As cryptocurrencies are becoming more and more popular, the idea of accepting digital currencies such as Bitcoin (BTC) or Ethereum (ETH) on your eCommerce website as a means of payment is worth considering. But how do you get started with cryptocurrency? And how do you accept Crypto Payments on Your Website?
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In this article, we discuss what cryptocurrency is, what are the benefits of accepting digital currencies on your site, What Are The Best Cryptocurrencies For Payments, and What Crypto payment gateway to choose in 2021.
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Why should businesses enable cryptocurrency payments?
Are you looking How to accept cryptocurrency as payment? Well, it’s about time. Many merchants across the globe are more and more opening up to digital currencies.
According to HSB survey in 2020, more than 30% small and medium-sized businesses in the U.S. accept cryptocurrency as payment for goods and services.
There are several reasons why you should allow your customers to pay with bitcoin or any other digital currency:
- Easy to set up.
- Much cheaper operational costs.
- No Rolling reserves
- Payments are irreversible. So, no chargebacks.
Cryptocurrency helps you to bypass all the irritating bank fees typically associated with monetary transactions, so, compared to a standard credit card payment, bitcoin payments are cheaper due to lower transaction costs.
Plus, add the fact that many restrictions and red-tape are reduced by eliminating financial middleman, and you’ve got a delightful, cross-border payment experience for consumers and merchants alike with no more frozen accounts, as well as no hidden terms and no more limitations due to your geographical location or nature of your business.
Another reason is that using the latest technology is a tremendous approach to stand apart from other businesses. With this, you are offering existing customers new ways of paying. Besides, you can gain new customers who prefer using cryptocurrencies to pay for goods and services.
How To Accept Crypto Payments on Your Website?
Although some variables depend on the eCommerce platform you use and the Crypto Payment service provider you work with, basic principles are always the same. You can start accepting bitcoin and other digital currencies in three simple steps:
Sign Up With a Cryptocurrency Payment Service provider
Nowadays, many platforms enable merchants an option to accept cryptocurrencies as means of payment. Each of these companies charges different fees and has vaguely various features. So do your research and find the one that suits you best
Create Wallets for digital currencies of your choice
A Crypto wallet is where you can safely store your Bitcoins once earned. Wallets can be stored on your desktop, on hardware, smartphone, or on the web.
Most digital payment processor services actually provide an online wallet service, and for each platform, there are numerous wallet options – Bitcoin wallets, Ethereum wallets, Litecoin wallets, etc. So, do your research before deciding which one is best for you.
Install a Cryptocurrency Payment Plugin
Almost all Cryptocurrency Payment Service Providers have built ready to use plugins and extensions for major eCommerce platforms such as WooCommerce, OpenCart, Magento, BigCommerce or Shopify.
However, suppose you are using a smaller or even custom-made eCommerce platform.
In that case, it is also possible to connect it with your chosen Cryptocurrency Payment Service Provider via Application Programming Interface or API for short.
What are the best cryptocurrencies for payment?
Over a decade ago, the mysterious Satoshi Nakamoto created Bitcoin. Currently, 7,509 cryptocurrencies are being traded on the market right now.
Nearly every day, new ambitious crypto projects being listed on major crypto exchanges, but just a select few are practical for the mainstream world.
Bitcoin and Ethereum are the most notable cryptocurrencies on the market.
The majority (if not all) cryptocurrencies’ code is based on either the Bitcoin or Ethereum blockchains.
In early February 2021, Tesla bought $1.5 billion worth of bitcoin, becoming the second-largest corporate shareholder in the currency. The company also said it would start accepting bitcoin as a payment method for its products.
Despite many pretenders to the crown, with the market cap $238,843,961,561, Bitcoin (BTC) is still the most used cryptocurrency p2p payments. But there are few honorable mentions besides Bitcoin.
Ethereum is a software platform established off blockchain technology in which users can trade a cryptocurrency called ether. Ether has become one of the most favored cryptocurrencies in the world. The market cap of $43,752,271,804 puts it second only to Bitcoin in market share.
