Bitcoin Not Accepted Here ?

Why Hasn't E-Commerce Embraced Crypto ?


I'm new to the world of crypto. But I'm not new to e-commerce. I've been running a small e-commerce business for 14 years, and the landscape has changed massively over that time.

One thing that has been talked about for at least the last three or four years is for small e-commerce businesses to be able to accept payment in crypto. But apart from a few brave pioneers, it hasn't reached any kind of mainstream presence. Why not ?

This will be the first in a series of posts looking at those reasons, and what it would take for both SME e-commerce businesses and their customers to embrace crypto payments.

 

So just what is stopping E-Commerce embracing crypto payments ?

 

1. Crypto Is Confusing !  When crypto first launched, it was talked about as a currency. But it very rapidly morphed into being seen as a get-rich-quick investment and store of value. That's about where a lay person's understanding ends. Hey, it's all I thought I knew until a few weeks ago ! But actually, blockchain is a world-changing technology; the problem is it's so complex and has so many applications that most ordinary people's eyes glaze over when you talk about it. I've tried..... you guys reading Publish0X are waaay ahead of the curve !

 

2. There's little consumer pressure for it.  For the same reasons as above; e-commerce customers generally have as little understanding as the retailers themselves.  Add to this the huge variety of coins and tokens available; a site only taking BTC isn’t going to be interesting to a customer who is only holding (say) ETH and a bunch of less common tokens.  The average consumer is looking to spend whatever-it-is-they-have, not pay fees to convert to whatever the site can take. If the site can hoover up some of their token dust, even better !

 

3. There is no easily available universal implementation solution. No major marketplaces have adopted crypto payment, and although plugins exists for some of the more popular e-commerce platforms, there is no universally accepted standard. We need a crypto equivalent of PayPal, delivering a solution that ordinary people can easily implement with little technical knowledge. Even better would be eBay or someone (NOT Amazon !) allowing it as a payment method on their marketplace.

 

4. There is serious concern over price stability and fees. Crypto prices go up and down faster than a health secretary’s trousers, but retailers still buy their stock withy legacy fiat currency and price their items in dollars, pounds, euros or whatever.  With margins often being wafer-thin, there is concern that a slight drop in crypto values could make a transaction loss-making. Stablecoins aren’t the answer here, because the majority of holders of crypto have BTC or ETH; an ideal payment solution should cater to a wide variety of the most popular coins and tokens.

 

5. Crypto is seen as the Wild West. Sellers worry that wallets could be hacked; buyers worry that they won’t have any recourse if a seller doesn’t deliver the goods.  Personally I think blockchain technology is the best solution to all these concerns, but those solutions still need to be developed, standardised, and publicised.

 

In subsequent posts, I’ll try to look at each of these concerns, building a picture of what e-commerce businesses require in order to believe in crypto payment, and an outline of what I feel some solutions could look like.

 

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Alonicus
Alonicus

New to crypto but learning fast. E-Commerce business owner (I doubt I could work for anyone else again !) and keen D&D player (mostly 3.5 and some 5e).


Taking Crypto to the Small Business world
Taking Crypto to the Small Business world

Trying to understand the opportunities and risks of crypto from the perspective of a non-technical business owner.

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