22 Jan Pros and cons of bitcoin for business
With more and more companies accepting and making payments in cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, is it time for your business to catch the digital wave?
It’s already possible to buy anything from beer to books and pizza to real estate in Bitcoin, with new companies announcing they will accept this or some other cryptocurrency almost daily.
Forsyth Real Estate in Sydney was the first real estate agent in Australia to dip its toe in crypto waters. Almost four years ago, Forsyth principal, James Snodgrass announced he would accept Bitcoin for property deposits and advertising, which made news around the world at the time.
Snodgrass cheerfully admits he hasn’t sold a single property in Bitcoin, but the marketing pay-off has been phenomenal. “We got property inquiries and offers of properties for sale from around the world”, he says.
Brad Farleigh also saw an opportunity to make his online business, Watch Straps Australia, stand out from the crowd. He accepts payment in Bitcoin and another popular cryptocurrency, Ethereum. “My website’s demographic is 25-40-year-old males with relatively high disposable income and this aligns greatly with the users who are adopting cryptos”, he says.
“Sometimes the only way to test the water is to wade in.”
How do I get started?
Using Bitcoin is a bit like digital banking. To accept or make payments in Bitcoins or other cryptocurrencies you need to download and install a Bitcoin wallet. You can learn about and compare wallets on finder.com.
Payments can be made a few ways, using QR codes that allow customers to use their smartphone, payment processing systems that automatically convert digital currency to dollars or a custom point of sale terminal.
As well as positioning your business as a first mover, responsive to certain types of customers, other advantages of Bitcoin are secure payments worldwide and low transaction costs with no bank middle-men. Unlike PayPal and credit cards, Bitcoin payments are irreversible, so the cost of fraud is no longer pushed onto merchants.