One of the keys to allow sustainable growth of Bitcoin in the currency markets is the existence of strong channels for commerce. By this I mean the we need more merchants accepting BTC for their goods and services.
Why would a merchant that has a solid business decide to begin accepting Bitcoins?
First of all, Bitcoins eliminate a few annoying features of modern payment processors. One of those is chargebacks. Merchants lose huge portions of revenue every year to chargebacks due to stolen cards or difficult customers. In most cases, the goods are not recoverable in these situations. With Bitcoin, however, business owners can rest assured that once they see a few confirmations in the block chain, the money is theirs, for good.
Another annoyance is the high rate of fees that payment processors like credit card companies or Paypal charge for the sale of YOUR product. The fees paid on Bitcoin transactions of any significant size are negligible at most. These fees are not for the purpose of profiteering banks but to pay the electricity bills of the peers on the network that secure Bitcoin payments. Personally, I see this as a more-than-fair payment for the service they provide (0.0001 to 0.0005 BTC).
The most attractive reason to accept Bitcoins is the marketing power it has. The Bitcoin community is highly engaged and supportive of new merchants. Businesses like WordPress and Namecheap have made waves by accepting bitcoins for their respective products, with obvious financial rewards. Bitcoiners are a curious breed because they are so excited to pay with their digital currency. In fact, most of them understand just how important it is to have businesses that will accept their BTC and might be willing to pay a premium to rewards such a decision.
Bitcoins aren’t without drawbacks, of course. First of all, they require a high level of technological literacy to use effectively. Security for your private keys is achievable, but novices might end up making costly mistakes. The second drawback is that the currency is still incredibly volatile, which is suboptimal for most businesses with a fairly tight cashflow. Fortunately, there are ways to mitigate both of these factors. The most obvious one is to implement an online merchant which charges a fee to accept bitcoin payments on your behalf and provide you with the spot price of fiat in your bank account.
Another advantage of using Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies is the high anonymity involved, for example Komodo Currencies provides Secure & Anonymous Currency Payments (read their white paper for more info).
In any case, if you are a merchant of any sort and haven’t explored Bitcoin for your business yet, I would suggest you to do so.
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