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Should your business accept cryptocurrency?

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Along with Brexit, Bitcoin was one of the biggest news stories of 2017. The value of this previously low-profile phenomenon brought it very much into the public eye. It’s amazing that it had taken almost a whole decade for something that was first launched in 2009 to reach the public consciousness – and it took its meteoric rise in value to help it break through as big news.

First of all – what is cryptocurrency? Well, it’s a digital currency that uses encryption to regulate its use and generate its release. Cryptocurrency uses a technology called blockchain to keep a log of every transaction – and this prevents the same coin being spent twice by the same person. However, at heart, it is also a currency just like the pound, dollar or euro – it’s just not regulated by any bank, government or financial authority.

Bitcoin is the leading brand of cryptocurrency. It operates by using peer-to-peer exchanges which match buyers with sellers, who set their own price and methods of payment. If you want to buy Bitcoin, you must first own a digital wallet. Then you’ll need to find a recommended exchange platform, such as Coinbase, before choosing the right Bitcoin trader based on the kind of deals they’re offering. Due to the value of Bitcoin skyrocketing in 2018, even just 0.01 of a Bitcoin will set you back hundreds, if not thousands of pounds.

In fact, the original aim was to create a payment method that would be free of all government or financial authority regulation bringing with it a whole number of advantages that fiat currencies simply couldn’t offer. That’s been attractive to many – therefore the number of wallet users has grown exponentially.

Naturally, as cryptocurrencies start to gain more traction they are also starting to attract the big financial institutions who they were originally designed to side-track. For most, it’s the blockchain technology that interests them most and it’s likely that many will be incorporating this into their own systems in years to come.

While Bitcoin is the leader of the cryptocurrency pack, it’s by no means the only player. For example, Ethereum is seen as a platform which has a wider range of applications than Bitcoin, compared to just financial ones. Then there’s Ripple, which was started back in 2004 as a way for users to get around the immense amount of computer power needed to complete Bitcoin transactions. Another alternative to Bitcoin is Petro, which was created in Venezuela. Unlike Bitcoin, Petro is a sovereign currency backed by oil prices and can be exchanged for its equivalent in other cryptocurrencies.

Which businesses are using bitcoin?

Gradually, more businesses have started to come on board by accepting mainly Bitcoin, but other cryptocurrencies as well. For example, giants like Microsoft, Expedia and Paypal already accept it and so do many smaller places, particularly ones whose prime customers are the millennials – who are the perfect demographic to embrace the new currency. Bitcoin can also be exchanged for Nike, Amazon and Walmart vouchers shopping app Gyft.

But retailers aside, Bitcoin has been seen as attractive to many types of businesses and industries. Some banks are known to be experimenting with blockchain, which holds the infrastructure of cryptocurrency together. These include the likes of HSBC and Goldman Sachs, which operate all over the world, as well as the national banks of Canada, Australia, and India.

Blockchain has also been used by companies in the hotel industry, as a way to refine their internal processes and revenue management. Industry giant TUI Group is one of the companies known to be experimenting in this way.

Finally, some healthcare providers are looking into how blockchain can support the security of supply chain management – cutting down time delays and human errors, as well as helping providers share data more effectively.

So in this context of a world that is gradually embracing cryptocurrencies, should you too?

There are a number of arguments for and against which we’ll go through here.

Advantages

  1. More choice for your customers

We all know the expression the ‘customer is king’ and this has never been truer than today when consumer demands for personalization and immediacy are at an all-time high. So the more payment options that you can offer, the better for you both. With an estimated 300,000 new bitcoin wallets being opened each month it’s certainly a trend that’s worth looking into for your business too. Because it could be that, before you know it, businesses that don’t accept cryptocurrencies could soon be the exception rather than the rule.

  1. Lower costs

For many businesses, the charges made by their banks are an appreciable overhead and one which they could well do without, especially when they can be as high as 5% on some transactions. But one of the many advantages of cryptocurrencies is that this figure is generally far lower and sometimes there are no charges at all. That’s because there’s no intermediary to pay.

  1. Faster transactions

Another bugbear of many businesses is just how long it can take for transactions to go through. Because even though we’re living in a 24/7 age many banks and financial organizations still stick to a fixed number of working days for payments to be made. But the blockchain technology behind cryptocurrencies means that they can be made in minutes instead. Admittedly, some currencies can take longer than others but even the slowest is far faster than most banks.

  1. Greater security

The nature of the blockchain means that all transactions are verified, secure and nonreversible. So if you’ve ever had a cheque bounce or a transaction fails to go through because of lack of funds this will never be a problem with a cryptocurrency. This could make a big difference to, for example, online casinos. At one point, online betting site SatoshiDice comprised half of all transactions on the Bitcoin network – and it made sense because it represented a much more secure way for winners to collect their jackpots than carrying cash.

  1. Ideal for cross-border payments

If you do business with other countries, then using a cryptocurrency will solve all of the issues you may face with exchange rates and bank fees for converting one fiat currency into another. Much like the advantage in terms of cutting costs, this has to be good news.

Disadvantages

So those are all the good things about going cryptocurrency, but there certainly are some disadvantages too. This is why even forward-thinking and innovative businesses like online casinos do not, by and large, accept them as a form of payment. Here’s why.

  1. Fluctuation in value

As we’ve seen, the value of cryptocurrencies can rise and fall rapidly so there’s always the danger that you can be caught on the wrong side of one of these dramatic drops. In fact, Bitcoin has dropped as much as 40% in a single day on previous occasions. Due to this unpredictable, uncontrollable nature, for customers, it’s a case of either hanging on until the value rises again or simply biting the bullet and accepting that you’re going to make a loss. Attracting customers with an unreliable income may one day have a negative impact on your business.

