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

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Zář 26

Lamassu Unveils New Line of Bitcoin, Cryptocurrency ATMs

On September 24th, Lamassu announced the introduction of their new line of cryptocurrency ATMs to the public. Lamassu calls its new line of ATMs, “Sintra.” The ATMs herald a new line of ATMs as another crucial step in crypto’s march towards widespread consumer use and accessibility. 


Growing Industry

According to CoinATMrader.com, there are currently roughly 3,750 crypto ATMs installed worldwide. Lamassu has been producing cryptocurrency ATMs since 2013 when they produced their first, which was called the Bitcoin Machine.

While that number sounds impressive, and the number of the crypto ATMs installed continues to grow steadily, it is important to put that number in context. Information from Data.gov, for example, indicates that there are over 5,500 bank-owned ATMs in New York State alone. Crucially, this ATM count does not include independently managed ATMs at convenience stores and other retail locations.

Cost

Pricing for the new crypto ATM’s ranges from 5,200 EU for the cheapest Duoro II model, to 8,900 EU for the highest price Sintra Forte model. The mid-priced Sintra model costs 7,500 EU. The Duoro II model is the newest model of Lamassu’s original Crypto ATM, and features one-way fiat to crypto conversion, while both the Sintra and Sintra Forte feature two-way conversion.

The new models offer a bevy of features, designed to make buying and selling crypto through the machines as painless as possible. The machines feature a sleek, futuristic look, and are all crafted in Portugal. The body of the machines is crafted out of 2.5mm steel for extra durability.

Owners of these machines can configure their ATM’s to take almost any major currency, and support conversions from fiat to Bitcoin, Zcash, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, and Dash.

While Lamassu does not directly facilitate transactions on the ATM, it does offer a backend exchange trading engine that can steer conversions to liquidity providers. Lamassu’s engine is currently connected to BitPay, Bitstamp, Kraken, and Coinbase.

Fees and Regulatory Issues

ATM operators have control over the fee structure charged by their machines and can profit by either charging direct fees or adjusting the spread charged by their liquidity provider.

On Lamassu’s website, the estimates indicate that a machine needs roughly $800-$1,000 worth of daily transactions to break-even. Lamassu estimates that the average monthly turnover on their machines is roughly $20,000 and rising.

The Sintra line of ATMs features numerous compliance features, but investors interested in purchasing and managing a machine need to do their due diligence regarding the legality of operating an ATM in their jurisdiction.

Prospective ATM operators in the United States must ensure they are following both federal and state laws. Bitcoin ATMs would currently fall under the criteria of “Exchangers,” according to the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network. In turn, they must register as “Money Service Businesses.” If you are interested in purchasing a machine in the United States, this primer is a handy starting point.

As interest in Crypto continues to grow among the retail investing community, ATMs will likely be a key “on-ramp” for investors into the crypto industry.

What do you think of Lamassu’s New ATMs? Let us know in the comments below!


Images courtesy of Bitcoinist archives, Shutterstock, Lamassu.is

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Kvě 25

The Sweet Smell of Success: Unilever-Owned Schmidt’s Naturals Adds Bitcoin as Payment Option

· May 24, 2018 · 7:00 pm

There are a lot of odd things you can buy with Bitcoin – spy gear, lasers, alpaca socks, and now, high-end deodorant.


‘Scent or Payment Method’

Deodorant maker Schmidt’s Naturals is the latest company to let online shoppers buy its products with Bitcoin. Co-founder and CEO Michael Cammarata claims Bitcoin has accounted for 5 to 10 percent of online sales since they started accepting the cryptocurrency on May 14.

“It’s starting to be a percent of sales more than we expected,” he said in an interview with Cheddar.

The all-natural deodorant comes in scents like lavender, tea tree, bergamot, and cedar and will set you back about $9, or 0.0011 BTC, a stick. Schmidt’s is the first company owned by hygiene giant Unilever to accept cryptocurrency as a payment method.

Cammarata said:

It kind of was actually a last minute surprise. We got a lot of consumers that are like, ‘Can we pay with Bitcoin’? We were playing around with the idea a little bit and our tech team was like, ‘Should we do this should not do it?’

But he admitted they “weren’t that shocked” when the company’s social media savvy consumers asked to pay with Bitcoin.

“We have a lot of millennials and highly socially active consumers,” he said.

