Throughout 2017, anyone paying attention to financial markets has had to recognize that cryptocurrency carries some weight as a commodity. Specifically, Bitcoin soared the way only its staunchest advocates had ever predicted, rising from just under $1,000 (per BTC) to anywhere between $3,500 and $4,000 at a given moment. As you may deduce from that range, it’s still an extremely volatile asset – but one that is generally highly valued.
This is increasingly viewed as the appropriate way to view the leading cryptocurrency. None other than Forbes has claimed that Bitcoin is an asset, not a currency. It is viewed by more and more people as an investment vehicle and nothing more. However, the more success Bitcoin has, the more it registers in people’s attention; the more legitimate it becomes as a commodity, the more utility it may have as a currency.
Many people who own Bitcoin still want to use it, rather than simply stash it away as they might shares in a stock, or even gold or oil. These people view the cryptocurrency through the lens of its original intent: as a safe, secure, and convenient means of digital payment that takes ordinary cash or credit out of the equation. And it stands to reason that if they want to use Bitcoin, they will seek out merchants and companies that allow them to do so. In this respect, accepting Bitcoin (and advertising the fact that you do so) could in fact be a selling point.
For one thing, it will help you to keep up with your competition. As one general overview of Bitcoin made note of some time ago, it has become easier to find Bitcoin-accepting merchants. There are aggregator tools and even literal maps that can show consumers where they’re able to spend their Bitcoins on goods and services. And since late-2014 and early-2015, we’ve begun to see major ecommerce sites and online retailers get in on cryptocurrency as well. Dell was perhaps first out of the gate in using Bitcoin acceptance specifically to attract customers, at one time offering 10 percent off its Alienware computers for those who were paying via Bitcoin.
That said, the reverse can also be true. Rather than simply keeping up with competition, you might also be able to differentiate yourself from the vast majority of merchants and ecommerce sites that still do not accept Bitcoin. While we have seen more such merchants get on board over the time, it’s been pointed out that in the greater scheme, Bitcoin acceptance is virtually zero, and there are some obstacles to its growth. Furthermore, some Bitcoin holders are reluctant to spend the digital currency because of its aforementioned growth as an asset. This could in the near future lead to a population of Bitcoin holders who simply don’t know what to do with their digital currency – with too few places to spend, and uncertainty about whether or not they should. By offering an outlet, and advertising that you’re willing to take on that Bitcoin, you could effectively generate a small but significant new sales channel.
This is an ever-evolving market, and thus one that’s difficult to keep tabs on. We’ve just acknowledged both growth and uncertainty in Bitcoin acceptance simultaneously, and it’s appropriate to do so! But to put things more simply, open acceptance of cryptocurrency can’t hurt you, and it may just open up some interesting sales opportunities.