Úno 07

How to Accept Bitcoin Payments for Your Business

If you run a small business and want to attract more customers by offering bitcoin payments, you may be wondering where to start. Keep in mind that it’s definitely not a way of avoiding taxes. Bitcoin is simply another legal way to receive payment for goods and services. So, you’ll have to declare the payments as you would with traditional ones.


Use QR Codes or Run a Full Node

If you run a physical store, your customers should be able to pay through a mobile phone app or hardware terminal. There are several apps that generate QR codes for mobile and wallets that support QR code scanning for payments.

This makes payments much simpler as customers don’t have to enter an address. They can use a quick recognition (QR) code that is machine-readable, like a box made up of black and white squares.

If your business is web-based, you’ll need to run a full node (or ask a proficient programmer to implement one for you). This is especially important if you sell big-ticket items.

While you can use payment processors such as BitPay or Coinbase, running a full node will give you greater speed when it comes to transaction confirmations. It will also give you additional security of genuine payments with no possibility of fraud.

Hang a ‘Bitcoin Accepted’ Sign

If you’re going to accept bitcoin payments, you’ll need to let people know. This means adding a “We Accept Bitcoin” sign to your door if it’s a physical store, or to your website for online businesses.

According to a new study, more than 50 percent of retailers utilizing Square Inc.'s checkout technology would be willing to accept Bitcoin (BTC) as a form of payment.

People can then contact you for details of how to pay using bitcoin. You’ll probably find that this won’t make up a significant portion of your business just yet. However, you will increase awareness among customers curious to learn more.

Add Bitcoin Payments to Your Invoices

If you already add a line explaining what payment options are available (VISA, PayPal, etc.) you can simply add Bitcoin as well, even if customers have to contact you to find out the steps.

If you’re good at programming or know someone who is, an effective way to track bitcoin payments is to generate Bitcoin addresses and print them on each new invoice. This will cut out the customer having to contact you for the details. It will also ensure that when the payment arrives, you’ll know where it’s meant to go.

Be sure to let the customer know how much BTC to send since the fluctuations in price are likely to confuse them. While Bitcoin addresses on a paper invoice are incredibly cumbersome, according to Bitcoin Wiki, you should probably add them anyway. Most people need some kind of paper trail when it comes to accounting. Having the address will allow the customer to prove the transaction took place through Block Explorer.

If your customers are paying via your website, simply provide them with a URL to visit that displays the Bitcoin address to send the payment. If they can do this just by entering the invoice number, so much the better. They can also copy and paste the address easily.

Be sure to use a new address for each invoice–that you use only once. This way, you can keep track of who the payments are coming from and for what.

How Do You Set a Price in Bitcoin?

This is not an easy question to answer since, with bitcoin’s volatility, prices can vary on any given day, sometimes dramatically. The way most merchants manage this is to quote clients based on the current market rate at the time of the price quote to the customer. This will likely be determined by a weighted average basis of prices across multiple exchanges.

When you receive bitcoin payments, the best practice is to immediately convert it into the fiat currency you need to run your business and cover costs. Holding onto bitcoin payments can be risky. If you’re holding onto payments in the hope that the price will go up, you’re placing your business at risk and may leave yourself open to headaches from the IRS. Immediate exchanges will remove the risk of price fluctuations for bitcoin payments.

If you do want to take payments in bitcoin, check with your account first for advice on how to report them since tax compliance will vary depending on where you live. Also, there will always be some discrepancy between the price you quote and the price you receive, which may need to be accounted for in a specific way.

As a rule of thumb, however, Bitcoin payments are really just like cash, so consider how you handle cash transactions and whether you pay tax on them and do the same for Bitcoin.

How About Simpler Solutions?

As mentioned, there are easier and faster payment gateways for accepting bitcoin, but you give up full control over the transactions.

If you want to work with a payment processor but keep the benefits of running a full node, try BTCPay Server. It’s one of the best open source payment processors out there and includes an invoice API that’s compatible with BitPay.

BTCPay

You can also migrate your code base to your own self-hosted payment processor, which gives you all the benefits of running a full node with less of the hassle. BTCPay is easy to deploy via the one-click deploy on Azure.

There are further details on how to install BTCPay here. And if you’re not completely confident, simply ask a programmer for help. Either way, be sure that you run a full node for web payments unless you’re simply planning on experimenting with small infrequent translations.

What other ways can businesses start accepting bitcoin? Share below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock

Share
Úno 26

Goldman Sachs-backed Circle Buys Poloniex Cryptocurrency Exchange for $400M

· February 26, 2018 · 11:30 am

Circle, the notionally cryptocurrency-focused payment services startup, has reportedly bought exchange Poloniex for $400 million.


