Bitcoin’s remarkable journey: From store of value to medium of exchange

Since we first started commenting on Bitcoin’s potential (see article here), in 2016 when the price was $642, we have witnessed the most astonishing growth of the world’s most important digital asset.

Now eight years on, at the time of publication the price per Bitcoin is $57 700.

That means an impressive track record as an appreciating asset.

In 2024, the mainstream media’s narrative has taken on more positive spin, after Larry Fink, CEO of BlackRock with $10.5 trillion under management, called the asset a “safe haven” last year. And then, just a few weeks ago, Donald Trump came out in support for Bitcoin, claiming that the US should lead the world in mining the remaining Bitcoins. No-one predicted that one coming so soon.  

When ETF’s from Blackrock, Fidelity and from eight other investment managers were approved in January, the media started writing more thoughtful pieces on the topic. Specifically, the narrative has changed to one in which Bitcoin can legitimately become part of a core holding as a long-term store of value.

In Bulgaria, we can all have a taste of the future. Are you feeling hungry? You can use Bitcoin and Bitcoin lightning as a payment method for your takeaway on So far, lists 13 popular Sofia restaurants that accept Bitcoin for in-house dining. With plenty of food variety with Indian, Hawaiian poke, Lebanese, Mediterranean and pizza venues, you’ll also see some beer and speciality coffee places listed. The momentum is such that, in Sofia, the use of Bitcoin to pay is going up by 50 per cent every month since the accepting restaurants were introduced in February this year.

As the Euro Football Championships draw to close, we ponder how long it will be before we see Bulgaria’s Botev Plovdiv football team, winners of the Bulgarian Cup 23/24 to play in high-level European tournaments.

Their team gear sports the Bitcoin B on their official kit. Their objective is to extend their supporter base to both Bitcoin and football enthusiasts worldwide, not just locally. So far, the club has started accepting Bitcoin in its fanshops and online store, it has partnered with leading Bitcoin companies, and is now working on developing its Bitcoin corporate treasury strategy in El Salvador – world’s first country to adopt Bitcoin as legal tender, as mentioned below.

This makes Botev ever more popular among the growing number of affluent Bitcoin holders who are already visiting Bulgaria and Plovdiv to see first hand the club’s Bitcoin adoption journey.

With thousands of bitcoin initiatives around the world we’re seeing the focus on earning, spending and replacing that spent bitcoin. And not just holding. Bitcoin’s role as a medium of exchange is firmly in sight.

High inflation has been an issue for many countries. That, combined with limited access to banking, has led to more Bitcoin adoption in Turkey, Peru, Cuba, Nigeria and South Africa. As yet, only El Salvador has made Bitcoin legal tender, but Argentinia’s President, Javier Milei, has announced that there will be free competition of all currencies, including Bitcoin.

The adoption of Bitcoin as a medium of exchange has, predictably, lagged its use as a store of value. But more than 15 years since its introduction, it looks as if the time is approaching for much more mainstream merchant acceptance. With that process, we’ll see more Bitcoin use as well as ownership. 

If you’re curious to find all businesses that accept bitcoin in Bulgaria, and worldwide, they can be discovered using

Lance Nelson

Lance Nelson is co-owner of and Bansko Blog. Contact: X @bansko