Cryptocurrency, not long ago, was a bit of a dirty word for business owners, especially those based offline.
Thanks to concerted efforts from the media and other major financial players, crypto was painted out to be a doomed industry with no real-world application.
Now, years later, crypto is still going strong and new, practical uses for the technology are coming into the public eye all the time. Businesses are beginning to shift their mindset, and according to a recent survey 35% of SME owners think crypto payments will become a reality on the high street within two years.
That’s an impressive level of optimism and a big change from the culture of suspicion and derision that surrounded the notion of offline crypto payments only a few years ago.
Still, there’s some way to go. In the same above survey, around a quarter of respondents said they thought crypto payments would never be accepted on the high street.
It seems clear that, although crypto is gaining traction and becoming more widely acknowledged as a means of payment offline, there’s still a fair amount of opposition to it.
And that’s a shame because high street merchants could really benefit from adopting this kind of technology. Let’s take a look at what we stand to gain from bringing crypto to the offline market.
One of the big advantages to cryptocurrency is the fees involved. Right now, the widely accepted methods of payment tend to cost quite a bit.
This cost comes from things like credit card processing fees, conversion costs, and much more. Over time, these fees have cost U.S. merchants dearly.
With cryptocurrency, much of this cost is eliminated. Crypto payments don’t come free, and at busy times prices have been known to spike, but generally speaking, fees are low compared to most traditional payment methods.
If you’re running a busy high street enterprise, processing a large number of different payments every day, these costs add up and make a big difference.
Blockchain-based cryptocurrencies are renowned for their security. Built on a transparent and decentralized system, it’s very easy to track payments and root out any foul play.
Plus, unlike other electronic payment methods, buyers can’t spend what they don’t have with cryptocurrency. So, there’s no risk of chargebacks or fraud, giving business owners peace of mind that they won’t get stung further down the line.
And this is a bigger problem than you might realize. According to research by LexisNexis, for every $1 of losses merchants are losing $2.40 to chargebacks and related costs.
Switching to cryptocurrency payments could remove this issue and lead to a huge reduction in the amount of money businesses lose.
3. It makes businesses look good
This one might not seem quite as important as the first two, but it’s still certainly worth considering.
Simply put, accepting cryptocurrency payments can make your business look good. It sends out signals that you’re modern, forward-thinking, and tech-savvy. It also shows versatility and flexibility when it comes to payment — accepting a wide range of payment options always looks good.
Image is important, and as crypto becomes more widely accepted businesses that accept it will be viewed as ahead of the game.
Right now, there are two major barriers for high street businesses planning to accept crypto. The first is transaction times. Crypto transactions can take a long time to process, which for a busy high street store can mean frustrated customers and a damaged reputation.
The second issue is that of volatility. Since cryptocurrencies can fluctuate in value quite significantly over short periods of time, there’s an inherent risk for businesses in accepting it.
What if there’s a big dip in the market, and the amount you got paid three hours ago is worth significantly less when you go to exchange it in three hours time?
That’s a problem, but Tosblock (or T.OS) have a solution. Their system uses two crypto tokens to address the issues of waiting time and volatility, making crypto much more attractive to offline vendors.
Users can buy their first token, TOSC, in ordinary crypto exchanges. It’s volatile but designed for high-speed transactions.
At special exchanges, like the one currently in Singapore, users can exchange TOSC for TOSP, which has a fixed price pegged to a local fiat currency. So 1 TOSP is worth 1 U.S. Dollar in California and 1 Japanese Yen in Tokyo.
By addressing the issues of speed and volatility, business owners can reap the full rewards of crypto, and make mainstream adoption a reality and start accepting payments in crypto.