As an entrepreneur, you would have strong incentives to consider accepting cryptocurrency payments from customers.
Since 2009, when Bitcoin was introduced, many other cryptocurrencies have emerged in its wake, allowing customers to buy products and services with the use of blockchain technology.
One of the most popular blockchains used for cryptocurrency transactions is Ethereum, which has surpassed £290 billion in market capitalisation. The term ‘Ethereum’ is often mistakenly used to refer to Ether (ETH), the platform’s native cryptocurrency.
There are many different ways to spend Ether (or ‘Ethereum’, as you may colloquially call it). However, to learn how it would be beneficial to spend Ether on in-person or online purchases, you first need to know specifics of how Ethereum works.
What is Ethereum?
As Ethereum is a decentralised blockchain, it is not overseen by any central bank or government. Instead, buyers simply transfer Ether to sellers while cutting out the middleman.
Ethereum can aid you in streamlining the transaction, due to the platform’s unique, built-in ‘smart contract’ functionality. What is a smart contract? On Ethereum, it’s basically a self-executing contract where the agreement’s terms are directly written into code.
Though executing these smart contracts expends computing resources, Ether can also cover the added financial expense you would incur as a direct result.
What Can You Buy with Ethereum?
Using the Ethereum blockchain, developers can make and deploy decentralised applications known as ‘dApps’.
It’s up to the developers in question how their dApps are used. However, they can be built to provide services and functionalities ranging from finance to gaming.
In any case, companies certainly don’t need to create dApps in order to take Ether as payment for services. In fact, this currency can be used for purchasing not only services but also products — and from established online stores as well as in person at such brick-and-mortar sites as physical shops.
Here is an overview of various things you are able to buy with Ether as your choice of currency.
Perhaps you have only recently bought a house but you don’t already have enough décor pieces to fill it – for example, because the new house is larger than the old one?
It is comforting, then, that some platforms — such as Beliani and Bitify — offer home goods and furnishings in exchange for Ether.
Are you interested in putting some new artwork pieces up in your new abode, too? If so, you could be pleasantly surprised to see some galleries and art fairs that are also willing to take Ether payments.
Smartphones and Computers
We have already mentioned Bitify, where it is possible to buy various tech products with Ether. However, if you want to buy a new smartphone or desktop or laptop computer, you might also want to turn to Newegg — which, yes, also accepts Ether payments.
It all makes sense given that if you want to spend Ether in the first place, you are likely to be tech-savvy and as a result, eager to invest in modern tech solutions.
As an investor, you could be currently holding Ether in the hope that its value increases over time. However, one key principle of good investing is spreading the risk — and you can do that by stacking up on other cryptocurrencies via the leading crypto exchange platforms.
A crypto exchange platform could enable you to swap some Ether for, say, Bitcoin or Litecoin. Still, as cryptocurrencies can fluctuate in value to a volatile extent, you might not want your investment portfolio to rely too heavily on them. For this reason, why not pick up some real estate as well?
You can look up real estate listings on the platforms Propy, RealT, and Crypto Emporium — all of which can process Ether payments.
Are you looking to buy a car? Whether you want a new or old model, you could be delighted to know that an increasing number of car dealerships and online platforms are beginning to welcome Ether payments.
One good example of such a platform is AutoCoinCars, while another — BitCars — is a good place to be if you seek a luxury car.
Fashion and Clothes
If you are keen on staying fashionable, Ether could help you to a large extent on that front. Fashion retailers offering goods you would be able to purchase with this cryptocurrency include Lanieri, PacSun, and Ralph Lauren.
What if you are eyeing the high-end market? Maybe you want to get yourself a designer bag or luxury jewellery? If so, BitDials and LuxFi are among the Ether-accepting establishments where such items are stocked.
You could have fun at some entertainment platforms by paying with Ether. What platforms exactly? One is Chess.com — where, as the name suggests, you can play chess online. You can spend Ether on individual games or a long-term membership.
If you would prefer to play games on a console rather than a website, rest easy that Gamesplanet and Playasia are platforms where you can buy interactive entertainment systems, video games, and accessories with Ether.
Are you planning an overseas getaway? If so, how will you reach the destination? If you intend to take a flight to it, you could look into booking that flight on one of two platforms: CheapAir.com or Travala.com.
Either way, you will be able to comfort yourself with the thought that the site would allow you to fund a flight with Ether.
Many businesses might be eager to source online services that would help them get work done and attract new customers and clients.
For example, at one point or another, members of your team may need to access the Internet via a VPN. In preparation for this, you could spend Ether on a VPN from NordVPN, CyberGhost, or ExpressVPN.
Of course, you may also be interested in purchasing a domain name for your corporate website. You can use Ether to make that purchase from a platform like ENS, Handshake, or Unstoppable Domains.
Good Reasons to Make Purchases with Ethereum
You might still be tempted to simply buy products and services with a fiat currency rather than ETH. It is worth acknowledging that Ethereum does have its limitations, and there are some situations where it can actually be better overall to pay with paper money or a credit or debit card.
Nonetheless, spending with Ether instead can reap the following compelling benefits.
You Can Complete the Transaction More Quickly
When you are buying something from a company based in your own country, you will probably get the quickest results by using a conventional payment card. That’s because traditional payment networks such as Visa and Mastercard can process more than 65,000 transactions per second.
The situation can be very different when you place an order with an overseas business. Although traditional banking channels can handle these transactions, too, they can do so sluggishly — with some payments taking several days to go through.
Conversely, an Ether transaction made on the Ethereum blockchain is likely to last just a few minutes — no matter how geographically disparate the buyer and seller happen to be.
There’s a lot to be said for the Ethereum blockchain omitting intermediaries like banks, which could otherwise have put a few speed bumps in the way.
Lower Transaction Fees Than Traditional Banking
A bank that forms part of the payment equation could also cost you more in transaction fees. Those fees attached to Ether transactions are known as ‘gas fees’ — but, in any case, tend to be lower. This is a win for consumers and merchants alike.
Gas fees can be pushed up if the Ethereum network is congested or the transaction is particularly complex, but you could still save money in many scenarios — such as when placing an international order, where exchange rate differences come into play.
When you make an Ether transaction, details of it will be placed on a public ledger. Fortunately, though, those details will be pseudonymous. In other words, those details will not directly indicate your real-world identity.
The transaction will instead be tied to a unique alphanumeric address. As a result, Ether transactions afford buyers appreciably greater privacy than what conventional modes of payment would allow.
Is It Legal to Spend Ether?
Most jurisdictions around the world permit Ether to be used for transactions. Despite this, if you wish to undertake an Ether transaction in a particular jurisdiction, you should go out of your way to ascertain whether this move would be legal.
This is a crucial point, as cryptocurrency law can vary significantly between jurisdictions. Some have regulated cryptocurrencies, while others have restricted or outright banned them.
Are Ether Transactions Safe?
On the whole, these transactions are very safe as long as due diligence is carried out. Although the Ethereum blockchain’s decentralised structure guards against fraud and hacking, scams remain a risk.
For this reason, businesses with a wish to accept Ether should implement cryptocurrency payment gateways that are capable of scanning incoming revenue, to establish that it has not been sourced through theft or fraud.
Companies that are interested in our ‘Pay With Crypto’ Payment Gateway solution can enquire to us by email via [email protected].