"I have a gallery on Shopify and want to set up to accept cryptocurrency as payments for my art. What is the simplest and safest way for me to do that from my laptop? Do I need to get a wallet?"
There are several ways how you can do that, depending on what kind of business you have.
However before you do anything, I highly recommend you speak to a tax accountant who can advise you on the implications of accepting crypto in your business. Once you have that figured out, it can be pretty easy.
Two things first:
- Decide which cryptocurrencies you want to accept. Bitcoin may be the most known one, but there are others, like Dash, which are much cheaper and faster to transact.
- Get a wallet. If you want to accept cryptocurrencies, you will need to give your customers an address where to send the money to. If you don't have a wallet, you have no address to give them. Every cryptocurrency will have a different wallet and address, which is why it's important that you decide on the currencies before you decide on a wallet. The Exodus Wallet App offers many different cryptocurrencies. So while you will have different addresses per currency, you can receive them all within the Exodus app.
Once you've got a wallet, see what would be most suitable and efficient for your particular business.
The simplest way for a non-automated shopping process
If you have a 1:1 business, where you are in touch with every single customer, the simplest way would be to put your wallet address and QR code on your invoices. Agree with them to pay you in crypto, and check your wallet once they confirm payment, since most wallets won't send you a notification.
Even simpler for donation based businesses
If your followers support you through donations, then all you have to do is put your wallet address or QR code on your website, for everyone to see. Those will be anonymous donations, since since cryptocurrencies are not attached to names, emails or any other personal data.
Here is how Andreas Antonopolous does that:
The simplest way for automated online shopping processes
To automate your crypto billing process or integrate cryptocurrencies in your existing shopping cart solutions, there are a number of plugins and crypto payment providers.
Shopify seems to work with Bitpay, which is quite a reputable provider. You may need a professional's help to set these up correctly, especially as a beginner.
There are also Wordpress plugins like Coingate for Woocommerce.
The simplest way for retail stores
For brick & mortar retail stores there are also a variety of apps, some of which the cryptocurrency Dash has listed on this page. You can accept not only Dash with them, but also other currencies.
If you are seriously interested in accepting crypto in your business, I do suggest to follow Dashcrypto.org, since they will be launching a merchant app later this year. Ease of use and merchant adoption is the whole focus of Dash, so their solutions might just be what you're looking for.
Depending on your crypto knowledge level and tech skills, this might be easier or harder than you expected.
I do NOT recommend accepting crypto in your business until you are actually "crypto fluent" and feel super confident in dealing with cryptocurrencies.
You need to know how to deal with a wallet, how to keep your money safe, and what to do if you want to spend the crypto-money you've received from your clients. There is no point in accepting crypto if you don't know what to do with it should you need it.
Anja Schuetz helps absolute beginners to become confident crypto investors and create a Plan B for their financial future. She is the author of How To Stay Safe in the Crypto Space and offers - a crypto safety guide for beginners - and has lots of free educational crypto resources on her website.
She also consults as a Customer Communication & Operations Manager for blockchain start-ups.