Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are incredibly popular among investors, and public interest is increasing. Though they were seen as a niche financial product at first, the profits that people have made from them have changed people’s perceptions of cryptocurrencies. The biggest hurdle they face before being seen as legitimate as regular paper currency is the ability to buy and sell products using them as a means of payment.

Though some vehicles do exist for exchanging crypto for goods and services, these always involve a middleman who is swapping the crypto coins for hard cash to pass on to a retailer. Until brick and mortar, as well as online outlets, start accepting crypto as cash, these currencies will always be seen as a novelty or niche financial product.

The future is looking good for cryptocurrencies as more retailers look for ways to accept cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum as payment. This quick and simple guide on how retailers and service providers can begin to accept crypto for payments and how they can take advantage of these fast growing digital currencies will help prepare all types of businesses for the digital age.

Knowing The Prices

The biggest enemy of cryptocurrency is the volatility of their value. Traditional currencies can experience big changes in value, but this is a rare occurrence. Most ‘paper’ currencies are remarkably stable over time, making it easy to set prices for goods and services. The changes in the value of cryptocurrency make it more difficult to price products competitively without risking a loss. Staying on top of changes in the market will be crucial to pricing goods and services in crypto.

There are tools to help. This easy-to-check economic calendar from TradingView can be used to monitor markets and keep an eye on upcoming announcements that can affect the value of any currency or commodity. You can also engage with their online community to stay abreast of developments in the crypto and paper currency markets. Tools like this economic calendar can be used to set prices in cryptocurrencies for goods and services based on up to date exchange rates for Bitcoins to US Dollars, for example.

Be Wallet Ready

Bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies are exchanged using digital wallets. The crypto coins pass from one wallet to another, and this exchange is entered into the blockchain, which is a digital ledger that records the movements and values of cryptocurrency. If you are a retailer or service provider that wants to accept payments in Bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency you will have to have your own digital wallet to make the exchange.

There are many different wallets and cryptocurrency services, and it is highly recommended anyone does a lot of research into each before choosing one. Not all are equal to one another, and some crypto services may have limitations that will affect your ability to trade. These wallets will also store your crypto wealth, so they need to be secure. You can then exchange your cryptocurrencies for other currencies with your digital wallet and perhaps make extra profit from changes in value on the crypto exchanges.

Use Escrow Services

Cryptocurrency exchanges require an added element of trust between the consumer and the provider. Unlike paper money that can be seen and held in the hand or an electronic payment that is backed by a reputable company like Visa or Mastercard, crypto payments rely on a transfer from one wallet to another and are unregulated by either a financial services company or a government entity.

Digital escrow services can help protect both consumers and suppliers by acting as a middleman between the two until both are satisfied with the transaction. They hold onto crypto funds until all the conditions of a sale have been met. If the transaction falls through for some reason, both parties can be made whole as the escrow service has been holding the funds involved. Services like these are commonly used in other types of exchange, such as in the real estate market. The more escrow services are used in cryptocurrency funded purchases, the more legitimate and safe digital currencies will become.

Electronic payments are bringing an end to paper cash. As more and more payments are made electronically, the opportunity for cryptocurrencies to enter the retail space opens wider. The businesses that embrace crypto earlier will have a head start on those that don’t, creating the possibility of a competitive edge over the rest of the market.

Start looking for ways to include crypto in your business now to be in a better position when times change and digital currencies become a part of daily life. There is a huge potential for not only having an advantage over your competitors but also to make profits from the changes in the value of cryptocurrencies.