Ever since its launch in 2009, it seems that the business and finance world can’t stop talking about Bitcoins. It is one of the technologies changing how the world does business. If you run your own business, you must have heard of Bitcoin at some point and wondered if it was worthwhile to make the jump to working with it.
There are many reasons to start working with Bitcoins – they are faster and easier to use, cost much less than credit cards, and come with a wide-range of options to tailor them to your scale and type of business. There is also the novelty of being a Bitcoin business – just the announcement will get you the attention of steady Bitcoin users!
While the Bitcoin market is still quite volatile, it has proven to be one of the most successful cryptocurrencies ever – safe, anonymous, and impossible to hack. It is therefore no surprise that entrepreneurs and small business owners are jumping on the bandwagon. If you are one of these people, read on for a step-by-step guide on how to work with Bitcoins.
Do Legal Research
While Bitcoins don’t face as much scrutiny as some other business, they still run into some legal trouble. If you are planning on using them for your business, you will need to look into the various regulations and restrictions surrounding them, especially in your country. The best way to do it is to sit with a trusted lawyer and work out the legal aspects of accepting Bitcoins as currency for your business.
Set Up A Bitcoin Wallet
You can simply start by making Bitcoin wallet one of the accepted payment methods for your business. A Bitcoin wallet is the address where your customers send money. The process is quite simple, much like using any other digital wallet – people put in your address or scan your QR code, enter the amount, and press ‘Send’.
Tutorials on how to set up a Bitcoin wallet for your business can be easily found on the internet, along with the best practices to secure the wallet. Treat your Bitcoin wallet just like a cash register and regularly take out the money to store in a safer environment than your computer or mobile. Keep only small amounts of Bitcoins on your gadgets.
Look For A Payment Processor
If your business is on the bigger side, or if you accept payments beyond the scope of a simple Bitcoin wallet, you might want to consider working with a payment processor. Your search for a suitable Bitcoin processor will depend on the type of business you are running, the amount of scale of payments you handle on a daily basis, and options for protecting yourself against the volatile Bitcoin market.
Be aware that external payment processors charge a service fee, but they are still a much cheaper option than Paypal or credit cards. Popular payment processors like BitPay also offer a host of exciting add-ons like the email invoice feature or adding a shopping cart option to your online business.
Advertise Your Use Of Bitcoins
Whatever you do, do not forget to be loud about the fact that your business accepts Bitcoins. If you run a physical store, make sure you have lots of displays and pop-ups indicating Bitcoin acceptance at your store. A flashy banner on the site would do the job for online business owners, right beside your other payment options.
Advertising that your business works with Bitcoins has two major benefits – first because Bitcoins are a shiny, new thing in the business world, you will get press, even if you are a small business. Secondly, you will grab the attention of the small but sizable group of Bitcoin users, who are always enthusiastic about supporting Bitcoin using businesses. This also opens up your business to an entirely new target audience.
Use Blockchain Network To Your Advantage
Bitcoins are based on the Blockchain network, which offers a lot of exciting features for business owners. You can safely store your business inventory within the network and keep track of all transactions. The network doesn’t allow for any changes or deletions and is one of the most secure ways to keep your records transparent. You have the option to track every single transaction, including shipping fees.
Another feature integrated with Bitcoin usage is smart contracts that can be signed digitally and stored on a single, safe platform. Once again, complete transparency is the function of this feature as it ensures that the terms and conditions included in your contract remain unchangeable and secure.
Keep Records Of Bitcoin
Once you have decided to work with Bitcoins and worked out the above-mentioned steps, the final step is to get in touch with a bookkeeper to figure out how to keep records of your Bitcoin payments. These days, plenty of tax firms specialize in Bitcoins. Narrow down one of them and make sure you have a trusted bookkeeper in place before you launch Bitcoin payments for your business.