A BTC transaction needs to be included in a block first, and then it’s nice if we have some confidence that this block will become part of the chain, so it makes sense to wait 2-5 more blocks (additional “confirmation”) before we accept the transaction as final. At any given moment, we can expect to wait 8-10 minutes for a new block to show up, and then again that much for the following ones. That means BTC payments are very far from immediate, so no: you won’t go buy starbucks with your bitcoins, ever.
Another problem is the “bandwidth” – blocks have a finite size, they can’t contain enough transactions, and they can’t grow indefinitely (mainly because new blocks need to propagate through the network, and then get verified, before another block can be started.) The methods that try to patch this problem give only linear increase, but that will never get us near to the traffic credit cards handle.
These problems simply don’t apply to Safecoin: you can have near-immediate payment, and the number of simultaneous transactions is unlimited for practical purposes.
EDIT: I forgot the part about fees. Fees, right now, are still miniscule. Bitcoin’s adoption and the fees will have an interesting relationship: the more it gets adopted, the higher the fees will become (only the highest fee transactions will make it to a block), but then the higher the average transaction amount will become (only big transactions can afford to pay high fees), which in turn will push back on adoption (though the amounts transferred may be higher than before.) What won’t change is the average number of people (or other entities) using the system: it may shift from Average Joe to Big Corporation (“micropayments” will be maybe $100,000), or it will stay a toy in the hands of a few thousand users.