One of the biggest problems surrounding bitcoin has to do with the fact that it isn’t used much as a method of payment. According to new statistics from top crypto exchanges, this may be changing.
More Merchants Are Accepting Bitcoin
Two cryptocurrency trading platforms – Coinbase and BitPay – show that more merchants are utilizing bitcoin and cryptocurrencies. BitPay, itself, processed more than $1 billion in transactions in which the world’s leading form of crypto was utilized as a method of payment for assorted goods and services.
In addition, Coinbase processed an additional $135 million in crypto and bitcoin payments – a jump of 600 percent since the previous year. Analytics firm Chainalysis states in a report for 2019 that as much as $4 billion BTC payments occurred over the past 12 months, and bitcoin in exchange for merchandise is becoming far more common.
Coinbase Commerce lead Sahil Amoli explains:
In 2020, we’re hyper-focused on providing a complete merchant experience with business features and insights, better serving other geographies with internationalization, adding more currencies and building seamless integrations that leverage other Coinbase products.
One of the biggest issues surrounding crypto is its vulnerability to price swings and general volatility. No other asset is as susceptible to losing value as bitcoin, and thus many companies and stores refuse to accept it as a payment method, and in many ways, you can’t really blame them.
Consider this: you buy $100 worth of merchandise and you use bitcoin to pay for it. Tomorrow, the price of bitcoin goes down, meaning the $100 you gave the store turns into $80. You’ll still walk away with everything you bought, but the store now misses out on $20 worth of profit. It’s not necessarily fair to the merchant, which explains why so many have been reluctant to say “yes” to bitcoin payments.
Even still, while the numbers are steadily increasing over the years to the $4 billion reported by Chainalysis, this number is still small beans when compared to the $3.7 trillion in transactions processed via credit cards according to the U.S. Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection.
People Haven’t Caught Up Yet
Jean-Michel Daumas – who owns a boutique in Paris, France – echoes this sentiment. In an interview, he states that many people do not utilize crypto as they should, considering it was always designed for payments, and businesses, in many ways, are really missing out:
People are not ready to pay with crypto. They prefer to keep it rather than spend it. I prefer to receive payments in crypto because they are more secure for me. For example, when I receive payments from PayPal, some people cheat and say they didn’t receive the goods.
Daumas says that over the last two years, his store has processed less than 100 total crypto and bitcoin payments.