In another sign of Bitcoin adoption, Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) (NASDAQ:GOOG)’s popular currency conversion calculator will now feature the digital payment method. The adoption of Bitcoin into a currency calculator marks the first time a non-fiat currency has been included in Google’s “currency” convertor.
Google following Bing in offering the Bitcoin conversion
Google follows Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT)’s Bing search engine in offering the conversion from most major currencies into Bitcoin value by typing “price of bitcoin” or “X bitcoin to euro,” The current value of Bitcoins to the US dollar, for instance, is near $626 for a single Bitcoin. It will take 666 Austrailian dollars to get a single Bitcoin and 48768 Bangladeshi Taka to get the same Bitcoin dollar, for instance.
“It’s one small step for Google, one giant leap for the obsessives who track every single apparent change in bitcoin adoption,” a statement from Coindesk said.
In order to calculate the conversion of Bitcoin into a currency, Google relies on integration with Coindesk’s exchange matching engine to obtain current values. While there are other exchanges, the reports did not detail the arbitrage issues relative to pricing that may occur on other exchanges.
Bitcoin exchange remains a challenge
Operating a Bitcoin exchange has always been considered a challenge, according to sources familiar with exchange market making systems. Placing two sided bids and asks on a constant basis is often done with greater confidence if there is a related product to hedge against. Market makers are known to have rather complex order books but typically hold positions that can be theoretically offset in other markets. This isn’t the case with Bitcoin, as its price can fluctuate widely based on factors that only impact the digital currency.
The Google web site “Google 9 to 5” defines Bitcoin as “a peer-to-peer cryptocurrency that can be sent from your smartphone, tablet or computer from anywhere in the world. The virtual currency is open source and has state-of-the-art encryption.” Even defining Bitcoin as a “currency” has yet to receive unanimous approval.
The ability to use BTC in queries follows Google Finance’s addition of a special Bitcoin page on the site last June. We’ll be waiting for the Wall Street Journal to use Bitcoin as a method to quote commodity and stock values to be the real point at which the digital payment method has received real mass adoption.