What is Bitcoin?
Bitcoin is a new form of currency that is not backed by any tangible assets or any government entity, so its value can change very rapidly. Think of it as a digital currency that people use to buy things on the internet. One important difference between Bitcoin and other currencies is that Bitcoin doesn’t have a central repository where all transactions are recorded and public, like with companies like Visa, MasterCard, American Express, or Paypal. Instead, all transactions are recorded in a peer-to-peer network where every node (computer connected to the network) stores only part of the blockchain (a complete history of all transactions). A copy of the blockchain is stored on every node, and each transaction takes place between two different addresses.
How does Bitcoin work?
Unlike traditional currencies, which are issued by central banks, Bitcoin has no central monetary authority. Instead, it is underpinned by an online algorithm. Though it is not backed by any government or central bank, bitcoins can be exchanged for traditional currencies and services, such as dollars and Euros. To the user, Bitcoins are anonymous, and there’s no need to provide a name, an email address, or any other information which can be used to identify the user. However, users transact with each other using unique addresses that are stored in a digital wallet. This wallet has a public key and a private key. The public key is like your email address, and the private key is like your email password. You can think of it as a safe combination of letters and numbers: it’s difficult to guess but easy to remember. To keep these keys safe, users can back up their wallets on a computer or online storage facility or print out copies and store them in a safe location in the real world. Ideally, you should store them offline so that they are not affected by viruses or hackers.
This property of Bitcoin is also a weakness as there have been cases where hackers have stolen bitcoins. They are stored in a wallet on the user’s computer. If the computer is hacked, so can your wallet. Another disadvantage is that bitcoins are volatile, and their value keeps fluctuating. One bitcoin today could be worth $100 tomorrow or $2000 next month.
Why accept Bitcoin payments?
Bitcoin can be used globally and easily because it has no borders and can be accessed from anywhere. Users are free to transact directly with each other as an alternative to using a regulated financial institution like a bank. They don’t need to provide personal information, and there’s no need to comply with AML/KYC laws. This makes it very attractive for users who may want to keep their identities private. The high level of anonymity brings a risk: Bitcoin is the preferred asset for cybercriminals because they deal in Bitcoin, they know that no other party will discover their identity, and it’s much harder for Law Enforcement Agencies (LEAs) to track them down. The Immediate Edge app provides a bitcoin wallet that is both safe and easy to use. The Bitcoin cryptocurrency has exploded in popularity in the past year, but many people are hesitant to get started because they’re not sure how to store their bitcoins securely or what it takes to use them.
The advantages of Bitcoin payments?
Bitcoin is much cheaper to use than other money transfer services, and this is due to the fact that no intermediaries are needed, so you don’t have to pay any fees. Moreover, there’s no third party in charge of bitcoin funds except for the users themselves. This means that there are less risks and more control over your funds when compared to credit cards and Paypal. In addition, bitcoin transactions are anonymous, which means you don’t need any personal data such as name, birth date or address, etc. since these can easily be faked with internet services like free email accounts.
Bitcoin payments also bring anonymity to your business. There are no legal implications from accepting Bitcoin payments, and you won’t need to comply with AML or KYC laws. The whole operation is completely transparent and completely anonymous. The only step you need to take is to implement an e-commerce website through which customers can make their purchases after providing their email addresses.
How to set up a business account with Coinbase or Bitpay?
There are two Bitcoin payment processors that you will need to set up if you want to accept bitcoins as a payment method on your e-commerce website: Coinbase and Bitpay. The steps below can be applied for both services.
1. Open a Coinbase account.
Coinbase is a Bitcoin wallet and merchant service that allows you to accept bitcoin payments from customers who will pay you in bitcoins on your e-commerce website. You must provide your bitcoin address for receiving payments, your full name, phone number, and mailing address.
2. Create a Bitpay bitcoin wallet
Bitpay is another provider that allows merchants to make and manage electronic transactions by accepting bitcoins from customers who pay them in bitcoins on their online store. It offers a more secure and convenient way for a merchant to provide their customers with a bitcoin pay button.
3. Verify your identity
In order to start using either Coinbase or Bitpay, you’ll need to verify your identity by providing them with your personal information. This includes full name, date of birth, address, and phone number.
4. Connect with Coinbase or Bitpay
You should be able to see a “Connect with Coinbase” or “Connect with Bitpay” button on the website that you have chosen to set up an e-commerce website on. Select which service you would like to connect to, then click on “connect.”
5. Confirm your account
After completing the previous steps, you will be redirected to a confirmation page. Click on the link provided, which will take you to your merchant profile page, and it is here where you’ll be able to add your profile picture, cover photo, and even a short description of your business.
6. Submit an application
Fill in all the information required, then click on submit an application. Your application will be reviewed within 24 hours by Coinbase or Bitpay. Once approved, both Coinbase and Bitpay will provide you with your website’s bitcoin address. This is where customers will need to send their bitcoins payments in order for them to be received on your e-commerce website.
7. Accept bitcoin payments
After the payment processor has approved your application, you’re now ready to start accepting bitcoin payments on your e-commerce website. All you need to do is to copy and paste the bitcoin address provided by Coinbase or Bitpay on your website. This is where customers will need to send their bitcoins in exchange for your product or service. There are many ways that customers can pay in bitcoins, but two of these methods are through online wallets (ex: Coinbase), and the other is through an application called a bitcoin client, which resides on a mobile phone or computer.
The benefits of accepting bitcoin for your small business?
Businesses that begin accepting bitcoin as a payment method will be able to instantly grow their customer base and gain new customers. In addition, they can create an affiliate program and market their website to other businesses on the internet. The best part about this is that it’s completely free to get started.
The biggest challenge for businesses that accept bitcoin is to educate their customers on how to use bitcoin. However, this can be done with a little effort. The Bitcoin community is an open group of people who share the same love of technology and get along well with each other. One of the best ways to showcase the value of your company through bitcoin is to create an affiliate program. Even though you may not want websites such as Fiverr creating bitcoin advertisements for you, they do offer great advertising opportunities for affiliate programs. Another way to advertise your business on the internet is through a Bitcoin blog. This way, you can continually promote your business and products through social media platforms such as YouTube or Google+.
Small business owners are on the verge of a revolution thanks to the introduction of new technologies. One of these technologies is bitcoin, which allows small business owners to accept payments from their customers through e-commerce websites as well as affiliate programs. Thanks to the internet, small business owners no longer need to rely on traditional currency or banking systems and can now open up their own bitcoin payment processing accounts in order to immediately start taking advantage of this new technology.
The steps given above will show you exactly how you can go about opening your own bitcoin wallet with Coinbase or Bitpay and finally start accepting bitcoins.