Job Done Between Circle And Polo

According to Fortune editor Robert Hackett who leaked the news in advance, an official statement will follow Monday. The takeover means a cryptocurrency exchange is now under direct ownership of a Goldman Sachs funded company.

Hackett wrote on Twitter earlier this morning:

Rumors have swirled in recent weeks that Circle has been in talks to buy the cryptocurrency exchange (Poloniex). […] I can confirm here for the first time that, yes, Circle has completed the acquisition. (A source familiar with the terms told me the price tag came to roughly $400 M.)

Circle Takes On Crypto Exchange Giants

Circle had fallen out of favor with diehard Bitcoin fans after it made the decision to divest itself of Bitcoin interaction. One of the pioneering major movers in cryptocurrency, many saw the removal of Bitcoin from the Circle Pay app as a rejection of the more innovative values cryptocurrency represents.

Commenting on Poloniex’s incorporation, however, Hackett saw Circle establishing a firm foothold in the now vastly-expanded crypto corporate arena:

This is a huge coup for Circle—putting it within striking distance of other big U.S. crypto exchanges, like Coinbase’s GDAX, Kraken, and Bittrex.

According to the report, Circle’s revenue from cryptocurrency trading would significantly increase thanks to Poloniex – up to around $1 billion per year, proportionally roughly similar to the combined revenue of the entire exchange sector of South Korea.

Poloniex itself had been facing mounting criticism in recent months. A huge influx of new users over the second half of 2017 saw technical problems and outages at key trading moments as technology struggled to cope with demand.

Also struggling was customer support, a problem repeated across many exchanges in the industry as newbie traders made rookie mistakes and relied on staff to provide a remedy.

What do you think about Circle buying Poloniex? Let us know in the comments below!


Images courtesy of

Show comments

Share
Led 14

A Payment Processor’s Perspective: Interview with Moneris

Source: bitcoin

Moneris

Bitcoin is evolving rapidly on a global scale as one of most important financial technologies of the century. Many businesses have decided to integrate Bitcoin, yet many continue to not accept it. I have covered the issue of Bitcoin adoption in-depth in my Bitcoin in Business series. I had the opportunity to interview Moneris chief product and marketing officer Rob Cameron regarding Moneris, their opinion on Bitcoin, and how blockchain technology will influence the financial sector.

Also read: Coinprism Releases OpenChain 0.5 With Various Improvements

Moneris is one of North America’s largest provider of payment processing solutions and allows merchants to accept multiple methods of payments both physically and online. Currently, Moneris provides payment solutions to more than 350,000 merchant locations and provides hardware, software, and the systems needed in order to successfully manage business operations. I interviewed Mr. Cameron to find out more about Moneris and how Bitcoin is affecting their operations.


 

How is Moneris different than other payment processors?

Mr. Rob Cameron of Moneris

We are a pioneer in EMV-chip and PIN/signature implementation with over a decade of experience.  We invest heavily in ongoing research and development  in payment innovation.  An example of this is Moneris was the first company to launch a mobile point of sale (mPOS) solution that accepts chip and PIN/signature debit and credit card payments in North America.  Previously there were only magnetic stripe based options.   

We are also putting our experience to work.  As the first processor to integrate EMV technology in Canada, we gained a wealth of knowledge on the implementation process, which helps to set us apart in the U.S. market especially following the October 2015 EMV liability shift. With the key learnings we gained from the EMV-rollout in Canada, we have created educational materials to inform our current and potential U.S. partners and business merchants, helping them to make a seamless transition to EMV-enabled solutions.

Going forward, what innovations and new products/services does Moneris plan to offer merchants?

We always look for opportunities to expand our product and service offerings and will continue to seek out business partners to collaborate with, providing our merchants innovative and value-add solutions for their business.

We will maintain a focus in offering mobile point-of-sale solutions (mPOS), in particular smartphone and tablet based systems that are EMV-chip and PIN/signature ready. Industry trends show that 46 percent of the overall POS systems in market today are mPOS devices and new customers boarding with Moneris are following this trend, electing to use our mobile options. Mobile is the way of the future and we will continue to invest in technology innovation for this space.

Our merchants value the flexibility that our integrated solutions offer as well. We develop payments hardware and software that can be integrated into their pre-existing business management solutions. These solutions are customizable for the needs of the merchant.  

Does Moneris currently or plan to offer Bitcoin support to merchants in the near future?

