Bitcoins have been around since 2009, and while the concept was slow to be adopted by businesses, we’re seeing more and more companies accepting Bitcoin. Large brands, including Overstock, Expedia and even Subway are accepting Bitcoin.
PayPal allows Bitcoin as a form of payment, and Shopify makes it easy for store owners to accept Bitcoin on their storefronts.
Why, when fiat currency and credit are widely accepted, should businesses start to accept Bitcoins?
1. Empowerment of Customers
Customers want to be empowered, and they can only be empowered when they have options. Not only are customers wanting more options, but customers also want to have more options when they pay for their goods.
And customers want to be able to pay for goods and services using digital currencies.
While most customers will pay with credit or debit, those that have digital currency will value your business more. Even if payment isn’t the sole reason for choosing your company, it will add to the overall reason to do business with you over a competitor.
2. Support in the Bitcoin Community
The Bitcoin community is very proud, and the community wants to do everything in their power to grow. One benefit to accepting Bitcoin payments is that the community will support you. There are enthusiasts that promote companies that accept Bitcoin on:
- Social media
There are also meet-up groups for Bitcoin enthusiasts, and attending these groups as a business that accepts different forms of digital currency can drive customers to your door.
From an advertising and promotional standpoint, Bitcoin will provide more “buzz” for your business than accepting the norm: cash, credit and debit.
3. Ease of Implementation
Implementation is easier than ever before. There was a time when accepting Bitcoin took a lot of work, but now, there are point of sale systems that have Bitcoin acceptance built into the system.
Plugins for your website make it easy to accept Bitcoin without having to spend money on hiring a developer or someone else to get started.
The great news is that the digital token can be deposited into the business’ digital wallet, or the digital currency can be deposited as local currency.
Businesses that choose not to integrate digital currencies choose not to do so because currency can be volatile. When a currency is volatile, the value will change from one day to the next, or from one minute to the next.
A $1,000 purchase with Bitcoin can yield just $800 if the exchange rate changes rapidly.
If holding Bitcoin in a wallet, this can cause a business to go into the red quickly if the value of the digital currency changes dramatically from the time of the currency’s exchange.
So, while there are benefits to accepting virtual currencies, there should be policies to turn the currency into your local currency as quickly as possible to withstand potential losses from volatile markets.