As a small business owner, you want to appeal to customers with disposable income. For your customer base, some of that money is in cryptocurrency. You’re considering accepting cryptocurrency payments for your online sales. Is that a good idea?
Since there’s a lot to learn and do to set up a bitcoin or other cryptocurrency payment acceptance system, it’s best to determine if enough potential customers will use it to make it worthwhile.
Be aware of the risks and downsides
Since the value of cryptocurrency is volatile, you’re taking some risk by accepting it for payment. The payment could be worth far less the day after purchase – or far more. Further, because many of your expenses have to be paid with traditional currency, it can be impractical to have much of your income tied up in cryptocurrency.
There’s also an issue with refunds. If you have the type of business where customers may request a refund, you need a record of the price they actually paid for something the day they purchased it. If you’re selling expensive items that are unlikely to be returned or exchanged, that’s less of a concern.
It’s still largely unregulated
There’s also the issue of the anonymity associated with cryptocurrency. It’s the preferred currency for drug lords, hackers and other criminals. U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen recently noted the “growing problem” of the misuse of cryptocurrency.
It’s still relatively new, so regulations are still being developed. If you do begin accepting it, you need to stay up-to-date on all of the laws and regulations for businesses that accept it.
Bitcoin is currently the most widely accepted cryptocurrency. Businesses in the U.S. and around the world including AT&T, Overstock, Microsoft and some professional sports teams accept bitcoin for ticket purchases as well as merchandise.
Get some good advice before you decide
If you’re considering accepting payments in Bitcoin or another cryptocurrency, even on a limited basis, it’s wise to consult with an experienced attorney to help ensure that you’re in full compliance with the law and to help avoid potential litigation down the road.