that's what you seek, check out: http://www.coindesk.com/author/jameson-lopp/ and https://medium.com/@lopp
It could be because of the barriers to entry, even perceived barriers to entry, or barriers to said use that it's not actually being used for its intended "purpose", admittedly.
I didn't say "go to court", I said "a legal system".
Users of bitcoin can also use the legal system to do things. But then you are messing with bitcoin for what reason?