Should merchants and consumers accept cryptocurrency payments?

Payment methods have changed throughout the years and recently, cryptocurrency has been making headlines left and right. Cryptocurrency, in case you have not heard, is a new form of money that uses encryptions and the internet. Thanks to the rise of Bitcoin, an example of cryptocurrency, a lot of consumers opt to buy cryptocurrency and multiple businesses have started accepting them. CNBC reports that according to Chainalysis, consumers have used $190.2 million worth of Bitcoin back in 2017. Yelp has also placed a filter to find places that accept cryptocurrency. The rise of interest in cryptocurrency makes us wonder: should we start accepting cryptocurrency as a form of payment in the future of ecommerce?

The short answer, yes. If you want the long answer, let me explain.

Bitcoin Ethereum LiteCoin | Source: Getty Images

  • As a business owner, cryptocurrency expands your market by offering several payment options.

Though skeptical as most merchants may be, millennials are more likely to buy cryptocurrency compared to older generations. Josh Reif of Reif Ventures told Forbes that “accepting cryptocurrency can help you attract a younger demographic of people who prefer the simplicity and anonymity of crypto transactions.” As more and more consumers ask business owners if they accept cryptocurrency, the more cryptocurrency business opportunities arise. Björk, a grammy-nominated Icelandic singer, for example started accepting cryptocurrency for her 9th album Utopia back in 2017. The Next Web reported this as a pivotal moment for the music industry since record sales have been dropping since the advent of music streaming. While this may not have increased music sales overall, integrating a blockchain-based system opens doors for major industries to consider cryptocurrency business opportunities.

  • By allowing cryptocurrency in your business, you build trust among your customers.

Blockchain technology is an immutable public ledger that holds the entire history of transactions done by users. This spreadsheet allows people to trace every detail from client information up to update prices of goods. Carmen Mastropierro told Forbes that “some customers feel safer paying with crypto as compared to PayPal or credit cards”. The simplicity of the cryptocurrency platform allows customers to be in control of their money and the things they buy.

  • As a consumer, cryptocurrency uses a peer-to-peer functionality similar to other mobile apps.

The Manifest reported that the current popular payment method is no longer credit cards but peer-to-peer mobile apps. Since the rise of smartphones, everything has been converted to digital form and yet the only thing hasn’t been widely accepted is digital money. Yet the article emphasized that nearly half of smartphone owners use peer-to-peer payment apps. This is probably due to its convenience and better security. These peer-to-peer apps offer multifunctionality that physical money cannot provide. For example, transactions aren’t limited to face-to-face. Forbes reported although cryptocurrency is still in its early phases, they play a part in it with the use of peer-to-peer format. These peer-to-peer payment apps allow fast and easy money transfers anytime through a smartphone, making it far more convenient than other payment methods.

  • And as consumers, cryptocurrency widens your purchasing options

According the Forbes, the multifunctionality of cryptocurrency is one of its perks. The increase in acceptance among businesses allows customers to avail more products and services and the use of cryptocurrency strengthens ecommerce. Kim Grauer, a senior economist, told CNBC that she passed by a restaurant that accepted cryptocurrency as payment while on vacation. The anonymity and ease of use attracts people to use cryptocurrency as it allows consumers to feel they are in control of their assets.

Cryptocurrency is still considered an asset rather than a currency. Much like gift cards, cryptocurrency interest among businesses and consumers stems from having control over their assets. But cryptocurrency is not without risk. A good cryptocurrency wallet and knowledge of the crypto market is a good way to save yourself from possible cryptocurrency loss. If consumers are looking to buy cryptocurrency or if businesses are considering to accept cryptocurrency payments, it is always best to weigh the pros and cons and stay knowledgeable about your assets.


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