Schmidt's Naturals Deodorant Bitcoin

Shopping with Bitcoin

You can make purchases on Schmidt’s Natural’s site using Bitpay, a widely available Bitcoin payments provider found on Shopify and in popular mobile games by Zynga. When it comes to e-commerce and online shopping, Bitpay is the most ubiquitous.

But the service has had its fair share of controversy. Newegg is a Canada-based online computer and electronics seller that uses Bitpay. The payment provider came under fire last month when a Newegg shopper accused Bitpay of taking more than their share when it comes to network costs.

Regardless, Bitcoin is becoming more widespread as a way to shop online. And as Schmidt’s Naturals co-founder said, it will take consumers demanding more payment options to see it more commonly accepted.

“Whether it be a scent or a payment method, we are very highly engaged with our consumer,” Cammarata said.

What do you think about paying for goods like deodorant with Bitcoin? Let us know in the comments!


Images courtesy of Schmidt’s Naturals

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Kvě 06

Industry Report: Dr. Satoshi, BitPay Launches Bitcoin Debit Card

Source: bitcoin

Bitcoin Industry Report

There have been some crazy things happening in the world of digital currency since our previous industry report. Is it possible that the identity of Satoshi Nakamoto has been revealed? Los Angeles is now home to some new Bitcoin ATMs, and BitPay has introduced us to a new kind of credit card. Take a look at some of this week’s headlines below:

Editor’s note: Since press time on this article, news has emerged of Craig Wright backing out from his promise to move coins from early Bitcoin blocks. Additionally, his personal site has been taken down and replaced with a message stating his inability to handle the pressure being placed upon him.

Also read: Industry Report: Bitcoin Error Makes Miner Rich, DCG Grows Empire

Industry Report

SATOSHI NAKAMOTO

The identity of bitcoin’s mysterious creator has long been an enigma, but a breakthrough may have occurred as early bitcoin entrepreneur Dr. Craig Wright is now claiming to be the alleged mastermind behind everyone’s favorite cryptocurrency.

The Australian businessman came forward to give pressuring media platforms the latest scoop regarding his cryptic “alter-ego,” but not everyone is a believer. According to some, all Dr. Wright has to do to prove himself – which he’s yet to agree to – would be “using a real private key from the genesis block.” In other words, he must sign in via a private key owned by Satoshi himself. The news is apparently causing a strain of panic, and some are considering selling their bitcoins before the news supposedly causes the price to decline rapidly.

COINSOURCE

Los Angeles is a melting pot. It’s home to numerous cultures, businesses and just about everything else under the sun, but it’s now the proud station of seven new bitcoin ATMs from financial network Coinsource, which has launched several machines in cities ranging from San Diego to San Jose to Las Vegas.

According to CEO and Co-Founder Sheffield Clark, the company is experiencing massive growth, and interest in digital currency is higher than ever before:

“Our entrance into the Los Angeles area is the most important yet for both the Coinsource brand and for bitcoin enthusiasts in Southern California. The roll out of seven new machines in one go was a significant logistical achievement, but we are proud to bring so many more options for both novices and veterans of bitcoin. With more and more use-cases for bitcoin every day, we foresee a future where digital currency is used as commonly as cash or credit cards.”

BITPAY

BitPay has released a bitcoin-based Visa card which allows people to load bitcoin as their amounts run short.

What’s the big news? It can be used at virtually any store or online platform accepting debit card purchases. The card is a multi-faceted form of plastic, only this time, bitcoin’s behind the wheel.

Once purchased, the card arrives within ten days. At press time, the card is only available in the United States.

Any stories you’d like us to include in our next industry report? Let us know by posting your thoughts below!


 

Images courtesy of Youtube.com, lafilm.edu, & bitpay.com

The post Industry Report: Dr. Satoshi, BitPay Launches Bitcoin Debit Card appeared first on Bitcoinist.net.

Industry Report: Dr. Satoshi, BitPay Launches Bitcoin Debit Card

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Kvě 03

BitPay Launches Loadable Visa

Source: bitcoin

BitPay

BitPay the global merchant processor for Bitcoin announced a Bitcoin debit card during the Consensus event in New York. BitPay CEO Stephen Pair let attendees know about the Bitcoin-loadable Visa that can make point-of-sale (POS) transactions at brick and mortar locations. The card will available for $9.95 for anyone in the United States and loadable from any Bitcoin wallet.  

