The short answer? Yes, you should definitely be taking payments in crypto. The process is fairly painless and there is a lot to gain.
There really isn’t much reason not to, especially since payments are converted to fiat currency by most payment processors.
Despite the advantages, there are not many online retailers ready to take the leap. This could set your store apart from the competition simply by accepting coins that people are looking to spend.
This article is to demystify the process so you can take advantage of the rise of people using cryptocurrency.
What is cryptocurrency?
Put simply, cryptocurrency is just digital currency. It has not been issued by any government mint (for the most part) and is completely detached from any bank or financial reserve.
All of these currencies are found on the blockchain in which all transactions are registered and cannot be manipulated. You can buy and sell Bitcoin, for instance and every instance is recorded on servers all across the world.
How to accept cryptocurrency
As cryptocurrency becomes more popular, the means to accept it are growing. In fact, Ohio now accepts Bitcoin to pay taxes. It’s such a fast and more convenient way to pay for goods and services that if you’re not accepting payments with it then soon you’ll be the only one.
There are two ways to process payments with crypto. One is to use a digital wallet. There are downloadable ones and others that are hardware based and use a sort of special hard drive. Which one you use is up to you but the hard drive wallet is safer.
There are also third party payment processors that can handle these transactions.
There are pros and cons to using each. An advantage of using a wallet is that it is more secure than using a third party processor. Usually when there is a data breach and you read about crypto being stolen it is almost always during the processing with a third party.
The advantage of a third party is that the cryptocurrency is automatically converted into your local currency so there is no risk of losing value if the price drops.
Using a wallet, however, means that if you keep the crypto in your wallet that you will gain any increase in the value of the currency.
Which currency to accept
The two big currencies currently are Bitcoin and Ethereum. They are the most stable and the most widely used and traded. It is easy to set up payments taking either of these.
There are literally hundreds of other coins that are out there, but you don’t have to know about most of them or accept any others.
XRP, aka Ripple is also gaining in popularity as the transaction costs are far cheaper than Bitcoin or Ethereum.
Ultimately, it is up to you as to which coins you should accept, but the more you accept the broader your customer base will potentially be. Blockchain technology is not going away and offers a very big upside in the future.