Cryptocurrencies are quickly growing in popularity and becoming mainstream currencies. From cryptocurrency ATMs to global businesses accepting digital currency as a form of payment, retailers simply can’t afford to ignore them.
Bitcoin (BTC) is the most popular. If you are on social media or watch the news, you have heard about Bitcoins. In fact, being the most popular form of Bitcoin has skyrocketed BTC value to over $10,000 in a year.
Bitcoins, however, are not the only cryptocurrency on the blockchain. Ethereum, Monero, Ripple, and many other digital currencies are available to buy and use as payment.
Retailers should pay close attention, as cryptocurrency may be the preferred payment method of the future. In fact, the growth of cryptocurrency may very well depend on retailers.
“The biggest challenge for cryptocurrencies is liquidity,” Rob Versaw of Forbes Technology Council said. “Ultimately, this lives and dies with retailers, especially online retails. Consumers will have no reason to pursue cryptocurrencies if they can't make purchases with them.”
More and More Retailers are Accepting Cryptocurrency
The first ever cryptocurrency transaction was for 10,000 Bitcoins. What was purchased? Two pizzas now worth approximately $105 million, and the transaction negotiated via bitcointalk forums seemed very dark web.
Since the first transaction, cryptocurrency has become a more accepted ledger. From exchanges to digital wallets, people around the world are buying and making domestic and international purchases with cryptocurrency.
Why are more and more retailers using cryptocurrency to do business? Well, the very decentralized nature of the currency cuts out the middleman. This allows retailers to receive payments in real time with little to no transaction fees.
Online retailers like Expedia have been taking Bitcoin payments on hotel bookings since 2014. Newegg, Microsoft, Overstock.com, Virgin, and other retailers are all accepting cryptocurrency as a payment method.
With so many retailers joining the crypto-payment movement, you may be thinking of doing the same. But how do you get started?
How to Accept Cryptocurrency as a Retailer
If you want to start accepting cryptocurrency like Bitcoin as a payment method, here are a few steps you can take. Some cryptocurrencies may require you to jump through a few extra hoops, but the following should get you off to a good start.
1. Get a Cryptocurrency Receiving Address
You can approach getting a receiving address for cryptocurrency in two ways. You can become a member of a digital wallet service or manage your own wallet. The difference is having control of your private keys, which are unique to your wallet and the only way to access funds. With a wallet you can accept payments and add funds with debit and credit cards.
2. Print and Post Your Retailer QR Code
This is an important step. You want to post your QR code on your site, in your payment method section, and on your storefront to let everyone know you accept cryptocurrency. In fact, by doing this you will get customers just wanting to make their first crypto purchase.
3. Wait for Transactions to be Processed
Wait for cryptocurrency transactions to roll in and enjoy the benefits of no middleman fees and slow payment processing. It is important, however, to choose digital currencies that offer fast transaction times. For instance, Bitcoin can take more time than Ethereum. Some fee structures will be less depending on the type of currency as well.
How to Cash Out
Retailers also need to cash out their cryptocurrency every so often to pay vendors, storefront rent, and other bills, because not everyone accepts cryptocurrency as a form of payment yet.
To change your cryptocurrency to local currency you will need to sign up for an exchange. There you can easily sell your digital currency and have local funds deposited into your bank account.
The Future of Cryptocurrency Belongs to Retailers
As cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin become more popular, more retailers will accept it as a form of payment. If retailers don’t jump on board the digital currency train, all may be lost. In more ways than one, retailers will shape the future of cryptocurrency. Will you be an early adopter?
Nick Rojas combines 20 years of experience working with and consulting for small to medium business and a passion for journalism to help readers grow. He writes about technology, marketing, and social media for the aspiring entrepreneur. When Nick is not sharing his expertise, he can be found spending time at the beach with his dog Presto @NickARojas.