As the internet continues to grow and expand, there are several ways in which new developments crop up and can be used either to assist your business or it could possibly be a concept or new invention your business should avoid. The is one such concept, here we will look at the basics of what is Bitcoins and whether or not you should track its growth as it may become relevant to your business.
What Is BitCoin?
According to the official Website: “Bitcoin is open-source; its design is public, nobody owns or controls everyone can take part.” It also is not governed by a central authority or government but is managed collectively by the network of users who utilize the currency.
What are the advantages?
As the world of transactions goes wireless, Bitcoin does provide certain advantages for businesses, they are
• Low and inexpensive transaction fees: Bitcoin is highly encrypted and secure allowing your transactions through Bitcoin to take place in an inexpensive manner with minimum processing fees. Bitcoin can also be used to facilitate fast international payments. Fees are less than one percent much lower than having a PayPal or Credit Card E payment service
• Anti-Fraud: While credit cards can be stolen or be involved in fraud activities leading to transactions that can be later reversed, Bitcoin bypasses this with irreversible payments meaning if your business has been paid through Bitcoin, that payment cannot be taken away from you. Also, the burden of the transaction falls solely on your consumer and you do not get access to their secure information shielding your business from any issue that may arise post payment
• Make the best of the trend: Bitcoin is growing at a rapid rate and consumers now, more than ever are interested in experimenting with new forms of payments. Letting your consumers pay with Bitcoin could give you increased visibility with Bitcoin users who will discover your business. Your business could be listed on SpendBitcoins and the Bitcoin Yellow Pages giving it visibility and allow you to reach newer potential customers
Guide on how to use it for your Business
When your business decides to start using Bitcoin, you must first agree that like other legal forms of payment you will declare it as part of your income and is therefore taxable as such.
1. The first step is to announce to your consumers that you accept Bitcoin. A notification on your website and mailers as well a sticker in your store will let your customers know that Bitcoin is accepted by your business
2. Figure out the best way to account for your Bitcoin transactions. Speak to your accountant about the best way to track your transactions. Many businesses account for Bitcoin as “discounts” but as this method of payment continues to grow, it would be best to maintain a transparent use of the “currency”
3. Find the right merchant solution for your business:
A range of merchant solutions exist that can facilitate your Transactions. You could also receive payments through these solutions mobile apps by simple placing a QR code near your cash register, allowing customers to scan and pay immediately through Bitcoin
4. Purchase through Gift Cards:
If your business sells Gift Cards, you could make the purchase of these cards through BitCoin, allowing your consumers to load up the cards with Bitcoin and helping you avoid cumbersome accounting for individual small transactions While Bitcoin is not the only virtual currency available, it is the most popular and its value (though still not exchangeable for actual currency) continues to grow.
Though as it is, at present, an unregulated form of currency that can be exchanged and used online- if it fails, then any amount your company builds up in Bitcoin could end up being valueless. Therefore accepting Bitcoin is a risk you will have to weigh- like most of your business decisions though risky, it could pay out in the long run.