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21 Comments

Are you accepting Bitcoins to grow your business?

I think if you’re not accepting Bitcoins as a payment option, you’re missing out.

I think there are a lot of folks that can pay for your service but don’t have credit card or PayPal (or it’s difficult to obtain in their country) and there’s also the privacy thing.

You get to keep ALL of your privacy when paying with Bitcoins. So from a privacy stand point, users would pay using this also, even if they had PayPal or credit card.

What’s your take on this?

Yes/no?

Is your business accepting payments via Bitcoins?

Here at Kingmailer.co we are also accepting Bitcoins.

  1. 1

    I absolutely agree with you. Many businesses have already started to use bitcoins as a payment method. And it is good for both sides. For the business, it brings more reliable cryptocurrency. For the customers, that way of payment provides the highest level of security. And they can be sure of the safety of their data. By the way, I play on fairspin.io. It is a progressive online casino that pays attention to clients' comfort. They also use cryptocurrency as the main payment method. It is a great opportunity to increase the amount of your "virtual money". And I guess now it is the only way to do that.

  2. 1

    Hi Navin,

    I accept crypto, and note many questions and opinions from others in this discussion worthy of consideration.

    Privacy and anonymity:

    First - let's be straight here. There is no "ALL" privacy. Bitcoin addresses and balances are exposed and you can view them anytime with a blockchain browser. If you actually think that you want enhanced privacy approaching anonymity then perhaps you should try ZEC. Just make sure that your address (public key) starts with a 'zc' or 'zs' and not a 't'.

    Regardless, when you convert into fiat currency all anonymity vanishes anyway, so if you want to maintain that privacy then you either need to to leave it on the blockchain or send it to someone whom you trust that will hand you cold hard cash, but then, they know who you are ;)

    Which Crpto?:

    I've been accepting crypto payments for some time now on a few of my payment and billing systems for various business products and services, but I only accept one, generally speaking, and it most certainly is NOT either Bitcoin type.

    I do have addresses for other types of crypto currency and when asked do consider whether I want to accept direct payment by sending those addresses, but the only crypto I accept in my billing systems when I invoice is XLM.

    Why only Stellar Lumens? Simple. Because it works like money, integrates into payment systems easily, is lightning fast, and unlike Bitcoin and others it's dirt cheap - each transaction costs 0.00001 XLM, and before the Wuhan China virus spawned this miniature zombie apocalypse when a single XLM was about 10 cents... Well, you do the math, but suffice it to say that's a shitload of transactions before you've spent a single penny 😎

    Bad actors:

    I agree with @joshwayne about bad actors and brand association. I suppose many people are naive about the privacy thang, and I've never in my career accommodated anonymous anything, especially when they're a customer of mine running who knows what on cloud servers I've spun up for them. In that respect, I need to be concerned the same as you regarding who is abusing my infra.

    I note that you are manually verifying your customers to avoid such bad actors, so I fail to grasp your privacy advocacy assertions, but would suggest that you consider implementing KYC when you're service gets to the point where it becomes a hassle to continue manually verifying your customers.

    Regarding your assertions that some folks just don't have credit cards or PayPal or other common transaction services that are easily integrated into web payment systems, and justify that as a reason to accept Bitcoin, I would ask how it is that these folks get their money onto the blockchain in the first place? All of the exchanges and anchors like Binance or Bittrex or Coinbase require KYC with banking info and even Kraken requires this now.

    I see accepting crypto as a convenience. Both for me and as a convenience for those customers that prefer to purchase goods and services that way, so if I'm going to accept crypto, it had better be convenient for me, and Bitcoin is certainly NOT convenient, especially when compared to something like Stellar Lumens where I actually have the money in my wallet in about two to three seconds, and I can have that converted into either a stable coin, USD, GBP, or EUR moments later (someone mentioned volatility and cited Stripe).

    Fraud:

    I ran a few promo ads on LEB a few years back and found myself hammered with new accounts from certain countries that really do have way more bad actors and fraudsters than most, so those reputations are well deserved, and I block about twenty countries in their entirety from creating accounts on most of my systems. It hasn't hurt business but it has cut down on fraud 'attempts' significantly. I don't drop them on my firewalls, I null route those packets at the router - I don't even want to see them in my logs.

