Jump on the Bitcoin bandwagon and get your business booming.
Overstock, Expedia, and Newegg all have something in common other than the fact all three are large online retailers. The fact is that all three saw a distinct increase in brand loyalty the moment that they started to offer bitcoin as a payment choice.
Apart from offering massive bonuses, like far fewer fees than credit card payments, a hip and fresh business edge, and often free media attention- accepting bitcoin payments at your business is incredibly simple to implement. There’s little to no startup cost and turning your coin into fiat funds is much simpler than you’d think.
Business and Bitcoin: Is Accepting Bitcoin Even Legal?
Bitcoin is an incredibly legal currency to accept in your business. Assuming there are no local laws in place that ban the use of cryptocurrencies. Not only is it legal, but it’s often far more secure, for both you and your customers, to use than fiat or credit. Unlike partially anonymous or obscured transactions, offered by payment platforms like Paypal- bitcoin transactions are completely irreversible and final. No chargebacks or disputes can occur.
If you choose to use bitcoin as an acceptable currency in your business, you will be required to pay taxes on that income in accordance with local and state laws. It’s important that your account has some familiarity with bitcoin, or that you find one who specializes in it. The taxes associated with cryptocurrency holding can be confusing and vary greatly depending on where you’re at in the world, but in all fairness, that statement could easily describe any business tax that you might be subject to.
Keeping in mind that the volatility of the market suggests that bitcoin for smaller ticket items puts your company at less of a risk of losing money during transaction times. While bitcoin makes it possible to have feeless cross-border payment systems, you may see conversation fees all the same once you transfer these new funds into your home fiat. Keeping transactions small and individually validated, can help to curb some of these associated losses. Which is one reason why bitcoin works great for smaller businesses, high volume sales of cheaper items, or crowdfunding organizations.
Business and Bitcoin: How to Start Accepting Bitcoin
How you start to accept payments in bitcoin for your business is largely dependent on what kind of business you have, what sort of items you sell, and who you sell them to. All of these things will be deciding factors when it comes to how you plan on storing and processing those coins.
Get a Few Wallets
First things first: you’re going to need an account that is capable of accepting bitcoin. Which means you’ll need a wallet. In fact, you’re going to need at least two. One wallet works as your accounts receivable. This wallet will be considered “hot storage”, or be connected to the internet. They allow you to transact with the balance as you need. This can make it simple to quickly convert bitcoin into fiat. Should you plan on not holding these profits as bitcoin.
If you do plan on holding all or any of your profits as bitcoin, you’re going to want a “cold storage” solution or hardware wallet. These wallets are not connected to the internet and offer a more secure solution of storing your coins long term. Keeping your riches safe from the prying keystrokes of hackers.
Get Your Sign
Once you’re fully prepared to accept bitcoin, get those signs! If you’re online, there are a number of payment buttons and banners proudly declaring “bitcoin accepted here” make sure to include them anywhere that you would include other payment information. For brick and mortar stores, snag some stickers that you can place on your door and/or cash registers, or any other place where you would put accepted payment stickers.
Once you start accepting bitcoin, there’s little doubt that the bitcoin community will stand up and recognize your inclusivity. There are still a precious few merchants that accept crypto payments. So becoming one early generally offers a business a bit of notoriety.
Consider a Payment Processor
While it’s not necessary that a business uses a payment processor when accepting bitcoin, they’re actually incredibly useful platforms that cost pennies compared to the fees that most credit card processors cost. BitPay and Coinbase are two uber-popular providers.
Some payment processors will offer business solution software and applications designed with your bitcoin strategy in mind. From POS systems, emailed invoices, useful online plugins, and even bitcoin to fiat instant conversion.
Business and Bitcoin: What to Do with Your Bitcoin Once You Have It
Once you’ve started to accept bitcoin as payment, there are a few ways to go about keeping it- or rather, not keeping it.
Convert to fiat quickly
Some companies will convert bitcoin to fiat automatically after accepting payment. This can lock in the price for the item(s) sold, ensuring that the business is paid exactly what they have asked and largely removing the risk of market spikes significantly reducing the value of coins.
While it is a bit riskier, occasionally businesses will only convert some (or none) of their profits into fiat. Hoping to play the market a bit and secure better values for the bitcoins they’ve just been given. Creating a higher profit margin just by waiting for the price of bitcoin to go up.
Beware of the risks of volatility
Playing the volatility game can prove to be fairly profitable. But the amount of dedication and attention that this requires is far outside of the availability of most businesses. Also- as a general rule, when market values skyrocket- so do fees and transaction wait times, meaning that you could sorely miss out on profits, and even set yourself up to lose money if you try and play the field.
Bounce between wallets
If you do plan on saving any amount of bitcoin as bitcoin- make sure that you bounce it between your hot and cold storage as necessary. Unless you plan to transact an amount of bitcoin in the near future, that bitcoin should absolutely be in cold storage- preferably on a hardware wallet. These wallets can easily transfer coins back and forth between existing hot wallets. Making it easy for you to play around with that coin on exchanges. Or use it to pay off merchants or processors.
Just make sure that if you don’t need it, it’s in the fridge.