When it comes to businesses, many merchants are hesitant to accept cryptocurrencies as payments. This is largely due to the fact that, when there are multiple such payments, the merchant needs to be able to identify each one. But the question of why won’t merchants accept crypto has much larger implications. Let’s take it from the top.
Without a clear way of doing this, there is a greater risk of fraud. However, by using intermediary wallets for each payment, businesses can get around this problem and ensure that each payment is properly accounted for. In this way, cryptocurrencies can be used more seamlessly and with less risk of fraud, right?
The Cold Truth
Well, not so fast. If the merchant’s business expenses are in crypto, no problem – then he can pay those expenses with crypto from his wallet. But it’s a rare case, and most merchants want to exchange crypto for fiat for many different reasons (taxes, payroll, supply chain etc.). Such a merchant could collect crypto for some time and then exchange it for fiat, saving on transaction costs. The problem is that the merchant never knows how much fiat money he will receive. Moreover, the high volatility of crypto brings with it arguably the biggest issue.
The volatility of the exchange rate can leave merchants susceptible to losses. For example, if a merchant sells a product for €100 that cost him €80 to produce, he would only receive about €90 in fiat currency after accounting for commissions and fees.
If he were to accept payment in cryptocurrency, he could potentially receive €98 worth of cryptocurrency. However, the volatility of the exchange rate means that the value of his cryptocurrency could drop by the time he converts it back to fiat currency, leaving him at a loss.
One way to protect against this is for merchants to add a percentage to the price of their goods and services when accepting cryptocurrency. This way, even if the value of the cryptocurrency decreases, they will still end up breaking even or making a small profit. But this can often lead to customers feeling like they are being overcharged, as they are essentially paying a risk premium.
What Future Brings
It is possible that in the future merchants will be able to hedge against the risk of exchange rate volatility, making it easier and more appealing for them to accept cryptocurrencies. Until that time, advocates of cryptocurrency will need to work on educating merchants about the benefits of accepting crypto as payment, as well as reassuring them that they will not be left at a loss if the value of their cryptocurrencies declines.
So, here’s what can be done to up crypto’s street cred and entice merchants to be more proactive in accepting it:
Cryptocurrencies are often seen as volatile and merchants are often hesitant to accept them as payment. However, stablecoins could help to make crypto payments more stable and attractive to merchants. By pegging a cryptocurrency to a stable asset, such as gold or fiat currencies, the volatility of the cryptocurrency is reduced and merchants can be more confident that they will receive the full amount of fiat currency that they are expecting. This stability could make crypto payments more appealing to merchants and help to increase adoption.
Fix flaws in the tech
While blockchain technology is still in its early stages, there are a number of flaws that need to be fixed before it can be adopted by merchants. Some blockchains are slow and expensive but reliable and open. Others are fast but too new and with a limited number of nodes, and thus not open. The more blockchains and new algorithms we have, the better. Ultimately, there may be a faster, cheaper, and more reliable blockchain supported by banks that could represent a major breakthrough for the payment industry. Banks could potentially act as nodes on this new blockchain and facilitate payments in a truly transparent manner. Whether or not this is ultimately achieved remains to be seen, but it is clear that there is a lot of potential for the blockchain to revolutionize the world of payments.
Educate and Conquer
As the number of people using cryptocurrencies grows, the demand for crypto payment services will also increase, which should eventually lead to more stability in prices. In the meantime, we can encourage merchants to start accepting cryptocurrencies by educating them about the benefits of these digital currencies, such as enhanced security and lower transaction fees. By working together to promote the adoption of cryptocurrencies among merchants, we can help drive long-term growth in this exciting new area of digital finance.
To begin with, some obvious stuff: we need to continue working on increasing awareness and education about crypto, developing better infrastructure and tools, and creating a more stable economy so that merchants can trust that their payments will not lose value. With more merchants accepting crypto, we can help make it a more mainstream form of payment and increase its utility.
Second, we need to develop better infrastructure and tools for using crypto in daily life. This includes things like automated wallets that take care of buying and selling at the right time, fast and easy ways to convert cryptocurrency back into fiat currency, or simple systems for tracking payments.
Finally, we need to work on creating a more stable economy. This will mean working on things like limiting the supply of coins, regulating initial coin offerings, or taking other steps that can help make cryptocurrency more stable and trustworthy. With these measures in place, merchants will be much more likely to start accepting crypto as payments for their goods and services.