Bitcoin is the hot topic in the world of tech. With dramatic fluctuations in value, the cryptocurrency is increasingly garnering attention from both governments looking to regulate it and consumers looking to use it. But as Bitcoin continues to grow in popularity and gain more mainstream attention, what, if any, effect will have on retail?
First, if the cryptocurrency continues to grow in popularity, retailers will need to accept it as a method of Payment – or risk losing business. A number of retail outlets already allow customers to pay for their purchases in bitcoin. For example, Overstock was among the earliest retailers to accept bitcoin payment. Now, e-commerce platforms like as Magento and Shopify also Accept Bitcoin Payments using integrations like BitPay. But analysts expect the number of stores accepting bitcoin payments to skyrocket in 2018.
“There’s undoubtedly a meteoric rise of cryptocurrency awareness. It’s at the forefront of mainstream discussion and intrigue. In 2018, many retailers (SMB and enterprise) will hop onboard the cryptocurrency trend to diversify payment options — adoption will inevitably increase,” Ecommerce and technology columnist Tom Popomaronis recently told Forbes.
Second, some analysts speculate that we may even start to see the rise of cryptocurrency-only online stores.
“The real prediction is the emergence of cryptocurrency-only e-commerce stores. The fierce cryptocurrency and blockchain tribe of loyalists provides an incredible opportunity for rising DTC e-commerce startups to cater to that — it’s relatable and relevant,” Popomaronis explained. “It’ll be fascinating to see that a customer might first consider an e-commerce site simply because of its exclusive payment option, instead of the product(s) it sells.”
The bottom line? It doesn’t look like bitcoin is going anywhere anytime soon. As it grows in popularity, retailers should begin to adapt. Failure to accept bitcoin payments could potentially render some retailers less competitive in the not-too-distant future.
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