With bitcoin becoming increasingly popular and increasing in value as the years go by, many of you may be wondering how to accept bitcoin for your business.
Because public interest in the currency is spiking, and corporations are pouring money into bitcoin, it has often been touted as the future of commerce and finance. So, it is normal to wonder how to incorporate it into your business. But how do you do it?
Fret not; the answer is near. There are various ways to go about accepting BTC, including third-party services or having customers pay you directly without using a middleman. The bonus – these methods often work for online or offline businesses.
This article discusses the different ways you can accept bitcoin for your business and touch on regulations and restrictions.
Why Accept Bitcoin For Your Business?
Before we get into how to accept bitcoin for your business, it may be worth having a look at its pros and cons.
Increasingly, mainstream businesses are beginning to accept cryptocurrency, particularly bitcoin, as payments in their stores. For some, this massively increases attraction to the business, as it is convenient and secure.
If you accept bitcoin for your business, you will be ahead of many of your competitors and draw in new customers who can’t find stores that sell what they want in exchange for BTC. This way, you can build a relationship of trust and loyalty with BTC customers before other stores do it.
Additionally, this betters the reputation of your brand. Accepting cryptocurrency will likely paint your image as forward-thinking, modern, and progressive. This is an image many consumers are attracted to in this day and age. It also gives off the impression that you are willing to put in what’s necessary to increase value and convenience for your customers.
There are a variety of other benefits too. For example, for those businesses that need or want to protect the identity of their customers, BTC is a good way to do it. Transactions of the currency are completely anonymous. Further, transaction fees are lower than that of transactions with regular currencies.
The Other Side Of The Coin
Of course, there are negatives to everything, which goes for when you accept bitcoin for your business. We should mention the downsides to not presenting a skewed view or misleading you in deciding to start the process of accepting BTC.
Here are some of the pitfalls:
- While BTC is very valuable right now, its price and value fluctuate drastically. Accepting the currency may be dangerous because of this volatility.
- While the process of starting to accept BTC is not too complicated, it does add a layer of complexity to your payment system. If you are nervous about this, it may be best to leave it alone for now.
- Bitcoin is very popular and will bring new customers. However, millions do not use it yet, and the market is not as big as it could be. Therefore, it may be useless to introduce it to your business, depending on where you are situated.
Consider both the advantages and disadvantages before you accept bitcoin for your business.
Methods Of Accepting BTC
Despite how complicated it may sound, accepting bitcoin for your business is not that difficult. There are various ways to do it and services to enlist as a helping hand if you don’t want to tackle the process alone. Here are some of the options:
If your business is online and you’d prefer to make payments efficient and low on effort, then there is an option to add a “pay with Bitcoin” button to your website. Implementing this and adding the button to your website is quite easy, but it may be better to enlist an experienced professional to set this up for you.
Various services (for example, Bitpay or Coingate) exist to assist businesses with exactly this task. Sometimes, the service may be as easy as using a button generator to add the button to your website. If this is the case, you may have to complete a short form, after which you will be provided with some HTML code to copy onto your site.
If you’d prefer to keep the payment process offline, then there are ways to do that too! Perhaps the simplest way is to set up a wallet and request that customers transfer the BTC straight to your wallet.
To ease the process for your customers, you should make your wallet address easily accessible by presenting it as a QR code. This will mean that customers have to scan the code, enter the amount they will pay, and sign using their private key.
For this process, you may need a wallet service, like CoinsBank or StrongCoin, and exchange service, like Coinbase or Bitfinex.
3. Gift Cards
It may be surprising, but you can also use gift cards to accept bitcoins for your business. You can accept BTC in exchange for gift cards, which can then be used at your business by people who do not use the currency themselves. You can find gift card services at eGifter or Gyft.
This makes the process easier when a BTC user wants to gift something to a non-BTC user.
As you’re probably aware, there is an app for everything today. For example, BTC payment apps (like Coinify) often work similarly to direct transactions to wallets. So, of course, it would be useful to use an app to ensure that BTC payments are fulfilled.
The store owner puts their wallet address into the app to receive funds. When a customer wants to make a purchase, you open the app and add the amount of fiat currency that needs to be paid. The app will produce a QR code that encompasses the wallet address and the amount of BTC that the required fiat currency translates to. The customer needs to scan the code and sign.
5. Point Of Sales Hardware Terminals
If you’d prefer to go a more traditional route, there is an option to get a hardware point of sales terminal. The options include having a terminal specifically for bitcoin or integrating BTC payments into an existing POS terminal’s API. However, the device’s capabilities will differ from manufacturer to manufacturer. Options include BitPay, Revel, and CoinKite.
Regulations and Restrictions
The variety of methods that allow you to accept bitcoin for your business may make you excited to start. However, before you go ahead, you should consider the legality of it. The last thing you want is trouble with authorities.
In many areas of the world, cryptocurrency is still an area of uncertainty when it comes to the law. Many countries and their lawmakers and regulators are still figuring out how to tackle the currency and fit it into the existing frameworks.
BTC as a payment method is completely banned in a handful of areas. The list includes Bangladesh, Bolivia, Ecuador, Kyrgyzstan, and Vietnam. China and Russia are also expected to amend and tighten their cryptocurrency regulations. If you have an online business that allows sales to these areas, it’s best to do some thorough research into whether you are allowed to offer crypto payment options.
That said, BTC and its use are legal or unregulated in most areas of the world, which means you can use it in your business. In the US, not many moves have been made by the government in terms of currency. However, each state individually defines its regulations for it. Nevertheless, the states that do have regulations most commonly promote the use of BTC. Thirty-two states have introduced regulations, including Nevada, Maine, and Arizona.
But, the existing regulations in each country may view BTC traders differently, so that is worth considering. And you may want to ask a consultant about it. Further, this can easily change, and regulations and laws can be put in place, which might affect how your BTC payments work.
Therefore, if you accept BTC payments, you must be prepared to deal with possible disruptions.
Start Accepting Bitcoin Today
The advantages that come when you accept bitcoin for your business are plentiful. From increasing your value as a business to attracting additional customers, the benefits should draw you towards taking action as soon as possible. You wouldn’t want to lose out or fall behind your competitors.
The task of starting to accept bitcoin for your business is not as taxing as it may seem. And, if you don’t want to go it alone, you can always enlist the help of a third party. The effort it takes to set up will be worth it.