    Since Stripe was mentioned, I must say that I have been extremely impressed with their active antifraud measures, and also use MindMax. For Stellar transactions, however, I find myself having to go back and manually verify account details for each new customer, since anyone can spoof an SMS callback verification with a temporary DID from a VoIP provider or register with a fake/temporary DEA from Gmail or Microsoft, or a number of other email providers.

    I considered implementing KYC, and indeed, this may be the future of even banks, but I know I don't like enduring the process and I don't know in advance who is going to prefer paying in crypto or who is going to use more traditional systems that I already have antifraud measures in place for, and I'm not going to subject the latter group to something as invasive as KYC (if you're wondering, I suggested considering it lol, I didn't actually recommended you do it).

    Chargebacks:

    Conversely, I don't, in most cases, accept PayPal either. I love buying things with PayPal, I just have an aversion to accepting payments that way - about ten years ago they hung on to about $7 Grand of my money for almost six months following a dispute with a customer over a billing issue covering a single month when they were on autopay. They were a longtime customer with several virtual machines in my data center and so had been in autopay for one of them before I rolled out a new billiing system. That one machine got retired and instead of waiting for me to issue a refund their CFO filed a dispute. PayPal reversed and froze all of the payments from them going back a year!!!

    I was extremely pissed, as you can imagine and let's just say that it didn't end well at all for the customer, as their entire Enterprise was unceremoniously turned off until I got a cashier's check.

    So I understand what you said about chargebacks on credit cards lol. I feel your pain there and yes, it is a big advantage of crypto payments 🤗

    There may be an occasional asshats here and there that does that, and they're usually someone who wants to purchase a VPS and only use it for a week or two to do some hax0r or spam crap, and then gets all butt hurt when I suspend their account for abuse, but I also subscribe to a crowd sourced anti fraud program that although isn't as effective as Stripe and MaxMind for regular fraud, it does pretty good at these types of fraudsters that hop from one provider to the next, and I (almost) ALWAYS win my chargeback cases - blocking "those" countries really cuts that down too.

    Federation:

    The final thing I really like about Stellar is the notion of federated addresses - kinda like email aliases. It's awesome, and you don't need to sweat wondering if you check cut and pasted your public key (your wallets address) to the customer.

    You can send me Lumens anytime at 'tallship*keybase.io' for example 🤡 no memo required, as that resolves to my actual public key (wallet).

    Payment Processors and Exchanges:

    I'm also not a fan of payment processors where crypto is concerned - it's not how it was designed to work. For example, if you open an account at Coinbase or Kraken, you actually don't have a single wallet there - for any of your crypto currency. You have an account, and in that account they keep your virtual value by soecifyinga specific number of say, BTC or ETH. But there's nothing really there. There is no actual wallet. That's why, when someone sends you money they have to specify a particular string in the memo field, and tell you that without that, your money may never arrive and might be lost forever. The sender enters the public key for the exchange that corresponds to the particular currency and then a number on the memo that corresponds to your account there. So it's like a bank - your money is in their vault. But you can carry around the vault with you instead of keeping it in the exchanges vault. When you send XLM to that federated addresses I posted above it actually goes directly into my vault, and you can do this with any crypto...

    Which begs the question, why would you use a payment processor that charges you a fee when you can have the customer just send the money directly to you for free? Minus gas or mining fees, whatev.

    I can see an argument against that if you're talking about Bitcoin transactions not being confirmed for hours and maybe not even receiving your actual money for days, but then again, that's one reason I won't accept Bitcoin lol. Stellar is instant - it acts just like cash money that someone hands you, and besides, with any crypto you still have to go through the process and fees involved in converting to Fiat and then withdrawing to your bank, and I know I don't want to pay any more processing fees than I have to.

    Convenience:

    So I think the question of whether accepting crypto comes down to convenience, and the consideration of how well it will fit into anyone's anti fraud program for their particular business product.

  3. 1

    There's a lot of risks to accepting crypto that would make me wary of using it. I definitely wouldn't use it in its current state for a few reasons:

    Rising Transactions Fees and Transaction Failures
    Check out Stripe's blog post about why they ended Bitcoin support. Transaction times are taking longer and the fees for getting them processed has raised past the point where a bank wire can be cheaper. I worry about the poor UX of a simple transaction failing.