  1. The threat of regulation

At the moment, there are few regulations surrounding cryptocurrencies. But as they become more widely used, many governments are suggesting that regulations will need to be introduced. Until we know what these are likely to be it’s impossible to predict what this will mean for businesses. But the threat of them could be enough to make you think twice.

  1. The anonymity of your customers

For some, the anonymity of using cryptocurrencies is a large part of the appeal. But this can create an issue for businesses who need to know exactly who they’re dealing with. It’s this anonymity that has also led to cryptocurrencies gaining an unwanted reputation for being used for all kinds of shady or criminal activity online.

Taking the example of online casinos again, all gambling operators in the UK need to have a certain level of data on their customers – such as their age, email address, and occupation – to allow them to gamble. The players also have to prove they have sufficient funds, according to UK Gambling Commission regulation. Cryptocurrency, by contrast, offers no transparency, which puts online casinos off.

That’s why when you look at the payment options offered here by leading online casino 888casino, you’ll find that it allows a range of payment options – but not cryptocurrency.

  1. More complex accounting needs

While transactions in cryptocurrencies can be treated just like any cash exchange it will undoubtedly make accounting a more complex process, just as dealing in different currencies would. So this is another consideration that you will have to bear in mind.

So hopefully this has given you plenty to consider when you’re thinking about whether to start accepting cryptocurrencies. But one thing is definitely true and that is the more businesses that do start, the greater the momentum will be. And if a huge multi-billion sector like online casinos came on board it would certainly serve to catapult cryptocurrencies into the mainstream. Whether they will remains to be seen – but it’s safe to say that we can expect to see many more headlines about Bitcoin and the thousand other alt-coins in the months and years to come.

Disclaimer: This article should not be taken as, and is not intended to provide, investment advice. Global Coin Report and/or its affiliates, employees, writers, and subcontractors are cryptocurrency investors and from time to time may or may not have holdings in some of the coins or tokens they cover. Please conduct your own thorough research before investing in any cryptocurrency and read our full disclaimer.

Bitcoin

Is Bex500 an alternative to BitMEX?

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An all around review of Bex500

Bex500 is a young but rapid-growing exchange, less adversarial than BitMEX, but with higher leverage than Binance, Bex500 has enough strings to attract many crypto traders. 

Those dissatisfied with the old exchange, may find Bex500 exchange with a stable system with no manipulation or “overload”, pleasant UX, user-friendly tool kits, and around-clock customer service.

Bex500 says they are making crypto margin trading “easier” and giving you a better return. 

Can they really achieve that? We conduct a comprehensive review as below to see if it is a trustworthy exchange

Question 1. What features does Bex500 have?

Bex500 offers perpetual BTC futures as well as three other cryptos including ETH, XRP and LTC, all paired against USDT. You may find Bex500 doing a good job aggregating most important features traders need for a robust trading experience with better return.

-A fair trade with no overload

Many traders are familiar with “overload” problem, which disables placing orders in peak trading times. It is suspected to be insider manipulations by exchanges which can cost users entire portfolios.

Bex500, with its unmatched TPS (claimed to be over 10,000 orders per second), ensures that the trading…

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How Bitcoin Has Changed Online Gaming

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We always hear how Bitcoin is great for the financial industry, how it can remove the middleman and help you save money while you spend money. How it can provide fast transactions at any time to any place, even when you wish to send money to someone on the other side of the world.

While all of that is true, it is important to remember that Bitcoin’s impact does not end there. The coin has already changed countless other industries, but one of the first ones that have accepted it with open arms — and therefore one that was changed the most — is the online gaming industry.

Bitcoin’s impact on online gaming

The first thing to note here is that digital currencies have found their use in online gaming thanks to microtransactions. However, it goes far beyond simply purchasing an in-game item from another player. Bitcoin’s biggest impact, without a doubt, concerns online gambling, sports betting, and similar activities.

Bitcoin brings security and anonymity

Bitcoin casino has become one of the new most popular places for an online gambler to visit, and for numerous reasons. Bitcoin brought increased security — to the financial industry, as well as online games. This is important because security is crucial for anyone who enjoys online gambling. It…

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Bitcoin

The Crucial Role of Cryptocurrencies & Blockchain in Modernising The Telco Industry

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Blockchain has caused quite a stir in recent years. In fact, there’s a school of thought that firmly believes the digital ledger technology will prove to be the 21st Century’s biggest innovation

There are a great many industries braced for the disruptive force of blockchain, and the sweeping benefits it can bring to telecommunications can’t be underestimated. 

A blockchain is a decentralised, distributed, public digital ledger that’s fundamentally used to record transactions online. Every transaction that takes place is recorded across an extensive array of computers in a way that ensures that any individual record within the chain can’t be tampered with or retroactively modified. 

Because of the virtually impregnable security associated with blockchain and the efficiency that comes with a fully decentralised ledger, there’s plenty of potential for the technology within the telco industry in particular – especially given the financial flexibility that comes with cryptocurrency transactions beyond borders. 

Let’s take a deeper look at the important role that both blockchain and its associated cryptocurrencies can play in modernising and securing the telco industry:

Unprecedented security

The arrival of blockchain is causing a stir at Deloitte. The professional services giant has contributed tens of thousands of words on blockchain within its ‘insights’ network, and there are…

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