Cryptocurrencies gained the popularity they have today by offering a borderless, cheap, and instant option for transferring money. It helped many expats around the world to be able to send cash back to their home countries without suffering the long delay and expensive fees that were tagged along with traditional bank transfers.
But that was just the beginning of cryptocurrencies’ journey as a new asset class as their abilities go well beyond remittance. From economic independence to financial inclusion, cryptocurrencies’ main plan was to bring monetary services to all. And even though remittance was an ideal start, the crypto market needed a more day-to-day use case to achieve what it’s aiming for.
“Medium of Exchange”: The Promise of Crypto for Everyday People
As more people began to get their hands on cryptocurrencies in one way or another, they started looking for different venues to spend them directly for buying day-to-day items as changing to fiat currencies through banking services could be problematic or not even possible for some.
This increase in demand propelled businesses around the globe to start accepting major crypto assets as payment. From Starbucks to Etsy and Tesla, major e-commerce and tech companies started adding Bitcoin as one of the options on the checkout page. And with numerous prominent names entering the market, many small and medium-sized businesses started noticing the benefits of offering crypto payments.
Merchant Adoption of Digital Currency Payments Survey is a recent report published by Deloitte that shines a light on the retailers’ and merchants’ sentiment regarding digital currencies and their place in the future.
According to the report, 54% of main retailers with revenues above $500M have put more than $1 million into their digital currency payment solutions while this number has dropped to 6% for the small companies with revenues below $10M.
Interestingly, 75% of respondents have plans in place to accept digital currency payments in form of cryptocurrency or stablecoin within the next 2 years. It’s not surprising as “an overwhelming majority of those who currently accept cryptocurrency as a payment instrument (93%) have already seen a positive impact on their business’s customer metrics, such as customer base growth and brand perception, and they expect this to continue next year.”
Crypto Payments Offer Benefits for Both Retail and Retailers
With more people keeping crypto assets in their wallets, crypto payments can be beneficial for both customers and businesses. From buying groceries to home supplies, customers can easily use their crypto in their everyday life. It is especially true for those customers who don’t have access to bank accounts or don’t want to use them for personal reasons.
Businesses, on the other hand, can find crypto payments to their advantage as well. In addition to competitive advantage and improved customer base and experience, businesses can have immediate access to their funds while enjoying in-house management of revenue and finances.
Here’s the interesting take on this all: merchants and retailers started accepting cryptocurrencies as a marketing technique, however, they began to realize the real benefits of it, such as speed of payments and cost efficiencies, along the way.
This is quite good news as nothing more than this acknowledgment can help the industry to get one step closer to mass adoption and make businesses ready for the web3 era.
Seamless Integration Solutions Are the Key Forward to a Web3 Era
Even though businesses are taking different approaches to accept cryptocurrencies, we can see one evident pattern in the current market. Most companies are not willing to handle the custody of their assets themselves and prefer to use third-party solutions which allow them to convert the crypto assets to fiat currencies.
However, this ought-to-be-simple integration may not be that simple after all. Many merchants have faced issues over the complexities of integrating cryptocurrencies with traditional systems or the integration across multiple cryptocurrencies while an unclear regulatory landscape just adds to the existing challenges.
A clear regulatory framework is the first priority for businesses as it lowers the threats they are facing at the moment while improving adoption by reducing barriers to entry. With more businesses offering crypto payment options for regular everyday purchases, the customers’ confidence in the ecosystem will grow which can nurture the markets even more as it matures a little more every day.
What’s clear to us is that merchants are listening to their customers as they’re adopting digital currencies despite all the current problems. Interestingly, many of them believe that consumers’ interest in digital assets will grow even more in the coming years which encourages them to expand their services to be able to address their customers’ growing demands.
Based on the current trend, we can see that markets and businesses are equipping themselves for a more advanced digital world which makes our responsibility as industry members greater than before. We need to educate and prepare the public for the upcoming web3 and the true financial freedom that follows.