While cryptocurrency as an accepted payment method is still in its infancy, businesses around the world are getting on board. The list includes major companies like Microsoft, Tesla, Virgin Galactic, Lionsgate Films, WordPress, Expedia, and payment merchants PayPal and Stripe. With a lower barrier to entry than accepting plastic, any business in any industry has the ability to get on board. And business owners are joining the club.
According to Bitcoin payment service provider BitPay, an estimated 100,000 merchants were using its services as of February 2015. By now, this figure is likely much higher.
In Japan alone, which recently surpassed China as the world's largest Bitcoin trader, an estimated 260,000 businesses are expected to offer the cryptocurrency as a payment channel in 2017. A Japanese airline is one of a growing number of local companies accepting Bitcoin payments.
Employing Bitcoin as a payment method in your business offers the following benefits.
1. Eliminate chargeback fraud
A Bitcoin transaction is immutable. Once a client has paid for a product or service, the money is in your account. Unlike credit card payments, charges cannot be reversed.
2. Immediate availability
There is no third party-dependent waiting period the way there is with bank-owned payments. Once payment is successful, the transaction amount is in your wallet and accessible immediately. You can convert Bitcoin into your local currency fiat at the end of each transaction, at the end of each working day or according to a custom set schedule.
3. Lower transaction costs
Credit card payments usually end up costing you a 2 to 4 percent fee. With Bitcoin, this amount is a low flat fee, not a percentage of the transaction.
4. Attract new customers
As Bitcoin rises in popularity, more users seek out participating businesses. This can mean exposure to a clientele you didn't have before.
5. Garner publicity
Bitcoin makes the news in a way fiat currency can't. Local, national and even international news outlets are reporting on businesses taking Bitcoin payments, giving you an opportunity for free publicity.
6. Buy into an inevitable business practice
Given the steady rise of cryptocurrency, there is no indication that it will cease being in circulation. And where Bitcoin goes, other altcoins are sure to follow. In the future, accepting cryptocurrency as payment might be standard procedure.
7. Gain experience with blockchain technology
Blockchain is the future. Bitcoin is an easy, accessible way to introduce yourself and your business to its workings. This could lead to further technical exploration at a later stage once you've gained confidence working with the technology and have identified a need for blockchain tech in your business.
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