As of this writing, a single Bitcoin (a cryptocurrency) is worth more than 770 thousand Mexican pesos or 38,700 US dollars. And even though its price has dropped, because a few weeks ago it was worth much more, many people are betting that this is the future of the economy.
If you already accept credit, debit and cash cards as a means of payment in your business, why not accept cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin ?
Today they are so popular that according to a survey by Mastercard , by 2022 40% of consumers will use cryptocurrencies ( Bitcoin is the best known, 98% of transactions are made with it).
Lately they have gained visibility because they have increased their value quickly, but what are they? What are the advantages of accepting them as a means of payment? And do they have disadvantages?
Two of CATN8’s founders, Marcel Gruber and Dave Foderick, join Jon Southurst on The Bitcoin Bridge to discuss their project and how they ultimately bagged third place at the 4th Bitcoin SV Hackathon.
The criptomonedas are virtual coins that are created and stored electronically. You will never be able to have a Bitcoin or a Litecoin in hand because they only exist in the virtual world and it emerged with the aim of becoming a means that would allow the exchange of goods and services without the need for an intermediary.
In other words, neither the banks nor any financial institution participates in the transactions and it is the system itself – using blockchain technology – that regulates and validates the transactions that are carried out around the world through a network of multiple computers that they are interconnected by reviewing code and creating more bitcoins.
It is important to say that, precisely because no one regulates it, the cryptocurrency market is highly speculative and fluctuating over time. It works on the basic principle of supply and demand, and it is enough for someone like Elon Musk to report that Tesla bought $ 1.5 billion of bitcoin for its price to go up.
So, although they were born as a means of payment, because of the way they work they have become an asset capable of saving value over time and that could in some way be equivalent to investing in gold or some other asset.
Now, is it convenient for you to accept them as a means of payment? Yes, but this is what you have to know before doing it. Practically, almost all are advantages. George Levy , Udemy Instructor , Founder of the Blockchain Institute of Technology and Director of Blockchain and Digital Economy at blocksEDU tells you what you need to know:
“It’s very easy to do. You only need an electronic wallet (or wallet ) to make the transactions and approach an Exchange, that is, an intermediary, if you want that as soon as they pay you, the conversion of bitcoin to pesos is made without worrying about anything in each transaction ” .
In this case, if you sell hamburgers and accept bitcoin in exchange, you can make the transaction and immediately receive the full cost of the hamburger in pesos. There are more than 9 thousand cryptocurrencies, but for starters, if you accept bitcoin you will be on the other side.
- You don’t have to live the uncertainty of volatility. Do you remember that cryptocurrencies are volatile? Well, in the event that you use them as a means of payment and change them immediately, you would not have to live this uncertainty, because the transactions carried out in bitcoin are carried out at the moment and you would be receiving the exact amount of the hamburger in your account in pesos.
- Better commissions and more security. The broker you choose will typically charge around 1% commission per transaction, while accepting credit cards can cost you as much as 3% or 4%. In addition to the fact that a definitive cryptocurrency transaction is carried out practically at the moment and since it is safe, it would be protecting you from fraud and abusive customers who want to make improper returns.
- If you want to keep them, if you will be at the expense of the market. Another story is when you want to keep the bitcoins. There you will be exposed to fluctuations in value, which is why it is said that the cryptocurrency market must be conceived in the long term. If you are not willing to take this risk, accept the cryptocurrency only to make transactions and do not keep it.
- Instantly rich? Precisely because of its volatile behavior, many people think that buying bitcoins (or any cryptocurrency) is practically synonymous with getting rich. The reality is that this may or may not happen. It all depends on how the market moves.
- Invest first, but gradually. If you are still not quite sure whether or not to accept these assets as means of payment, step into that world little by little. Approach an Exchange (which is a cryptocurrency exchange) that provides you with a wallet so you can start investing.
Of course, you don’t need to buy a whole bitcoin, buy a small fraction first to get started. One alone costs a little over a million pesos! To carry out transactions and that people can buy (for example) hamburgers through this asset, the virtual currency is divided and thus it is possible to make the purchase.