We haven’t exactly been shy about our love of cryptocurrencies here at the MMM, but I’m sure you’ve noticed that we’re not the only ones interested in this new technology. More and more people are talking about it and using it every day—including small businesses like yours. If you’re on the fence about accepting crypto as a form of payment, here are some reasons why you should give it a try.
Crypto is growing in popularity
If you’re a small business owner, you may be wondering whether crypto is something you should consider accepting as a form of payment.
To answer that question, let’s first establish what crypto is and how it works. Crypto is short for cryptocurrencies—digital assets that serve as mediums of exchange and can be used to transfer value between parties. Cryptocurrencies are maintained by a network of computers (known as miners) who verify transactions made with the currency; this process adds new units to the blockchain database that records all transactions ever made in the cryptocurrency (hence “blockchain”). That database acts as an immutable ledger that tracks every transaction ever made using the currency—and it’s why cryptocurrencies are considered somewhat difficult to tamper with or hack.
It’s a safer payment method than cash
The crypto payment method is safer than cash. You don’t have to worry about theft, forgery, or counterfeiting; you don’t have to worry about your money getting lost in the mail. Plus, there are no bank fees related to accepting crypto payments either.
It could help you spread beyond your local market
Accepting cryptocurrency is the best way to reach a new audience. For example, if you’re a small business in Beverly Hills and want to expand your customer base and reach new markets, why not accept bitcoin (or any other crypto)?
Crypto could help your business by allowing it to target an entirely different type of customer. Think about it: there are plenty of people who aren’t exactly ready for traditional methods of payment but would love an opportunity to use cryptocurrency. The same goes for businesses that have traditionally only accepted cash or credit cards—what if they suddenly could start accepting cryptocurrency? What would that mean for their bottom line?
Your customers might be ready for it
As you can probably guess, the answer to that question is almost certainly “yes.” The problem is that there are a lot of barriers that prevent us from accepting crypto as payment, so if we accept it, we have to make it worth your while.
We know that many customers would be happy to use crypto if they had an easy way to do so — in fact, according to a survey conducted by LendEDU, 57% of millennials said they would consider using cryptocurrency as their primary form of payment if given a choice. And with over 2 million people having adopted bitcoin as their only currency in recent years (some even living off their crypto holdings), there’s clearly something here — especially when you consider the potential cost savings involved with using no-fee and low-fee blockchain networks (Neobank) as opposed to traditional banking services. But there are still some serious barriers preventing widespread adoption: most notably trust issues around security and volatility in price value (which has actually been decreasing since 2017).
So how do we overcome these obstacles? One way might be through incentivizing your customers with some kind of reward program for trying out this new technology – one example being offering discounts on higher ticket items like cars or appliances based on how much money was spent through Bitcoin transfers (this method assumes all customers want higher ticket items but obviously not everyone does). Another way could be offering special promotions during holidays like Black Friday, where buyers get something back after spending X amount at checkout – again, assuming all customers want those special deals!
It could help with your accounting
You may be surprised to learn that your small business has been accepting cryptocurrencies, even if none of your customers have been paying in bitcoin. Because of how crypto is typically used, its value can be accounted for more quickly than other forms of currency.
Cryptocurrencies are not regulated as currencies by any central bank. Rather, they’re viewed as commodities—just like gold or pork bellies—which means that their values are determined by market forces and fluctuate wildly (and unpredictably). As such, accounting for cryptocurrency transactions can be difficult without some experience in dealing with risky investments and extensive research into how much the asset has gained or lost since the time it was purchased.
You don’t need to keep coins on hand to accept crypto payments
Most of the time, you won’t need to hold any coins on hand. That’s because there are plenty of services that will process your crypto payments for you. For example, when a customer pays in BTC or ETH (or some other coin), BitPay will immediately exchange those coins for USD and deposit the money into your bank account. You may have heard about this type of service being called an “exchange,” but these days, it’s more accurate to think of them as payment processors—they convert one type of currency into another without holding onto any funds themselves.
The most popular service out there is Coinbase Commerce (https://commerce.coinbase.com/). It supports over 30 cryptocurrencies and can be integrated with Shopify and WooCommerce as well as PayPal and MailChimp e-commerce platforms, which means no matter what kind of business model you have—storefront or subscription-based—you can easily accept crypto payments without having to worry about keeping coins on hand or switching between different types of wallets yourself!
Some people will only ever pay in crypto
Some people will only ever pay in crypto. These are the folks who want to control their own money and not be beholden to credit card companies or PayPal. They don’t trust government-backed currencies with their data, and they believe that blockchain is the future of finance.
If you run a small business, accepting crypto can be an excellent way to attract new customers: If you have the right product or service, then it doesn’t matter if they pay with crypto or fiat—you’ll still make money! But if your business isn’t geared towards this niche audience yet, maybe holding off on accepting cryptocurrency isn’t such a bad idea after all.
Merchants worldwide can accept bitcoin and other coins as easily as they would a credit card
You can accept payments in any currency you want. Even if your business is in the U.S., you can accept bitcoin and other coins as easily as you would a credit card. There are payment processors such as BitPay and Coinify that will help manage all this for you, so there’s no need to worry about the technical details of cryptocurrency (and there are plenty of those).
The most important thing is to start accepting it now before everyone else does.
There are downsides, though
Sure, there are upsides. But there are downsides, too.
Cryptocurrency is still a new technology that isn’t accepted everywhere. It’s not regulated, and you can’t use it to pay your taxes (yet). It’s not widely accepted yet, and there have been security breaches with cryptocurrency exchanges in the past few years.
Most importantly: cryptocurrency is volatile. While this can be an upside if you’re looking for an investment opportunity, it’s not great if you want to use cryptocurrency as a currency for your business transactions because its value changes all the time—and even minute-to-minute sometimes!
It could be a short-lived trend
So, will crypto be around in the future?
Let’s be honest: we don’t know.
We don’t know because crypto is still a new technology, and it’s not clear if crypto will be around in 5 years, ten years, 20 years, or 50 years. But what we do know is that if you choose to accept cryptocurrency as a form of payment for goods and services your business offers, even if it’s just one customer who uses crypto to pay for your products or services before they come back with fiat money (dollars), they’ve already made a choice to use cryptocurrency over all other forms of payment. This can be viewed as an opportunity to educate them on how cryptocurrencies work and answer any questions they may have about cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin or Litecoin versus Ethereum or Monero – just keep in mind there are many more than just these four!
You will need to take precautions against volatility and fraud
Crypto is not a panacea, and you will need to take precautions against volatility and fraud. Take losses into consideration and the possibility that you might lose money if something goes wrong. If you decide to accept crypto payments, it would be worth having an accountant or someone who knows how to do taxes on cryptocurrencies look at your tax situation before making any decisions about how much crypto should be accepted for payment.
Accepting crypto could be an excellent option if you’re a small business owner who wants to expand your reach. It offers many benefits, and even if it doesn’t catch on with your customers, there are still plenty of reasons why you should give it a try. The biggest downside is that it may not be worth the risk for some businesses—but if you think it might work for yours, don’t hesitate to give accepting crypto payments a try!