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Bitcoins were first seen online in 2009 and were invented by someone known as Satoshi Nakamoto. Even though they have been around for quite some time now, bitcoins seem to be one of the least understood currencies imaginable. If you have an online business where you accept payments for products or services, perhaps you are entertaining the idea of adding bitcoins to the types of payments you now allow. Understanding bitcoin may make you more aware of its usage and why it may be beneficial for your business. Why not start with a bit of basic information and go from there?

What Exactly Are Bitcoins?

This is where it gets a bit tricky. The reason most people have trouble understanding bitcoins is that they are not tangible. There are no notes or coins backed by any federal currency and they are only as valuable as the market sees them. They are a form of cryptocurrency that is obtained through a process called mining. In simple terms, it’s like a digital online treasure hunt.

ccording to Blockchain, as of the 13th February 2019, there has been a whopping 275,000 transactions carried out with bitcoin. This shows that bitcoin is still popular with many users and will only continue to grow in popularity as more businesses use it as a form of currency. Their value is raised and lowered by the number of people using them as currency. So, if more businesses begin accepting bitcoins, their value will rise accordingly. Being one of the first companies to make this popular could be a great investment.

Basic Requirements for Accepting Bitcoins

The first thing you will need to learn is how to accept bitcoin payments on your website. You can get the information you need on this site. Not only will they tell you how to post that you accept bitcoins, but they will help you explore your options on the kinds of cryptocurrency you can accept. As of February 2019, a total of 96 countries allow bitcoin to be used unrestricted but is important to check that your country, as well as the countries you want to do business with, can trade with bitcoin.

However, there is another side of accepting bitcoins you should be aware of. Yes, you will be increasing the number of customers because some people prefer to pay with bitcoins as opposed to traditional methods like PayPal or credit cards. Some of the most popular companies who accept bitcoins include Playboy, OkCupid (an online dating website) and Microsoft, who allow their users to purchase content from both the Windows and Xbox stores.

Protecting Bitcoins in the Digital Realm

However, you will also be increasing your risk. It is suggested that you host your website on a Dedicated Server, which offers the highest level of security. HostGator provides three different types of dedicated server, depending on the amount of data your website contains and your budget. If you are unsure of which one would benefit your business most, you can request a call back from HostGator, who can assist you with any inquiries you may have.

Unlike Shared or Virtual Private Servers, you will have the entire server to yourself. It’s much harder to breach a Dedicated Server than it is a VPS or Shared server, so keep that in mind. Remember, bitcoins are cryptocurrency and so only exist in the digital realm. Yes, they have value, but you can’t see or hold them. Keep them secure at all costs!

Not So Very Different than Plastic, Paper or Coins

A number of people are afraid of bitcoins because they don’t understand the concept of having something that doesn’t have a physical presence. With federal currencies and plastic cards, you have something in hand that represents money. Aren’t bitcoins, in effect, the exact same thing? Although they can fluctuate in price, bitcoins are real money and are accepted by a variety of vendors.

Just as your currency is only as valuable as the Central Bank, so too is cryptocurrency as valuable as users make it. If an economy is strong, the value of its currency rises as well. The same concept holds true with cryptocurrency. As the crypto economy grows, so too does it gain in value. You can get up-to-date statistics on the value of bitcoins on Coindesk. Viewing the statistics and how they have changed will help you make an informed decision on whether you should begin to use them within your business.

These are just a few of the basics. Why not explore the digital world of cryptocurrency to grow your customer base beyond what you can realize with traditional payments. Bitcoins don’t need to go through an intermediary and so you actually make a greater profit by accepting peer-to-peer payments! The choice is yours, but it is a whole new world to explore.

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A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System

The original Bitcoin paper by Satoshi Nakamoto

Bitcoin in the real world

Bitcoin in the real world