Capitalizing on Cryptocurrency: Missouri is a leading state for bitcoin usability

By Jacob Luecke & Shawna Scott

It would probably surprise most Missourians to discover their state is in the top 10 for bitcoin usability, but that’s exactly what a recent RewardExpert report has found.

Once dismissed as a short-lived fad, cryptocurrency is rising in popularity. Ten percent of U.S. adults have cryptocurrency assets, the study revealed, and with five Bitcoin ATMs and 63 businesses that accept bitcoin, Missouri ranked as the ninth-best location in the nation for cryptocurrency usability.

A cryptocurrency network is supported by a blockchain, a public database that stores a digital transaction record and ensures transactions can’t be altered or erased, said St. Louis entrepreneur and cryptocurrency investor John Hughes.

“You have this whole entire network of transactions that usually involves a buyer and a seller and a bank. But in the case of cryptocurrency, it’s just a buyer and seller,” Hughes said.

Hughes’ background in finance led him to dive into the world of cryptocurrency.

“I’ve been actively trading crypto for the last four years and I’ve been interested in it since 2013, so it’s something that I’ve really seen develop over time,” Hughes said.

Cryptocurrency holders tend to save their virtual coinage as an investment rather than spend it, but there are also a rising number of businesses that accept it.

Hughes recently launched an online retail company that takes cryptocurrency as payment.

“We curate products for a generation interested in using alternative ways to live, pay and coexist. So any products that fit with that kind of philosophy is what we are trying to do on this website,” Hughes said.

There are many types of cryptocurrency, with bitcoin being one of the most popular. Like gold, bitcoin has a finite supply. There are only 21 million coins total that exist in the bitcoin system. More than three million bitcoins are still left to be mined as of May 2019.

At the time of this writing, one bitcoin is worth around $8,700.

With a competitive number of bitcoin ATMs and bitcoin-accepting companies compared to many of its Midwest neighbors, Missouri is favorably positioned to attract the business of cryptocurrency spenders. And while we are still in the early stages of adopting cryptocurrency into the stream of commerce, Hughes is confident it has a significant place in our future.

“You have something besides the dollar now that you can have a store of value in. And in this case, I feel strongly that it will probably appreciate more than a dollar will in the next two years against the basket of currencies. That’s the way I think of it,” Hughes said. “I would rather embrace the new age than try and discredit it.”  

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