The acceptance of cryptocurrency as a payment method is becoming an increasingly attractive proposition for many businesses around the world.
With nearly 300 million people around the world owning some form of cryptocurrency, there is no denying the burgeoning popularity of digital money these days.
There are many forms of cryptocurrency available, with Ethereum, Tether and Binance Coin being some of the most popular. However, the most popular cryptocurrency today is the very first: Bitcoin.
Developed in 2008 by an unknown creator using the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto, Bitcoin has been the most widely used form of digital currency since it was first used in 2009.
Accepting Bitcoin payments through your business would enable you to offer your customers a new and simple way to purchase your products. However, as cryptocurrency can be a high-risk investment, it is essential that you do all the necessary research to ensure your business is prepared to accept Bitcoin.
Below, you can learn more about Bitcoin and the wider cryptocurrency industry, as well as how you can embrace easy-to-use platforms and apps to successfully implement Bitcoin into your business.
What is Bitcoin?
Bitcoin is the earliest form of cryptocurrency, first introduced in 2009, and as of the early 2020s, it continues to be the most widely used form of digital currency on the planet.
The aim of Bitcoin is to act as a form of currency that cannot be controlled by any person, group, or entity, thus removing the need for third-party involvement in financial transactions. This means that, unlike fiat currency, Bitcoin is not reliant on any bank or government to maintain it and only exists online, with funds being transferred solely between two parties.
As is the case with all cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin is stored on a decentralised ledger known as a blockchain, which is a shared database that stores data secured using encryption.
Bitcoin and its regulations
Before you commence the process of accepting Bitcoin through your business, it is important to be aware of the regulations surrounding Bitcoin and other forms of cryptocurrency.
Cryptocurrency is a controversial topic, and the regulations surrounding the use of cryptocurrencies can vary based on where your business is located.
Many countries around the world have banned or limited the use of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies in business transactions, although the use of cryptocurrency is legal in both the United Kingdom and the United States.
So, before you make the decision to accept Bitcoin payments through your business, you should look at your country’s laws surrounding cryptocurrency to ensure you’re allowed to use it.
What are the benefits of Bitcoin vs traditional payments?
Only over the last decade or so, have businesses become aware of the use of Bitcoin as a form of payment instead of traditional flat currencies. However, it has already become a popular alternative for many customers.
There are a number of benefits to using Bitcoin that cannot be found in traditional forms of payments, such as credit cards. These include:
- The lack of third-party approval: Opening a bank account or applying for a credit card requires approval from your bank. Opening a Bitcoin account, however, does not.
- Transaction fees: Transaction fees when using a credit card can range from 2% to 3.5%, whereas fees when using Bitcoin range from 0.5% to 1%.
- Security: Cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin are stored on a blockchain, and protected using highly effective methods of encryption.
- Chargeback fees: Transactions using a credit card are susceptible to chargeback fees, whereas transactions using cryptocurrency are not.
For business owners, accepting Bitcoin and cryptocurrency payments can also bring in a number of benefits. It is important before integrating cryptocurrency into your business to find out whether your target audience is likely to use cryptocurrency. But if they do, adding crypto payments could help bring in new customers by offering additional ways to pay.
If you’re a predominantly online business, adding cryptocurrency allows for incredibly fast and simple online transactions, with low processing fees meaning you’ll get more from your transactions.
With a number of benefits, cryptocurrencies are becoming an increasingly in-demand method of paying for transactions for many customers. By introducing a way to accept cryptocurrency payments through your business, you could therefore have the opportunity to bring new customers to your business.
How to accept Bitcoin payments through your business
At first glance, implementing Bitcoin payments into your business might seem a bit of a daunting process, especially if you have no experience of engaging with crypto.
However, accepting Bitcoin payments through your business is actually a very simple thing to do. Many easy-to-use apps and platforms are available, such as our own ‘Pay With Crypto’ Payment Gateway, that make the ability to accept cryptocurrency payments a breeze.