We see Blockchain as having tremendous potential in enabling innovation in financial services and spend time considering the implications.  We are one of the founders of the  Fintech cluster in Canada at MaRS where we have exposure to many innovative companies.  In terms of Bitcoin specifically, we have evaluated various options of providing this capability to our merchants.  Based on demand we will introduce this capability to the market.

In your opinion, how important will blockchain technology be for the financial industry?

Blockchain has the potential to revolutionize the financial industry.  Participants in the financial ecosystem constantly look to improve security, reduce settlement times and increase service levels in an increasingly global market.   Blockchain offers the promise of delivering all of this and more at a fraction of current costs thanks to its distributed ledger architecture.  With so many of the top financial services firms along with innovative startup firms working on various implementations towards solving these real issues, we should expect to start seeing results at scale soon.    

Does Moneris offer flexible plans and services to provide solutions to both small and large merchants?

Moneris offers scalable solutions to suit the needs of businesses of all sizes. From standalone and integrated retail POS devices, to unattended payment technologies, to a complete line of mPOS solutions and online payment processing platforms. We have competitive product and service offerings for merchants of any size in all industry verticals.  We also believe in partnering for success and work with smaller firms all the way up to industry leaders like Apple as one of their Mobility Partners to deliver what’s best of the merchant and the end consumer.

Conclusion

It is very clear that Moneris believes in the potential of Blockchain technology as well as the practical applications of the blockchain and the many projects that will come in the near future as a result of the technology. Payment processors such as Moneris will be very important in driving business adoption of Bitcoin as a whole as well as empowering consumers to take control of greater financial freedom.

You can learn more about Moneris right here.

What do you think about Moneris and their views on Bitcoin? Let us know in the comments below!


Images courtesy of Pixabay and Moneris

 

The post A Payment Processor’s Perspective: Interview with Moneris appeared first on Bitcoinist.net.

A Payment Processor’s Perspective: Interview with Moneris

Share
Led 12

Charlie Lee Opens Up About Coinbase Shift Debit Card

Source: bitcoin

Shift debit card

Coinbase launched its Bitcoin debit card to much adoration by crypto-currency enthusiasts. Shift Payments, a fintech company, will issue the card, which enables Coinbase users in 24 US states to spend bitcoins online and offline at more than 38 million merchants across the globe.

Also read: Peter Todd Double Spends on Coinbase

Shift: The Debit Card from Coinbase

To receive a Shift Card, you can order it from Coinbase. You will be asked to provide an address and a $10 issuance fee, payable in bitcoins. There are no fees on domestic transactions beyond the initial $10 issuance fee for a limited time. Coinbase’s fee schedule can be found by clicking here.

Bitcoin debit cards could be an awesome advent for the Bitcoin industry, as the card represents something familiar for consumers to use. It works just like a regular debit card, except for the backend where you must load it or fund it with bitcoins.

We spoke with Charlie Lee, Director of Engineering at Coinbase and creator of Litecoin, regarding his thoughts on the Coinbase debit card, which he thinks are twofold. 

On one hand I think it’s a game-changer; on the other hand, it’s not really,” Lee told Bitcoinist.net. “People argue that spending money with the Coinbase debit card is not really using Bitcoin because bitcoins are not sent on the Bitcoin network. So it goes against the intention of Bitcoin.” He also points out that the Shift Payments Coinbase card is costlier than raw Bitcoin.

“Since the fees to the merchant is the same and there is an additional fee for the user, using the Coinbase debit card actually costs the user more than a regular credit card, where they can get some percent back,” Lee said, highlighting an important problem Bitcoiners are discussing: incentives. “I have to agree that in that sense, it’s not really much better than what we have currently.” Lee stresses two distinct features that make Bitcoin what it is.

“Those are the store of value and the payment network,” Lee said. “The Coinbse debit card does not take advantage of the Bitcoin payment network, but it’s the killer app for Bitcoin as a store of value. Now, people can hold all their wealth in Bitcoin and still easily spend it wherever Visa is accepted. That’s definitely a game-changer.” For Lee, this solves Bitcoin’s chicken-and-the egg problem of merchants not willing to accept bitcoin because customers don’t use it and vice versa.

“Now that people can spend their bitcoins even at places that don’t accept them, they will more likely hold bitcoin,” Lee concluded. “And merchants will more likely start to accept bitcoin when a lot of people have bitcoin to spend.”

Will you get a Shift debit card? Let us know in the comments below!


Images courtesy of Coinbase

The post Charlie Lee Opens Up About Coinbase Shift Debit Card appeared first on Bitcoinist.net.

Charlie Lee Opens Up About Coinbase Shift Debit Card

Share