Cash, card or crypto? Will bitcoin be your new payment option of choice?
Since its launch twelve years ago, bitcoin has grown to be the world’s largest cryptocurrency, registering an all-time value high of $61,000 last Sunday (March 14 2021).
Why go for crypto?
Since moving beyond its price discovery phase, the introduction of financial products and services such as ICE’s Bakkt in 2018, saw greater liquidity and price stability of the cryptocurrency. In the past few years, regulatory clarity has increased and infrastructure for confidential transactions have improved, while developments have been made to create more friendly user interfaces. All of which has lead to an increase in use cases for bitcoin as payment methods; in just six years, between 2013 and 2019, there was a 700% surge in the number of business venues that accepted the cryptocurrency as a payment option.
Earlier this year, Tesla, the world’s largest electric-car manufacturer made headlines after it revealed its investment of $1.5 billion in bitcoin. The clean energy company is also planning to accept cryptocurrency as a mode of payment for its products, and they’re not the only ones… With over eighty-one million transactions in 2018 alone, bitcoin is proving its usefulness in commerce and is becoming ever more competitive with high capacity payment rails such as Visa and Mastercard.
Bitcoin accepted here!
In 2018 bitcoin recorded a transaction volume of $2 trillion compared with PayPal’s $578 billion. Perhaps that’s why just this week, Visa revealed their plans to enable the purchase of bitcoin with visa credentials, as well as allow bitcoin to be translated into a fiat currency where it can be used at any of the 70 million places around the world where Visa is accepted. But you don’t have to be a Visa customer in the market for a Tesla to be able to pay with bitcoin – you don’t even need to own the cryptocurrency yourself. Bitcoin exchanges enable almost any e-commerce business to accept bitcoin payments and are contributing to the increase in use cases for day-to-day payments with the cryptocurrency.
How Bitcoin payments are growing in popularity
This uptake comes as no surprise when looking at the benefits to both customer and company for paying with and accepting bitcoin, especially in the case of using an exchange facilitator such as CoinCorner. Founded in 2014, CoinCorner is one of the leading British based Bitcoin exchanges and is driving use cases for bitcoin as a payment method.
For the company using CoinCorner at checkout, there is no direct exposure to bitcoin or price volatility, no rolling reserve held over their funds and no daily or even monthly processing volume restrictions. Bank settlements are instantaneous and can be made daily, while transactions are irreversible, meaning no fraud or chargebacks. In comparison to traditional payment methods, bitcoin offers low fees and in the case of CoinCoiner, no monthly minimum fee is charged. As well as being financially advantageous for companies to accept bitcoin, it offers a competitive advantage to reach new markets and audiences. From the customer’s point of view, it is a fast and easy QR code checkout process and for the business, transactions risk is screened and scored.
Due partially to the increase in uptake of exchange facilitators like CoinCorner, the idea of paying for clothes, books and even stationary with cryptocurrency is now very much a reality for our everyday lives.
Cryptocurrency has come a long way since 2010 when Laszlo Hanyecz paid the current price equivalent of $446 million in bitcoin for two pizzas, yet there is a strong sense of circularity as we come round to the possibility of even paying our taxes in bitcoin.