Cryptocurrency has only been around for about ten years and only recently has it really begun to capture mainstream appeal. Bitcoin ATMs are ubiquitous in many major cities. While some regard cryptocurrencies as a fad or a scam, cryptocurrencies have legitimate utility as a store of value and many other uses.
It would be wise to disregard how you feel about cryptocurrency personally and look at it as simply another way to do business. Here’s how a retailer can go about accepting cryptocurrency.
The Growing Acceptance of Cryptocurrency as a Method of Payment
Does cryptocurrency really have any practical purpose? Well, Bitcoin and its decentralized design mean that there’s no middleman between a buyer and a seller. That means that fees are much less than they are with traditional payment cards. And when different currencies are involved in a transaction, those fees can only escalate. By using cryptocurrency, both buyers and sellers can stay on top of fees and not be at the mercy of a slow and unnecessarily complicated international financial system.
With Bitcoin, there is no such thing as a chargeback. If a buyer is unhappy with your product or service, they will need to discuss it with you. It is then completely up to you whether to remedy their complaints with a refund. So, seeing your hard-won sales revenue disappear out of nowhere because a customer decided to dispute a charge is not something that will happen with Bitcoin.
Accepting Bitcoin is not just something that eccentric out-of-the-way shops do. Corporate stalwarts like Microsoft, Expedia and Virgin all accept Bitcoin.
How to Accept Cryptocurrency
Getting started with cryptocurrency doesn’t have to be difficult. Follow these easy steps to start down the path.
1. Get a Cryptocurrency Address
In order to receive cryptocurrency payments, you will need to get a cryptocurrency address. Bear in mind that a cryptocurrency address only applies to a particular cryptocurrency. In order to receive Bitcoin, your customers will need to send you funds at your Bitcoin address. If you accept other cryptocurrencies, you will have a separate and distinct address for each cryptocurrency.
One way to get a cryptocurrency address is to sign up for a digital wallet. There are many available on the Internet. However, these wallets are always online. This makes them vulnerable to attacks from people with malicious intent, such as hackers. Your private keys are stored online as well, so if anyone gets a hold of them, they have access to all your funds.
If you like this article, check out one of our previous in-house articles, “A Tokenized Future” by Census Open Finance.
A safer option is a hardware wallet. This is a piece of hardware that stores your private keys, giving you control over your own security. Furthermore, it can be brought online only as needed. This makes it much less vulnerable than a wallet that is always online. Wallets that are online are called hot wallets, while wallets that are offline are called cold wallets. Online wallets are generally hot wallets that are always online. Cold wallets spend most of the time offline and are only brought online when needed, such as when you are checking or sending funds, for example.
The Census Note is a cold hardware wallet with the same form factor as a payment card. This makes it easy to carry right along with all your other payment cards. You can access the Census Note to check, send or receive funds using any smartphone using NFC. This means that the wallet functions are never presented to the Internet, providing another level of security. The Census Note wallet will also provide you with an address to receive funds.
2. Make your Retailer QR Available for Customers to See It
By posting your cryptocurrency address on your website or in your physical store, it offers your customers one more way to pay you. This is also an advertisement to anyone who enters your shop or visits your site that you accept cryptocurrency. As an early adopter, your status as an accepter of cryptocurrency stands out more now and as new people come to use cryptocurrency, they will remember that they can spend it with you.
3. Allow Time for Transactions to be Confirmed
Bitcoin can take up to an hour for a transaction to be fully confirmed. Ethereum takes less time. Newer cryptocurrencies offer faster processing of transactions.
How to Get Cash for Your Crypto
If it wasn’t possible to convert your cryptocurrency into cash, there wouldn’t be much point in accepting it, right? Rest assured that you can sell your crypto for cash. You will just need to sign up for a cryptocurrency exchange. These sites allow you to trade cryptocurrencies for other cryptocurrencies, or trade cryptocurrencies for fiat currency and vice versa.
Cryptocurrency is growing as an alternative to fiat currency. There are several reasons for this, including the slowness of traditional finance and the exorbitant fees that can sometimes be involved, especially for international transactions. Accepting cryptocurrency gives you one more way to cater to your customers’ needs. While it may not seem to pay off in the beginning, preparing to accept Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies now will put you a leg up on the competition as the popularity of cryptocurrency grows.
Pomp Podcast #330: Kat Cole – The Best Business Leader in America?
This is an episode of The Pomp Podcast with host Anthony “Pomp” Pompliano and guest, Kat Cole, the President and Chief Operating Officer of Focus Brands, a company doing nearly $5 billion in annual revenue. She is the former president of Focus Brands’ subsidiary Cinnabon. Prior to that, she was an Executive Vice President of Hooters.