Getting paid in crypto? Piece of cake
- Alicia Heeger
- How to
- 21 Mar 2023
- Edited 28 Feb 2023
- 4 min
- Managing and growing
Cryptocurrencies are a means of payment, similar to the money you keep in your wallet or the funds you hold in your bank account. But there are differences, too. Cryptocurrencies are a digital means of payment. No banks are involved. Some (online) retailers accept cryptocurrencies as payment. Are you thinking of accepting cryptocurrencies in your own online store? Thomas van Oosterom, owner of Brouwpunt.nl, a website for beer brewers, explains his approach.
At cash registers, payment by card ('pinnen', in Dutch) remains the most popular payment method among consumers. Buyers who rely on blockchain technology (in Dutch) pay with cryptocurrencies, paying you without the intervention of a payment service or bank. You can then convert the cryptocurrencies into US dollars or British pounds.
Interest in cryptocurrencies
Thomas van Oosterom is the owner of Brouwpunt.nl, an online store specialising in the sale of beer-brewing packages and beer-brewing courses. Van Oosterom developed an interest in cryptocurrencies six years ago, when he heard about bitcoins’ success in the financial markets. He decided to study the workings of several cryptocurrencies, which piqued his interest further.
Van Oosterom identifies a trend: “There are a growing number of online stores where you can pay with cryptocurrencies alongside transfers by payment systems such as iDEAL and PayPal. I knew all along I wanted to accept cryptocurrencies as a payment method for my online store. My customers can currently choose between 14 different cryptocurrencies. I decide in advance which cryptocurrency I technically link to my online store.”
Van Oosterom recently received a phone call from a customer: “He had noticed that I accept cryptos and wanted to pay for his order that way. Thirty minutes later, when I was checking the payment overview for my online store, I saw that he had paid by bitcoin. That turned out to have been a convenient option for this customer. If the option had not been available, he would have gone to the competition. That way, I generate additional revenue.” He also receives visitors through sites where you can buy cryptocurrencies: “They refer customers to my online store, which boosts my Search Engine Optimization (SEO, in Dutch). It makes it easier for people to find my business on Google, Yahoo, or Bing.”
If you would also like to start accepting cryptocurrencies as a payment method in your online store, you require a plug-in. “I happened to stumble on nomiddleman, a service provided by woocommerce.com. It is a free application that runs on Wordpress, which is open-source software for websites. You can personally choose the cryptocurrencies you want to accept. The plug-in ensures that the transactions are processed. In addition, you also require a ‘wallet’ for your business; this is the digital wallet in which the cryptocurrencies are held.” You can use these wallets to receive, send, and manage your cryptocurrencies. You can download your wallet to your PC, laptop, or smartphone. You will find different providers online.
A software application enables your customer to pay in just a few seconds using their cryptocurrencies, including bitcoin, ethereum, dash, or dogecoin in your website’s payment section. Van Oosterom: “Once a customer has entered their email address and order details, they select one of the digicoins from the payment menu. A QR code will be displayed, which you scan using your smartphone. The customers’ wallet will enter the amount, the fee, and the current exchange rate automatically. The customer can approve the payment by swiping across the screen. You will then automatically receive the sales amount in your wallet.” The amount can be transferred to your bank account automatically, or you can manage this yourself by means of a bank transfer.
Conversion into fiat money
The cryptocurrencies are now in your wallet, but you prefer to have them in a currency that is convenient to you – this is referred to as ‘fiat money’. Examples: US dollars or British pounds. Van Oosterom: “I use Bittrex, an exchange service that converts cryptocurrencies into regular currencies or another cryptocurrency. Coinbase and Bitpay also provide this facility. The conversion process is automatic. I personally choose to convert into the digital currency Gulden, because I expect the exchange rate of Gulden to increase. I also use a small amount for speculation. Of course, you also have the option to convert directly into cash.” The revenues you earn from crypto payments are part of your overall revenue and, eventually, your profit. Depending on your legal form and capital, you will pay tax on this amount.
Some important considerations
Facilitating payment with, and receiving, cryptocurrencies will help you further digitalise your business. Decide what value cryptocurrencies add for your business. The opportunity to generate more revenue seems greater, because a customer might decide to look elsewhere if you do not accept cryptocurrencies. Use an account or wallet registered with the Dutch Central Bank. The Dutch Central Bank monitors whether registered providers of cryptocurrencies comply with the Money-Laundering and Terrorism Financing Act and the 1977 Sanctions Act. The following list of pros and cons will help you make your choice:
You pay no fees for international payments, as you are using the same currency.
Payments are managed using state-of-the-art digital technology (blockchain). This is secure and reliable.
A growing number of payment services, including PayPal, accept cryptocurrencies as a means of payment.
Paying with cryptos is a rapid process: the amount is transferred directly from the customer to the vendor/supplier, or vice versa.
If you accept cryptocurrencies as a means of payment, you will ensure that your business will continue to attract new customers.
You sometimes need to pay a fee for transfers involving cryptocurrencies, making the transaction expensive.
The public at large is still unfamiliar with cryptocurrency payments.
The value of cryptocurrencies fluctuates all the time.
Regulations on cryptocurrency are still nascent and need time to be developed.
There is no option to reverse payments, so you must carefully check that the cryptocurrencies are transferred to the correct wallet.
Some cryptocurrencies consume a lot of energy, which is harmful to the environment.
If you would like more information about running a business and money matters, download the KVK Book of Finance.