You are probably asking yourself "should I consider accepting cryptocurrency in my business?" The answer is Yes. You should definitely consider accepting cryptocurrency in your business.
I recently began accepting cryptocurrency in my business and there was a lot of thought and research that went into my decision making process. I thought it might be helpful for other business owners if I wrote this article aimed at helping you learn from my recent experience. Here are a few questions I asked myself, and the answers that I found.
Question #1: Should I Accept Cryptocurrency? Yes. Here's why...
Reason #1: The digital revolution is upon us whether we like it or not. There is a radical shift in technology, known as blockchain, that is reshaping the foundation of business and our economy. I didn't want to miss the wave, and I certainly didn't want to be left behind. This was the #1 reason I decided to accept cryptos as payment.
Reason #2: It's exciting to be on the leading edge of a massive shift and It comes with the opportunity of massive financial reward if we can get it right. I decided that instead of blindly investing money into ICO's or speculative cryptocurrencies, I would rather earn cryptocurrency through trading it for something of value that satisfies my customers.
Reason #3: Lower fees than credit card or other 3rd party companies. Most cryptos are decentralized and can offer trusted and secure exchanges of goods without the need for large banks. Less middlemen generally leads to less cost. Plus, transactions can be made internationally without high fees or having to wait a week for your wire transfer to arrive.
Reason 4: New customers: Outside of the baby boomer generation, millennials are the largest popoulation group. They are spending tons of money on stuff. Can you guess which group is also more likely to use cryptocurrency as payment? Accepting cryptos opens up opportunity to capture this groups attention long before your competition wakes up to it.
Reason #5: Paper fiat currency is probably on its way out. Maybe not for a while, but with rising inflation, and lower confidence in the value of paper money I believe its inevitable. Not to mention the costs of making paper or coin currency isn't going to be worth it long term.
Reason #6: Reasonably cheap or free to set up services. More about this later.
I could definitely give you other reasons but those are the main reasons that I think will help you most in your decision making process.
Question #2: But Aren't There Risks To Accepting Crypto's?
In my business, my core offerings are doing well enough on there own that I am not dependent on cryptocurrency as part of my daily living. I view cryptos as kind of an add on and a way to diversify my income. With that being said...
Risk #1: Cryptocurrency is very volatile. Because the technology is so new, people aren't completely sure what it's true value is yet. There is a lot of speculation and not a lot of solid business results to make informed decisions by. If you accept Bitcoin for a Pizza, it may skyrocket in price tomorrow or drop off the cliff the next day.
Risk #2: It takes time to learn how to use new technology and also to train others how to use it. Just like anything once you understand it, it will be easy but it does come with a bit of learning curve.
Risk #3: Customer service hastles. Blockchain is new to everyone including your customers. Once a transaction is added to the blockchain ledger it cannot be reversed. Figuring out how to help your customer with returns can be a challenge.
Risk #4: The crypto(s) you choose to accept may not even be around in 5 years. New technology may make Bitcoin or whatever crypto you are accepting obsolete.
Risk #5: Taxes. The tax rules around crypto are in a bit of flux. Be sure to seek counsel from a tax adviser before making this decision.
There are probably additional risks that I am not adding here but this gives you enough flavor to make an educated decision.
Question #3: Which Company Should I Choose?
I researched several different companies that would provide crypto services and actually signed up and used 3 different companies that I liked before settling on one main company.
The three companies are: Coinpayment, Coinbase Commerce, and BitPay. They all have their advantages.
Coinpayment: Coinpayment is free to set up and does have a paid add ons. It is easy to use and get set up. Basically, just choose your wallet, decide which coins you would like to accept (55 different coins), integrate to your website, and decide which other services are best for your business (POS, Shopping cart, invoices, API, etc). Full Disclosure: I am a proud affiliate of this company.
Coinbase Commerce: I still use this on one of my website platforms. It is free and simple to set up, accepts only Coinbase supported coins, and does not offer other business services. Good basically for accepting cryptos only.
Bitpay: Probably the oldest of these type of companies. It is easy to use and has many different business services like invoices, debit cards, etc but also has a bit higher cost.
Question #4: How do I set up my account?
In my experience, all three of these companies were pretty similar in setting up.
Step 1: Register your account.
Step 2: Choose which crypto coins you would like to accept.
Step 3: Integrate the coding into your website or online checkout screen.
Step 4: Choose additional services. (Invoices, Billing, Shopping Cart, and other API's)
Step 5: Start advertising and marketing to your existing customers.
Hopefully this resource has been helpful to you. We are on the edge of a bright new horizon full of great new potential technological advances. We are on the cutting edge and accepting cryptocurrency may be a good option for your business. If your view of potential reward outweighs the risk of changing the status quo, accepting cryptocurrency would be a worthwhile endeavor. I wish you the best as a navigate the new digital landscape.