Bitcoin has been in existence for several years, but this year is different. For the first time ever, Bitcoin has been thrust into the national and international conversation. No longer is this digital currency a small-scale experiment in sending money online. Bitcoin is on the verge of going mainstream.
This holiday season will be the first time consumers will have a real opportunity to put the currency to use in the lead-up to Christmas. For traditional payment processors like Visa (NYSE:V) and MasterCard (NYSE:MA), Bitcoin could represent a disruptive competitor to shake up the industry from top to bottom. Even eBay's (NASDAQ:EBAY) subsidiary PayPal, once the poster child for innovation in digital payments, is eyeing Bitcoin with caution.
In the video below, Motley Fool contributor Jay Jenkins explains why consumers should steer clear of Bitcoin this holiday season and, at least for this year, stick with their Visa, MasterCard, or "Buy Now" PayPal button.