Why I take Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies as payment
Recently, I decided to start accepting cryptocurrency as a payment method on my online store. This includes Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, DAI, Ethereum, Litecoin, and USD Coin.
To be honest, there are a number of drawbacks to accepting crypto, compared to credit cards:
- Not as easy to use. You need to know how to set up a crypto wallet and how to keep it secure.
- Slightly higher transaction fees.
- Volatile price. The funds could change in value within minutes of receiving them (except for USD Coin and DAI, which are both stablecoins, tied to the US dollar).
If you look at crypto vs. credit cards side by side, credit cards are easier, faster and cheaper.
So with these notable drawbacks, why do I accept crypto as a form of payment?
In short, it's because I believe blockchain and crypto will change the world.
When Bitcoin was invented, it was the first time that a trustless, decentralized, global, un-hackable, censorship-resistant payment network ever existed. Most forms of money require the backing of a government, and the infrastructure of banks to operate. Bitcoin runs 24/7 without the involvement of a central authority. Essentially, anyone with a Bitcoin wallet can be their own bank.
Blockchain, the technology underpinning Bitcoin, perhaps holds even greater potential. For instance, it could power secure online voting; or it could hold individual medical records, for which the access keys to personal information are held by the patient, not the doctor.
Blockchain gives power back to the individual, with authentication provided by a decentralized, collective network. Even now, there are rapidly growing ecosystems trying to deliver on all of the promises it holds. In the art world, artists and collectors are creating immutable records of their art sales. Essentially, the blockchain is holding the Certificate of Authenticity, which ensures that if someone tries to resell or appraise the artwork, it can always be tied back to an original record which can never be destroyed.
As an artist, the ideas behind Bitcoin and blockchain are appealing. To me, these technologies represent a future where individuals have more control over their digital identities. It's a new form of expression and allows content creators to regain control over the distribution of their work.
Because I want a stake in the future, I will happily accept cryptocurrencies in exchange for my artworks.