Since 1983, the idea of cryptocurrency being used as a payment option has been floated around. Then in 2009, Bitcoin was created as the first decentralised cryptocurrency. And now, in 2022, there will be over 18,000 cryptocurrencies in existence. But even with the vast number of alternative versions, cryptocurrency is still not mainstream.
In simple terms, cryptocurrency is a digital or virtual currency secured by cryptography (the study of secure communications techniques), making it nearly impossible to counterfeit or double-spend. Due to the high risk involved with the investment that comes with crypto, it's put many people off it. However, it's still a lucrative business to be involved with due to the ever-changing market and the high returns that can come from it.
Using cryptocurrency online is frequent and familiar as a payment method but using it in physical stores is less than common, currently in the UK.
Only a handful of businesses in the UK accept any cryptocurrency as a payment method. Since 2017 Lush has accepted Bitcoin payments 2017, while Beauty brand owner and tech giant The Hut Group (THG) also brought Bitcoin payments to its consumers. Microsoft, Whole Foods, Shopify, Phillip Plein, Etsy, and Amazon accept cryptocurrencies as payment options.
There are some key reasons why businesses should start to accept cryptocurrency as a method of payment in the UK:
The lack of a central intermediary dramatically reduces transaction fees.
Crypto's decentralised setup also protects merchants from fraudulent chargebacks. The transactions, like cash, are final because no third party can reverse charges.
Crypto enables small businesses to expand and open their doors to international buyers who previously couldn't access their products and services.
Accepting cryptocurrency offers customers additional ways to pay while providing an extra layer of protection for their information.
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