Bitcoin Cash (BCH)
Bitcoin Cash (BCH) was Launched in 2017, and it was meant to offer an alternative to Bitcoin (BTC). Unlike Bitcoin with 1MB data blocks, Bitcoin Cash has blocks that can store 8MB of data, allowing faster and more frequent transactions with lower fees. Currently, Bitcoin Cash has a $4,744,695,183 market cap.
Litecoin was created by Charlie Lee, a former Google employee in 2011. It was designed to be a peer-to-peer cryptocurrency and draws in several foundational similarities to bitcoin.
However, Lee intended to solve some of its perceived issues like transaction times fees and concentrated mining pools.
As an open-source project, Litecoin is a commerce centric digital asset that aims to be the ideal payment method for merchants and spenders offering instant transaction confirmations and secure storage.
Current Litecoin market cap is $3,669,268,042.
TRX Tron has ambitious plans to create a decentralized internet and a platform for smart contracts and decentralized apps. It’s no secret that Tron intends to compete against Ethereum.
While Ethereum is more popular than Tron, Tron boasts some impressive features for scalability as a smart contract platform.
Tron can handle 2,000 transactions per second. That is in sharp contrast to Ethereum’s 25 transactions per second limit.
According to several experts, it is not the best altcoin for payments yet, but it is an excellent speculative investment.
So, you’ve heard of Bitcoin and Ethereum, but have you heard of stable coins like Tether.
Traditional cryptocurrencies are digital currencies whose value is based on supply and demand on a decentralized network. While still considered a cryptocurrency, stable coins are backed by fiat currencies like Dollar, Pound, Euro, and Yen.
Tether was first released by a company called Tether Limited in October 2014. In theory, every tether coin is physically backed by one U.S. dollar.
You’re wondering, why were these stable coins even created? Why do we need a cryptocurrency that mimics the U.S. dollar?
They were actually created to shelter people from the volatility of cryptocurrencies. At this moment, Tether’s market cap is $16,337,058,197.
What is a Cryptocurrency payment gateway?
A cryptocurrency payment gateway or bitcoin payment gateway is a decentralized payment platform that allows merchants to accept bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, usually called altcoins, as means of payment.
The decentralized structure of the system guarantees that payments are much safer and less vulnerable to malignant attacks.
There is no human factor involved, and it trims fraud as well as mistakes. Once payment is registered and confirmed on the Blockchain, you cannot modify it.
Some platforms focus solely on payments within a specific cryptocurrency. However, usually, crypto payment service providers enable merchants an option to accept multiple cryptocurrencies.
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What Crypto payment gateway to choose in 2021
There are two types of cryptocurrency payment gateways: self-hosted and third-party-hosted cryptocurrency payment gateways.
Here is my personal shortlist:
BTCPay -Best Self Hosted option. *Free, *Secure, *Private, *Censorship-resistant
Coinremitter – Best third-party hosted option. Coinremitter does not apply KYC (know your customer) procedures and policies to its customers. *0.23% Processing Fee *No ID required *No bank account needed *Global and anonymous.
What is Self-Hosted Cryptocurrency Payment Gateways?
Self-Hosted payment processors run on your server and provide you with full control over the entire payment process and funds. There is absolutely no third-party involvement – that significantly increases the censorship-resistance, privacy, and security for you and your customers.
Pros of Self-Hosted Cryptocurrency Payment Processors:
- There is no need for a third party
- Total privacy and security
- No Fees
- Full control over your funds
Cons of Self-Hosted Cryptocurrency Payment Processors:
- Needs some extended technical knowledge
- You need to trust the developer or check codes yourself to ensure there are no bugs.
- Must have your own server
- Automatic conversion to Fiat currencies is not easy.
What is Hosted Cryptocurrency Payment Gateways?
Hosted payment processors run on someone else’s server. That makes the initial setup process easier but trims the amount of control you have over the payment process and funds.