    Fluctuation
    There's a lot of speculation in the crypto market. There's a very real possibility that you can receive $100 in bitcoin the morning and have it be worth $82 by lunch. I would only use a system that coverts to dollars immediately. From Stripe's experience, that looks like it's harder to do.

    Bad Actors
    A few others mentioned it, but you're potentially opening yourself up to people who will abuse your platform. Yes bad actors will use stolen credit cards and you have to deal with chargeback fees, but setting up a new crypto account is significantly easier than getting stolen credit card numbers. It lowers the bar for bad actors, imo. You would have to do some kind of manual verification like OP is doing, but then you have a problem of scale.

    Brand Association
    Continuing the point about bad actors, the worst thing I see is being associated with those shady communities. Shady communities love sharing services they can use and abuse. I would hate for my service to be the number one recommended on 4chan.

    At the end of the day, I have enough challenges running a business to worry about without adding another. My two cents.

    1. 1

      If you’re a startup, doing a lot of stuff manually is the way to go... if your business is expanding than you can figure out scaling

      1. 1

        Absolutely. I'm a believer in doing things that don't scale but Bitcoin seems to be more cons than pros for 90% of businesses, imo.

  4. 1

    nomadpostbox.com is accepting both credit card and like 30ish different crypto currencies, i think its both good for marketing but also opening up doors to more users

    1. 1

      Yep, True, I was accepting more crypto currencies but only BTC and ETH were used and BTC had more ... so at the end I dropped all of them except BTC

  5. 1

    How do you accept the payments via bitcoin? I am wondering more on a technical level. You manually send them a 2Checkout link?

    1. 1

      At the moment I send my wallet address per email and the same I do for 2Checkout
      I do manual screening, so it makes sense to just email the billing link

      1. 1

        OK. And then you manually track the incoming transfer to the sender?

  6. 1

    I guess this only applies to B2C. Does any legitimate business buy services with Bitcoin?

  7. 1

    The idea of accepting bitcoin for SaaS fascinates me a lot! Would definitely try to do that with Howuku.
    But, how do you market it to bitcoiner?

    1. 2

      Create a page on your site, with the title and slug (example) "buy <service name> with bitcoin", have it indexed, some link building, to have it ranked in the top 10

      Bitcoiners will find your site.

  8. 1

    Are you not afraid that Bitcoin payments will attract some shady users? Especially when it comes to an email service. How are you preventing spammers from using your service?

    1. 1

      Actually it does not matter if you use credit card payments or PayPal, in my experience, it's much safer from a business perspective to use Bitcoins.

      This is what happens:
      You have spammers but sometimes also legitimate businesses, that do chargebacks, and charge backs can cost you $60

      Spammers usually use stolen credit cards, so after a while, expect a chargeback

      In the case of Bitcoin, they cannot do chargebacks

      But in both cases, this will hurt your business (if used by spammers)

      How I am dealing with this:
      My platform does not have a one click upgrade feature build-in, as a customer you are forced to email us, and ask for upgrade, this allows us to peek into your account and see if it's not shady. If we approve the account, we email you the billing link.

      Our billing is done by 2Checkout, so we email you a 2Checkout link, if the customer wants to pay using Bitcoin, we email our wallet address.

      1. 2

        Ah, okay, so you do manual verification. Makes sense for an email service, as spammers can hurt your business not only through chargebacks but also by ruining your sending reputation.

  9. 1

    Hi @Ishtar, I think we will begin to see more and more businesses begin to accept Bitcoin and other digital assets for online payments. What payment processor are you using at the moment to process your bitcoin payments for customers?

    1. 2

      In the past I have worked with OpenNode + WooCommerce, but since I have changed the way I do business, more manual screening, I stopped using that (for now), until I have more automated checks build-in in my product.

      For now I have the BitPay-app on my phone, and whenever a client wants to pay using BTC, I email the client my wallet address.

  10. 1

    This comment was deleted 7 months ago.

    1. 2

      I have 8 customers at the moment, 4 of them paid using BTC, totaling around $160. I have had more customers wanting to use our service and pay with BTC, but because we didn't offer what they wanted, there was no deal made.

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