Slowly but surely, cryptocurrencies are gaining prominence as a very real threat to the current financial system. Some people are still laughing at the possibility that cryptocurrencies might one day be used as reserve currencies, or even as official state currencies. However, while none of us can predict the future of our world, or of cryptocurrencies in general, there is no doubt that in the here and now, they are a technology of growing significance.
Cryptocurrencies have been used in eCommerce for a while now, but it is only relatively recently that they have started to be accepted in brick and mortar retail stores. Adding the ability to process cryptocurrency transactions into your business is much easier than many people realize. In this article, we will talk you through how to start accepting payments, and choosing which cryptocurrency, or currencies, to start accepting in your store.
Depending on the exact cryptocurrencies involved, and your current point of sale setup, there may be some steps required that are unique to your setup. However, regardless of the specifics, there are a few steps that you will need to take regardless.
First of all, you will need an account to receive payments into. Just as to be paid with a normal, fiat, currency, you will need to have a bank account for the money, so you will need a receiving address for your crypto. You have two options for this, you can either sign up for a custodial wallet, which is similar to having a bank account with a particular bank. Or, you can use your own wallet. For handling payments relating to your business, you will probably want to be extra safe and use your own hardware wallet.
When you are deciding on a wallet, you will find the many guides like this from Crypto Head to be an invaluable resource.
Once you have a receiving address, you then need the associated QR codes. QR codes are an interesting concept. They are a simple technology; you scan them, and they load a corresponding URL. QR codes are on everything these days, and no one could care any less about them. When handling cryptocurrency payments, however, scanning the QR code is the simplest way of initiating a transfer.
That’s all you need! As long as you have somewhere to receive your money, and a way for customers in your store to pay by sending their money, you’re good to go!
Once you have made the decision to begin accepting cryptocurrency, the next thing you need to do is decide which currencies you will accept. Bitcoin is the best known and most popular cryptocurrency at the moment, so this makes it an obvious choice. Even if you intend on accepting other currencies, you should accept Bitcoin as well.
The limitations of Bitcoin, including its large transaction fees, means that offering alternatives is a good idea. Coins like Ethereum and Nano both allow users to avoid the high fees and long wait times of Bitcoin.
The final piece of the puzzle, one that you will want to get into place as soon as you can beforehand, is how you will go about converting your cryptocurrency payments into your local fiat currency. There are plenty of exchanges like CoinBase that will make converting your crypto into fiat currencies as simple and straightforward as possible.
Note that the options for cashing out will vary from currency to currency. Of course, you will always have the option of privately selling your cryptocurrency for real money, but you will have to establish your own procedures for doing so.
Cryptocurrencies may well be the future of economics. As time goes on, more and more people are waking up to the advantages of using cryptocurrency in both their personal and professional lives. Adding the ability to accept payments in cryptocurrencies is an easy step to take, and well worth it if you want to expand your business’s reach while also futureproofing it.