Reasons Why Service Providers Should Be Accepting Bitcoin in 2017
BTC is excellent for large transfers and international payments and offers protections for sellers.
Overview and Technology
Bitcoin is a distributed digital peer to peer currency that can be transferred instantly and anonymously between two people in the world. It is electronic cash without interference from governments, regulators, or banks. A bitcoin is a number associated with a bitcoin address. The address is a destination for a bitcoin payment containing 26 to 35 alphanumeric characters. There is a unique address for each transaction and addresses are not intended to be used more than once. Addresses are not wallets or accounts and do not carry balances. Addresses only receive funds. A best practice is to keep your BTC in a wallet where you control the keys opposed to keeping your coins in an exchange. For more of an overview check out bitcoin.org and /r/bitcoin.
In this article I will outline some of the benefits of accepting bitcoin for service providers. I am writing this from the perspective of providing Internet services, specifically hosting services.
Avoid or reduce your transaction processing fees
Credit cards and merchant services can take up to 3–4% processing fees on every transaction as a receiver. Accepting bitcoin comes with a small fee to get the transaction confirmed and processed. This fee is paid by the sender. There is no fee to receive BTC. The transaction fee is received by the first bitcoin miner who mines a block containing the transaction. The fee is determined by how large the transaction is and how fast you want it confirmed, also based upon the networks condition. Transaction fees are proportional to the number of input and output coins to a transaction.
Currencies and payment processors allowing chargebacks (such as major credit cards or merchant services) can take the money they processed back from you if the sender doesn't want to continue the payment or claims fraud. Many times in my history providing hosting services we provided a client a server for weeks and for some reason they decided to chargeback the payment and not pay for service. We were left without payment after spending our time and resources on the client.
In the service provider scenario the seller has the advantage after receiving BTC. After the buyer sends BTC to your address, it is yours. Unlike PayPal where the buyer always has the advantage (or can exercise loopholes like item not as described scam on eBay) once the BTC payment is sent to your wallet, its yours and no governing party can take it from you or return it to the sender. Its up to the sender to only send bitcoins to trusted persons. By accepting BTC you do not have to worry about your funds being taken after services have been provided. Bitcoin is designed that your money is yours and yours alone.
Open up to more global client
Bitcoin is a global currency so you can safely and easily accept payments from people or businesses anywhere. No verifications required. This may open up your business to clients that were unable to pay you in the past. Bitcoin is an ideal currency to accept large international payments today because of the speed of the transaction and the security for the receiver. You may gain a new client with a big order just because you offer bitcoin payments and your competition does not.
Distinguish your service
Not many services today accept bitcoin so you may attract new clients just by having a more diverse payment option. As a service provider you should be making it easy for clients to pay you in any way possible and start using your services. There are countries with governmental restrictions on cash (most recently Venezuela and India) where bitcoin is emerging as an unregulated option to local currency and this will likely continue in the future. Stay ahead of the curve.
You will earn returns on your payments
BTC is up over 180% in 2017 and up 30 days 90% as of writing this article.
This week a small airline in Japan, Peach started accepting bitcoin payment for flights. Japanese law recently allowed the use of bitcoin as a legal payment method. Bitcoins are valuable because they are scarce; only 21 million total and more than 2/3 have already been accounted for. Once supply reduces demand will increase. Many people may think that bitcoin is risky and have hesitation toward buying or accepting bitcoin but the reality is that when adoption increases the currency will stabilize. Right now bitcoin is an excellent alternative to cash and also has many excellent use cases (see below).
Coinbase and bitpay both make it easy to add bitcoin payments into your site or service. A few other companies offer prepaid via cards and BTC merchant services as well. You can integrate coinbase payment buttons on your site in minutes.
If you are offering a service or selling goods online consider accepting bitcoin today. There are clear advantages to credit card payments that make BTC a safe payment method for sellers to receive payments for services. Bitcoin is excellent for large purchases and large international transactions because of speed and the protections outlined above in comparison to traditional wire methods. Its time to spread the word about bitcoin and its wonderful application in our connected society. Start accepting and holding bitcoins today.
TLDR; As as service provider you do not have any fees to receive BTC, you no longer have to worry about chargebacks, you become more open to a global client, new possible client regions, your payment is secured, your payment will grow in value, integration is easy.