How can businesses utilize Bitcoin in their daily operations?
Despite the fact that many online and traditional shops and businesses have added Bitcoin to their payment options, it’s still not as widespread as the crypto community would like it to be. Understandably, most businesses still prefer using traditional currencies when receiving payment.
There are several reasons for this, one being that many people do not trust cryptocurrencies. Bitcoin is volatile, and fluctuations in dollar-bitcoin exchange rates could result in the loss of profits. However, that has not stopped many business giants, like Microsoft, Overstock, Expedia, Wikipedia, WordPress.com, and Shopify, from accepting Bitcoin payments.
Just because Bitcoin is a virtual, digital currency does not mean that offline shops can’t take advantage of receiving Bitcoin payments. Using Bitcoin for online shops is quite simple as they can integrate payment processors such as Stripe and Coinbase into their e-commerce site’s checkout page. Offline shops can opt to use Bitcoin terminals or point-of-sale apps such as XBTerminal, Coinify, or Coingate. They can also print out QR codes for their customers to scan using their mobile wallets.
How do business owners handle the volatility of Bitcoin?
Losing profits and essentially giving away products and services to customers for free is a terrifying thought for most business owners. But while at one point in time this may have been accurate, now Bitcoin payment processors like Coinbase and BitPay, can receive payments in bitcoin and instantly convert them into US dollars or any other supported currency. This way, businesses can avoid all the risks associated with bitcoin and receive the full fiat amount that they were meant to receive.
To illustrate, if your customer pays you $100 worth of bitcoin for a pair of jeans, then you’re going to receive exactly $100 in your bank account. The payment gateway you use, for example, BitPay, will shield you from bitcoin’s volatility, so you always get the full dollar amount. For the more enterprising business owners who can handle Bitcoin’s unpredictability, there is an opportunity to make even more profit through BTC’s fluctuations.
Why should more businesses start accepting Bitcoin payments?
Bitcoin was created by Satoshi Nakamoto in response to the 2008 financial market crash, which almost crippled the entire global economy. It was created to solve or at least overcome the challenges that exist due to centralized banking systems, which tend to benefit banks more than consumers.
Bank charges fees for practically every transaction, such as deposit fees, withdrawal fees, transaction fees, credit card fees, etc.
Bitcoin’s purpose was to avoid all that through its peer-to-peer electronic cash system that Satoshi Nakamoto believe was the solution to the challenges caused by traditional banking systems. Bitcoin was created to ensure transactions are processed without the unnecessary intervention of banks and the government.
What are the benefits of using Bitcoin for regular businesses?
- There is no risk of chargebacks: Paypal, credit, and debit card payments may leave businesses vulnerable to chargebacks, and dealing with chargebacks is a complicated and time-consuming process. Initially, customers can claim to not recognize the charge on their card statements or think that their card was stolen and somebody else is using it. They could also claim that the product they purchased was not as described or it was defective. With Bitcoin payments, there are zero risks of chargebacks because all payments are final once confirmed. It’s virtually impossible to reverse or undo a bitcoin transaction, which means Bitcoin payments offer merchant protection that is unparalleled by any other payment option available today. No bank and no government can offer the level of merchant protection that Bitcoin does.
- There is no fraud or double payments. The Bitcoin network is an extremely secure payment system. Unlike banks, Bitcoin is incorruptible, so traditional financial problems such as double payments or fraud do not occur with Bitcoin. Since Bitcoin is a decentralized, peer-to-peer payment system, everyone on the network can see all the transactions that have ever taken place – they are stored on the blockchain, where new transactions are only added to a block when BTC miners verify its legitimacy. This level of transparency makes it difficult to commit fraud or double-spend money.
- Practically instant payments: Bitcoin payments are fast, irrevocable, and final. There’s no way for anyone to undo any bitcoin transaction. Bitcoins will arrive at their designated wallet, usually within 10-45 minutes. When you use services like Coinbase and BitPay, cash can be transferred to your bank account within 2-3 days. Alternatively, you can keep your bitcoins if you don’t want to convert them into a traditional currency.
- Minor transaction fees – because the middleman (bank) is removed, your fees are drastically reduced. A small amount will be paid to miners for transaction verification. The transaction fee is almost negligible and equivalent to cents, unlike the fees that banks or credit card companies charge. For example, credit card payments are usually charged an interchange fee (paid to the bank or card issuer) and an assessment fee (paid to the credit card company such as Visa or Mastercard). On average, these fees will end up costing around 3% to 4% per transaction. In comparison, for bitcoin transactions, the fees are typically around 10,000 Satoshis or 0.0001 bitcoin. The higher the transaction fee is set per transaction, the faster bitcoin miners will confirm your transaction.
- The Bitcoin community is growing fast, and with skyrocketing bitcoin prices, they are looking for places where they can spend their bitcoins. A number of big companies have added Bitcoin to their payment options, but a great majority of businesses have yet to follow suit. So when the Bitcoin community discovers a new business that supports BTC, they share the news with the whole community.
What businesses accept BTC?
Microsoft: The tech giant has been accepting Bitcoin since 2014, although they did temporarily take a break due to its high volatility. Bill Gates believes that “Bitcoin is exciting because it shows how cheap it can be” and that “Bitcoin is better than currency in that you don’t have to be physically in the same place and, of course, for large transactions, currency can get pretty inconvenient.”
Wikipedia: The famous online, open-source encyclopedia accepts donations through Bitcoin, and payment can be done through BitPay.
Expedia: Expedia Group is an American online travel shopping company for consumer and small business travel. It allows people to use Bitcoin to process payments.
4Chan: An image-based bulletin board that’s popular among crypto users. 4Chan users generally post anonymously, with the most recent posts appearing first. The company does not only accept Bitcoin but also Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, and Litecoin.
AT&T: The major U.S mobile carrier offers their customers an opportunity to pay via cryptocurrencies using BitPay.
Being a decentralized, global currency, Bitcoin doesn’t discriminate where its users come from. Even if your customer lives in a country known for credit card fraud, in Bitcoin’s eyes, everyone is equal. If you’ve ever tried to accept payments from customers in these countries, you know just how difficult and cumbersome the entire process is. Paypal, Stripe, and other popular payment gateways don’t accept or support many countries with a high prevalence of fraud. But with Bitcoin, you can easily accept payments from anyone worldwide.
Satoshi Nakamoto’s mission was to ensure Bitcoin would make the world a better place and to erase financial borders, government red tape, and bureaucracy. It allows merchants and business owners to receive payments from customers who are unfortunate enough to live in countries with a high fraud rate. And while at the moment not as many places accept Bitcoin, with time, this number keeps increasing as more businesses are looking to join the Bitcoin network.