There is no financial construct more significant than cryptocurrency in today’s world. The simple fact of the matter is that, no matter what you think of it, cryptocurrency is dominating the discourse. People all over the world are checking in on their crypto wallets 24/7, keeping track of the endless stream of news surrounding various coins.
However, where crypto rarely comes into the conversation for most people is in the realm of ecommerce. If you are selling online, you may be wondering why you would want to include cryptocurrency payment portals on your website. After all, a concept that was supposed to transform the way we spend money has instead become a commodity to trade. People buy cryptocurrencies because they want to take advantage of a great way to make money, not because they plan to use it to buy goods.
There are many other payment options you will think of first, from credit card portals to PayPal. Cryptocurrency may not seem like a particularly useful way to receive payments. The logic behind this idea makes sense. Very few people are spending cryptocurrency. Using an investment to pay for everyday goods will never seem wise. Furthermore, you as a seller are taking a risk by providing a crypto payment portal. If you sell a product for US$10 through your crypto portal, a subsequent dip in the value of that particular coin could lead to a withdrawal worth a fraction of the price. Why risk it?
However, there are reasons you should offer cryptocurrencies as a payment option on your ecommerce site. Consider the following.
One of the biggest benefits of crypto as a usable currency is that it is much harder to track than other currencies. Whereas local currencies are regulated by the local government, a decentralized currency can slip past the financial authorities without a problem. As a tax-paying citizen, this might not seem like it should matter. But the reality is that many people today value their privacy, even if they are not trying to get one over on the authorities.
Providing the option to pay with crypto gives the privacy-obsessed customer a way to buy your products. And while this may seem like overkill, they’re actually right to be concerned. We could all do with taking privacy more seriously, as we have become so used to giving it up for the sake of convenience.
It’s not possible to go completely off the grid when it comes to payments, but crypto could become very useful in this regard in the near future. You should be prepared for it. If you're concerned about the rapidly-changing values of cryptocurrencies, you can withdraw these payments immediately.
Alternatively, you don’t need to withdraw your crypto payments immediately. Most of your customers are going to pay using traditional means. The vast minority will use cryptocurrency to pay. Why not take advantage of these payments as a unique investment opportunity?
Your income will come from regular payments. Instead of treating crypto payments as income, keep them. Over time, when the cryptocurrency you own increases in value, you benefit far more than you would have by simply treating it as regular income.
Of course, this will only be possible if you are not selling products that are very costly. For high-value items, you will need to withdraw the payments in order to cover their costs at the least. And, if a large proportion of your customers do end up choosing the crypto payment option, you will need to reconsider using it as an investment.
A significant reason to offer cryptocurrency payment options on your ecommerce site actually has to do with the fact that crypto will, in some way, be useful. This may not be how the creators of cryptocurrencies intended, however. Increasingly, so-called stablecoins are being made available.
A stablecoin is a type of cryptocurrency that is pegged to a more stable currency or commodity. For example, 1 USD Coin (USDC) will always get you 1 US dollar. Many institutions are working on stablecoins, and the reserve banks of a number of countries are working to create their own.
What is the point of a stablecoin? Stablecoins provide some of the benefits of cryptocurrency, including privacy and security, without the risk of your money losing its value. You lose the benefit of decentralisation and, if a government is funding the creation of a particular stablecoin, you lose its regulatory independence.
In spite of its lackings, stablecoin is becoming a common utilization of cryptocurrency. It works as a payment option and we can expect to see more people beginning to use stablecoins. Your website should be ready to accept stablecoins when this begins to happen.
Cryptocurrency will be far down on your list of payment portals as an online seller, but don’t let that stop you from providing the option. As the cryptocurrency space grows, you will see more opportunities for its use.