Risks & rewards of Bitcoin payments

June 19th, 2013


Should your small business accept Bitcoin payments? A newly released Entrepreneur Magazine story listed the benefits and possible hazards of accepting these virtual payments. You’d be wise to take into account the benefits and possible pitfalls of accepting these payments that are growing ever more popular on the web.

What are they?

Bitcoins aren’t real money – as Entrepreneur says, they’re just pieces of computer code – but they are used as real money by a lot of online vendors. Not surprisingly, a number of these vendors are disreputable. But more “real” online businesses are starting to take this currency. Entrepreneur lists such reputable vendors as Reddit, WordPress and Etsy as accepting Bitcoin. Remember, too, that Bitcoins only exist after individuals purchase them with real, old-fashioned money.

How safe is it?

Bitcoin transactions are secured by way of a process called public key cryptography encryption, according to Entrepreneur. That does not mean, however, that all Bitcoin transactions are completely safe. Cybercriminals, particularly clever ones, can hack Bitcoins. There’s also Bitcoin-stealing malware to worry about.

Why take them?

Why would any business want to accept Bitcoin payments? To begin with, these payments come with no credit card or bank transaction fees. Additionally they aren’t subject to taxes. And as more online vendors accept Bitcoins, it may just be a trend worthy of investigation.