If you thought Bitcoin was just the latest trend for computer nerds, maybe it's time to rethink your position. The price of one Bitcoin exceeded $1000 USD in the first week of 2017 after a stellar year in 2016. There is no denying it's increasing popularity, so at what point should businesses start paying attention to the cryptocurrency?
If you do not understand the concept of cryptocurrency or the reasons for Bitcoins' surging popularity, I highly suggest looking deeper into it to fully understand what it is, how it works and why it exists (there is a short video on bitcoin.org that gives a quick introduction).
While there is no guarantee it will continue its upward trend in popularity, it is worth understanding the potential effects it could have on commerce and society as we know it.
Here are 4 business reasons to start accepting Bitcoin payment for your product or service:
1. Take advantage of a new customer base
As more and more people jump on the bandwagon, there will be more people seeking out businesses who accept payment in Bitcoin. This saves the Bitcoin owner from having to convert back to their local currency, potentially avoiding capital gains taxes and transaction fees.
2. Simple International payments
With Bitcoin being a currency used worldwide, accepting it will open your business up to foreign customers who may not have wanted to purchase from you otherwise. The payments are usually confirmed within 10 minutes.
3. Small transaction fees
With credit card transaction fees costing at least 2% for small businesses, Bitcoin can save a significant amount on transaction costs. A Bitcoin transaction fee will vary depending on the wallet (think of it as an account type) used but generally will be around US$0.10 - $0.15.
4. It shows that you are ahead of the curve
If you show that you can accept payment in Bitcoin, you will be showing that your business is adaptable and forward thinking, even if none of your customers ever send payment in Bitcoin.
Of course there are downside risks involved. Bitcoin is still in its infancy and as such, will be susceptible to high price volatility. It is still only a drop in the ocean when compared to international paper currencies, but the future potential of it (and other cryptocurrencies) is enormous. Services like Coinify make setting up a payment facility very simple so do your research and decide if accepting Bitcoin is right for your business.