Bitcoin is the world’s first global digital currency, specifically designed for online transactions.
We outline the arguments for and against accepting this unique payment method:
- There are no fees. Unlike credit cards, there are no transaction fees incurred, which can make online purchases seem more affordable and tempting to consumers.
- It’s global. Customers on every continent are quoted one universal price, without exchange rates or foreign currency charges to consider or worry about.
- It’s secure. The digital wallets containing bitcoin use end-to-end encryption. That makes them smoother than ecommerce forms, with their clunky 2FA and CVV fields.
- It’s instant. There’s no waiting for a BACS to be processed, or hoping a check doesn’t bounce. Funds are transferred instantly, which is great for maintaining cash flow.
- Payments are guaranteed. Currency can be bought, exchanged or earned, but it can’t be spent until it’s in someone’s wallet. That eliminates any risk of non-payment.
- Few firms offer it. Take-up has been slower than predicted, so companies can be the first in their industry to accept it – stealing a march on less forward-thinking rivals.
- It’s anonymous. Because the ledger recording each transaction doesn’t ask for account details, this is the perfect payment method for surprise gifts or sensitive purchases.
- It’s anonymous. This can also be a drawback. Bitcoin has long been associated with illicit activities, and its criminal associations have deterred many potential users.
- Values fluctuate. Because it’s not underwritten by a bank or pegged to a currency, bitcoin’s value varies wildly. That makes it tricky to maintain accurate prices online.
- Laws are vague. If any payment disputes arise, they might end up setting a legal precedent, due to the lack of similar court cases completed to date.
- Public awareness is low. There are fewer than a thousand bitcoin ATMS across America. Few people even recognize this eight-year-old currency’s Ƀ symbol.
- Fraud remains an issue. Even though the blockchain of transaction logs is incorruptible, digital wallets have been hacked and exchanges have been robbed.
- It’s not a real world currency. Firms trading both online and offline might be deterred from offering a form of payment that can only be used for online transactions.
7. It needs special payment gateways. Though dedicated payment plugins are available, additional payment portals bloat websites and slow down ecommerce pages.
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