As Bitcoin is the most popular form of cryptocurrency, most cryptocurrency apps and platforms that you will come across will work with it.
Here’s a step-by-step guide to accepting Bitcoin payments through your business.
Step 1: Set up a crypto wallet or crypto gateway
Many cryptocurrency platforms offer a choice between a crypto wallet or a crypto gateway. This choice depends on whether you want to collect and store cryptocurrency for your business or convert it into a fiat currency.
A crypto wallet allows you to collect and store cryptocurrency for your business. The three kinds of crypto wallets are:
- Hosted wallet: The most common form of crypto wallet, hosted wallets require minimal setup. This makes them a great choice for those who are new to cryptocurrency, or who are just looking for somewhere to store their digital currency.
- Self-custody wallets: These wallets give you more control over your cryptocurrency, allowing you to lend or borrow cryptocurrency in addition to the standard storing, trading, and selling.
- Hardware wallets: Unlike other crypto wallets, hardware wallets are a physical device, so you can plug them into your computer to carry out online transactions.
With Bitcoin being the most popular and mainstream cryptocurrency, you can be sure that almost any crypto wallet you encounter will work with it.
Whereas crypto wallets allow you to store and use cryptocurrency, a crypto gateway offers increased functionality – most importantly, the ability to convert cryptocurrency into fiat currency.
A crypto gateway is perfect for those who aren’t looking to invest time and money into cryptocurrency, and who merely want to convert their cryptocurrency into fiat currency, such as pounds sterling or US dollars.
Crypto gateways are easy to set up, although they do add a third party to the transaction, which can also introduce additional fees. When you are setting up a crypto gateway, it is worth taking the time to find the best platform, as certain platforms can take a much higher fee for currency conversion.
One of the primary benefits of crypto gateways is that you will be paid the market rate at the time of the transaction. This means that, even if the value of the cryptocurrency decreases before the transaction is verified, you won’t be missing out on any money.
Step 2: Integrate cryptocurrency payments to your checkout
Once you have set up your crypto wallet and/or crypto gateway, you will be able to get started on the process of adding cryptocurrency payments to your checkout.
Integrating your crypto wallet/gateway to your website is a simple process that can be done in a number of ways.
Many cryptocurrency platforms use open-source APIs, which will enable you to integrate them with your website using custom HTML code. This also gives you the opportunity to customise the look and feel, although you will need technical skills and resources that not every business owner has access to.
For business owners who are looking for an easier way to integrate crypto payments, most crypto platforms offer a plugin or app that will cover all of the technicalities. Simply download the plugin/app and install it on your website, and you’ll be good to go.
For crypto gateways, ecommerce platforms such as WordPress and Shopify offer built-in cryptocurrency payment integration, with guides available to help users through each step.
Cryptocurrency payments aren’t just limited to websites, however. Physical customers can also use cryptocurrency to pay for products with a crypto-compatible QR code scanner or NFC terminal.
Remember to advertise that you now accept cryptocurrency both in-store and online if you want to draw in new customers and give existing customers a new way to pay. This can be done in a number of ways. Whether it’s by including a ‘cryptocurrency accepted’ sign at your store, a banner on your website or via an email marketing campaign, you should make sure new and existing customers are aware of this new way to pay.
Although it can seem intimidating to those who are unfamiliar with cryptocurrency, accepting Bitcoin payments through your business is actually an extremely fast and easy process that can give your business an edge over competitors.
Accepting Bitcoin payments adds a new way for your customers to pay, and can be a great way to bring in new customers to your business.
The world of cryptocurrency provides many opportunities for business owners to unlock the full potential of their business and establish a foothold in this ever-growing industry.
By following this simple guide, you will have everything that you need in order to integrate Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency payments into your business. Whether you want to convert it into traditional currency or delve further into the promising world of cryptocurrency, you can make use of this revolutionary form of payment that can take your business to the next level.
To learn more about NACE solutions such as our own ‘Pay With Crypto’ payment gateway, please don’t hesitate to enquire to our experts today.