Also read: UniChange Giveaway: Free Virtual Bitcoin Debit Card

BitPay Reveals It’s Bitcoin Loadable Visa 

Bitpay’s new Visa card website says the service offered by the company can be used in at any store, it allows ATM withdrawals, and can be used online as well. The card will arrive within 10 days after purchase and once activated users can spend their Bitcoin with millions of merchants accepting debit purchases. The website lists nearly every country in the world but nearly all of them minus the U.S. is currently unavailable. The statement BitPay says is currently the BitPay card is only available in the United States and asks for an email to be notified when they expand.

The card can also be funded through direct deposit or loaded directly and Pair says at the Consensus conference there will be some fees associated with the Bitcoin card. Fees include ATM and over the counter withdrawals, ACH Debit, Overseas Currency Conversion, International ATM use, and a few more in the fine print. Managing the card is easy says BitPay by its on the go mobile application where the firm says it offers “detailed information for all transaction activity.” Bitcoin enthusiasts were elated to hear the card had a higher load limit of $10,000 as compared to the Coinbase Shift card. Cardholders can also withdraw $750 from an ATM and up to $3,000 a day. The card is issued by Metropolitan Commercial Bank and users are subject to the cards agreements.

Co-founders Stephen Pair and Tony Gallippi have been continuously promoting the Bitcoin ecosystem since they founded the company in 2011. The business has raised over 32 million in capital venture rounds from seventeen investors. The firm still wants to bring Bitcoin to the masses and believes these debit cards will allow more adoption.

What do you think about the BitPay Visa card? Let us know in the comments below.


Images courtesy of BitPay

 

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BitPay Launches Loadable Visa

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Úno 15

Manifold Technology CEO Chris Finan: “Blockchain Is Inherently a Security Technology”

Source: bitcoin

Manifold Technology

Manifold Technology is positioning itself to capitalize on the inevitable blockchain database industry. As Bitcoin’s blockchain technology continues to gain mainstream recognition from the very businesses that previously shunned it, large institutions still struggle to decide what to do with the blockchain. All they know is that this new technology is supposedly more secure, and they want to learn more about it. 

Also read: Uber Data Breach Proves Blockchain Model Needed

Manifold Technology was founded by Chris Finan and Rob Seger. Finan was the White House Director for Cybersecurity Legislation and Policy under Obama and helped draft the President’s Cybersecurity Executive Order. The team started Manifold Technology because they were tired of the whack-a-mole life of building security tools. Since 2014, the team has worked to use cryptographic protocols to empower individuals and institutions via decentralization. Finan explained:

“Blockchain is inherently a security technology that allows for really efficient data synchronization and systems of record built on that cryptographic proof.”

Manifold Technology: Blockchain Security Needs Database Functionality

Earlier this year, the company’s Manifold Liquidity Platform joined BitPay, LibraTax, Ripple, and others as Blockchain-as-a-service options available on Microsoft Azure. The cloud offering of the Manifold Liquidity Platform is just a gateway to see what the technology can do for complex account reconciliation challenges. Manifold Technology is also working with the Royal Bank of Canada on their foray into the blockchain technology space.

The immutability provided by the cryptographic proofs used in all blockchain technology provides auditable security and allows for uncensored truth. Even those that think Bitcoin is only used for nefarious purposes must admit that the Bitcoin network’s continued survival is a testament to the security success of the underlying technology. Blockchain advocates believe that every company should be considering using a blockchain instead of a database. Hardcore bitcoinists take it a step further and posit that the only blockchain with any real security is the Bitcoin blockchain. Manifold Technology CEO Chris Finan believes that you shouldn’t have to choose between a blockchain or a database. “It’s a false choice,” he lamented.

Manifold Technology believes that a successful product needs to interface with the legacy database technology. This sort of hybrid blockchain database is the likely future for both of these technologies. Finan emphasized why a willingness to interface with legacy institutions and technologies is necessary:

“You can’t ask these businesses to completely re-architect their systems. You need to be able to plug in and work with all types of existing queries and workflows. The scale that we’re going to be able to reach globally is going to be mind blowing. It’s not about rebranding the legacy databases – You’re creating something new by adding immutability.”

It’s becoming obvious that banks want all the benefits of the blockchain without any of the negative publicity associated with its often misunderstood psuedonymity. Psuedonymous systems are actually quite friendly to compliance measures and Manifold has that also baked into their platform.

What do you think about Manifold Technology? Let us know in the comments below!

The post Manifold Technology CEO Chris Finan: “Blockchain Is Inherently a Security Technology” appeared first on Bitcoinist.net.

Manifold Technology CEO Chris Finan: “Blockchain Is Inherently a Security Technology”

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