Pros of Hosted Cryptocurrency Payment Processors:
- No need for technical knowledge.
Cons of Hosted Cryptocurrency Payment Processors:
- Run on third-party server
- No total privacy
- Limited control on funds
Best self-hosted crypto payment service providers
This is private, censorship-resistant, and free, open-source script for self-hosted cryptocurrency payment processor. BTCPay Server allows online merchants to accept bitcoins and altcoins as a form of payment.
- 0% Fees
- Plugins for: WooCommerce, Drupal, Magento, PrestaShop
- Requirements to run BTCPay Server: minimum of 4 GB RAM and a 500 GB hard drive.
Detailed instructions how to install and use BTCPay Server are provided here.
Also, BitcartCC is a free self-hosted open-source cryptocurrency payment processor which allows merchants to receive payments in Bitcoin and altcoins directly, with no fees, transaction cost or a middleman.
- 0% Fees
- Plugins for: WooCommerce
- Requirements to run BitcartCC: minimum of 1 GB RAM and a 10 GB hard drive.
Detailed instructions how to install and use BitcartCC are provided here.
CryptoWoo is a decentralized crypto payment service provider for WooCommerce that gives merchants full control over the checkout process, customer data and their private keys. It enables merchants to seamlessly accept Bitcoin, Litecoin and Dogecoin at their WordPress based eCommerce shop.
- 0% Fees
- Plugins for: WooCommerce
- Requirements to run CryptoWoo: PHP 5.6+ with the extensions cURL and GMP enabled, WordPress 4.3+, WooCommerce 3.0+.
The CryptoWoo free plugin uses the Block.io API and wallet service, so you need a paid account at Block.io to use it with CryptoWoo. Developers recommend use CryptoWoo together with paid HD Wallet Add-on (costs $64).
Best hosted cryptocurrency payment gateways
Coinremitter allows you to accept crypto payments safer, faster, easier and with very little paperwork. With Coinremitter anyone can setup hassle-free crypto payment gateway in no time.
The platform offers plugins for all major eCommerce platforms paired with the easy-to-understand dashboard.
- 0.23% transaction fee
- Plugins for: WordPress, OpenCart, Magento 2
- Automatic withdraw
- Simply & smooth currency swap function
Coinremitter doesn’t require the users to prove their identity or share their banking information while signing up. It helps individuals and businesses maintain a high degree of anonymity while being able to make transactions across the world – just like the way Bitcoin was envisioned by its creators.
This platform currently is supporting Bitcoin, Tether (USDT), Litecoin, Bitcoin Gold, Ethereum, Ripple, Dogecoin and Dash.
Finally, all major review sites such as TrustPilot or G2.com have excellent customer feedback about Coinremitter.
Blockonomics claims to be the only Bitcoin payment gateway that enables full decentralization in the e-commerce industry. Funds from purchases made to your website are instantly sent to your wallet. Basically, Blockonomics allows you to be your own bank. This saves you fees when taking your coins out.
- Blockonomics is free for your first 10 transactions. After that, you’ll pay a flat 1% transaction fee for everything.
- Plugins for: WordPress, Magento, PrestaShop, Easy Digital Downloads, Open Cart, WHMCS, Joomla/VirtueMart
- Beyond Bitcoin, you can also accept Altcoin payments using ShapeShift
Blockonomics enables on site check out. It means, the entire checkout process happens on your website – no need to send your visitors away from your site.
BitBay Pay is a complex, yet easy to implement, cryptocurrency payment gateway for all kinds of online enterprises. It’s a unique platform that allows merchants to accept all major cryptocurrencies as means of payment and automatically converts cryptocurrencies into fiat and much more!
- 0.5% transaction fee
- 1.1% cryptocurrency to FIAT (EUR) payment transaction fee
- no hidden charges
- all major coins supported
- plugins for WooCommerce, Magento, PrestaShop, OsCommerce, OpenCart, VirtueMart, Shoper, nopCommerce
BitBayPay is a part of BitBay group. BitBay is European cryptocurrency exchange founded in 2014.
