It seems like cryptocurrency is everywhere you turn:
- Bitpay, one of the most successful crypto payment gateways is processing $1 billion worth of transactions annually.
- Major retailers, like Whole Foods, Nordstrom and Lowe’s, are accepting cryptocurrency payments.
- There are rumors that Facebook will soon launch a cryptocurrency app as part of its global push into payments.
- Nonprofits are using cryptocurrency to help with relief efforts in tumultuous, poor, and underdeveloped countries.
- And there are even 2020 presidential candidates accepting cryptocurrency campaign donations.
Do all this make you wonder how cryptocurrencies might affect your organization? Does it make you feel like you need to jump on the crypto bandwagon? Before you move full-steam ahead, we want to help you understand what cryptocurrencies are and what benefits they can bring to your organization.
You’ve heard of BitCoin and maybe even Litecoin and Ripple, but what are these really? Cryptocurrencies, like BitCoin and the others, are digital currencies built with cryptographic protocols that make transactions secure and difficult to fake. They are not controlled by any central authority. As such, they’re theoretically immune to the old ways of government control and interference. And they make it easy to conduct near-instantaneous transactions without incurring fees charged by traditional financial institutions.
So what does this look like in the real world?
• Retailers worry less about instances of payment fraud and bounced checks.
• A new market of customers – those previously shut out of online marketplaces because they didn’t have access to a bank – can now purchase goods and services with only an Internet connection.
• International transfers without hefty fees and instantaneous deposit without a waiting period are both possible.
• There is a greater sense of security and anonymity for customers concerned with digital privacy.
Despite the buzz and benefits of cryptocurrencies, there are also risks that organizations should be aware of. For example, cryptocurrencies are notoriously volatile. On December 28, 2017, Bitcoin was trading at $15,433.73. However, about 40 days later, Bitcoin had fallen by more than half and the price. It oscillated between $6,000 and $9,000. While this volatility might be fine for huge multinational organizations that have the resources to ride out the wave, it could be devastating for smaller retailers and merchants.
Additionally, the regulatory and tax schemes are confusing and depend on where your business is located, which adds a whole other level of complexity to your organization’s accounting and financial landscape. For a more comprehensive list of the risks associated with cryptocurrency, check out this article.
If your organization is looking to integrate a cryptocurrency payment gateway, Dev IQ can help. As we’ve previously discussed, when designing payment solutions for our clients – including those accepting cryptocurrency payments – we like to work with Braintree. In 2015, BrainTree linked up with Coinbase, BitPay, and GoCoin, to allow merchants using Braintree to accept payment through Bitcoin.
But Braintree isn’t the only cryptocurrency payment gateway to consider. There are many others that accept other Altcoins in addition to BitCoin. Here are just two examples:
Coinbase Commerce – 2000+ merchants from worldwide accept cryptocurrency through Coinbase. It’s a good option for companies that use WooCommerce or Shopify, allowing them to accept Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, and Litecoin
CoinGate – CoinGate support over 50 Altcoins. The gateway went live in 2015 and currently serves 4,500+ business clients, providing integration with WooCommerce, Magento, PrestaShop, WHMCS, and more.
If your organization is looking to dip its toe into the world of cryptocurrency, let us help you understand the risks, the rewards, and the right payment solutions for your needs. Connect with us to schedule some time to chat, or check out our articles about payment gateways here and here.
Marketing Strategist, busy mama, & blogger extraordinaire