Why accept Bitcoin payments? Increasingly more people want to spend their Bitcoin on everyday items and experiences. Still, there are precious few places where they can use them. The landscape is bound to change, however, as Bitcoin becomes more mainstream.
That means the time to strike is now!
As a business, a small business in particular, you’re in a unique position to tap into the Bitcoin market. The number of companies that accept Bitcoin is still so small that you’re effectively carving out a niche.
Whether you’re a burger joint or an e-commerce store, you’ll be head and shoulders above your competition if you accept Bitcoin and they don’t. Furthermore, the process of setting up Bitcoin payments are both free and incredibly smooth.
Bitcoin transactions are very cheap compared to credit card transactions. Every penny counts for a small business, which makes it an attractive option. There are of course also some downsides to Bitcoin, including market fluctuations and regulatory uncertainty.
In this article, we’ll go through the pros and cons of accepting Bitcoin payment, as well as the steps you need to take.
Benefits of accepting Bitcoin
There are some definite benefits for businesses who accept Bitcoin as a method of payment. Some of these advantages include:
- It’s free to set up
- Branding yourself as a modern business
- Tapping into the Bitcoin holder market
- Greatly reducing transaction fees
- No risk of chargeback fraud
- The potential for extra profit as Bitcoin rises in value
Risks of accepting Bitcoin
Just as there are benefits to accepting Bitcoins, there are also risks to consider. Some of these risks include:
- Unclear legal framework for Bitcoin in general
- Potential for loss of profit if Bitcoin crashes
How to accept Bitcoin payments
The benefits of receiving Bitcoin payments for your business currently outweigh the risks. Setting up your business for receiving Bitcoin payments is quick and easy. Here’s how to do it in three steps:
Step #1 – Get a Bitcoin wallet or Bitcoin POS system
An obvious prerequisite for accepting Bitcoin payments is to have a place where the money goes. Fortunately, it’s free and easy to get yourself a Bitcoin wallet (read our guide here: How To Buy Bitcoin).
A Bitcoin Point-of-Sale (POS) system might be necessary if you handle a lot of payments. The POS systems will help you process transactions, and can also convert Bitcoin into fiat money instantly. The downside is that they charge fees like credit card POS systems.
Step #2 – Tell people you accept Bitcoin payments
Most physical stores will have stickers on their storefront and cash register advertising which methods of payment they receive. Print out a Bitcoin Accepted Here sticker and put it next to your Visa and Mastercard stickers. Online stores can similarly place Bitcoin Accepted Here banners.
Step #3 – Research tax regulations
The law surrounding Bitcoin payments can be unclear at the best of times. Fortunately, there are some accountancy firms now specializing in Bitcoin bookkeeping and taxation. Enlisting one of these firms to help you out with the books is recommended until the law is clearer.