GoURL is one of the longest-running Open Source Bitcoin Payment Gateway. If you are looking for cryptocurrency payment gateway for your high-risk business and your enterprise even doesn’t have a bank account, then, probably, GoURL is your only option.
- 0% Fees
- Plugins for: WordPress
- GoUrl Monetiser Online Service for users without websites.
- Altcoin Support
GoURL offers a high degree of anonymity, something which is appealing to many users of bitcoin.
GoCrypto is cryptocurrency payment provider from Slovenia. This platform allows online, and offline merchants accept cryptocurrencies with ease. The company has also developed an all-in-one crypto app “Elly”, it instantly purchases and sells cryptocurency directly in the app.
- First 3 months without fees
- From 1.45% per transaction after 3 months
- No hidden small print fees
- plugins for WooCommerce, Magento, PrestaShop, OsCommerce, OpenCart, CsCart
For offline merchants company offers GoCrypto webPOS, which turns every phone, tablet, or a computer into a POS cryptocurrency payment processor.
NOWPayments is a crypto payment service provider that lets you accept online payments in a variety of cryptocurrencies. This bitcoin payment gateway makes the process of accepting and making crypto payments seam like a child’s game.
- 0,5% transaction fee
- Plugins for: WordPress, OpenCart, Magento 2, WHMCS
- Donation buttons
Besides Bitcoin the platform accepts more than 50 of the most popular digital coins.
CoinPayments is one of the most popular cryptocurrency payment gateways out there. The platform integrates a checkout system for numerous cryptocurrencies. Currently, CoinPayments supports 1935 altcoin cryptocurrencies.
- 0.5% transaction fee
- Plugins for: WordPress, OpenCart, Magento 2, Magento 2, PrestaShop, ecwid, Hikashop, Shopify, Totamto Cart, WHMCS, VirtueMart, Ubercart, Xcart, ZenCart
- PayByName – One unique $tag to receive payments from all coins.
- Auto Coin Conversion
Now Coinpayments also offers coin conversion via Shapeshift.io
Coinbase is probably the largest Bitcoin Payment Gateway in the United States. The company is based in the United States and accordingly is required to comply with all U.S laws on currency exchanges. Coinbase can be used as a payment gateway as well as a standard exchange.
- 1 % transaction fee
- Plugins for: WordPress, Shopify
- Instant currency conversion from Bitcoin into fiat currency
- Auto Coin Conversion
Coingate offers a lineup of different additional plugins and even allows crate a bitcoin payment buttons on any website.
Payment21® is Swiss-based cryptocurrency payment provider. It is the first cryptocurrency payment gateway with full regulatory compliance from the Swiss financial regulators. Payment21® provides a fast, cheap and secure solution to accept bitcoin from their customers for online merchants.
- Very short settlements times
- Tailored fees from 1 % per transaction
- No hidden small print fees
- plugins for CS-Cart (by default), Magento, Joomla, VirtueMart, osCommerce, OpenCart
As stated on the company’s webpage, the transaction fee depends on your business model, industry, transaction status, geolocation, and several other factors. Payment21 also has fixed price plans, flat-fee pricing, and tiered fees.
SpicePay has a unique selling pitch. This platform enables merchants to withdraw their bitcoin payments via PayPal or standard bank transfer, which makes this platform ideal for merchants whose business relies heavily on PayPal.
- 1 % transaction fee
- Plugins for: Magento, WooCommerce, WordPress, Opencart 1/2/3, Zencart, Prestashop, and WHMCS
- Automated exchange
- Withdraw to PayPal
Merchants in the European Union can access their funds in less than 24 hours.
SpectroCoin іѕ a European crypto payment gateway which аllоwѕ mеrсhаntѕ tо accept Bіtсоіnѕ and process mass payments through the wallet’s e-commerce plugins and payment processing API integration. Along with fund withdraws to a bank account, SpectroCoin also offers to its merchants Visa debit card.
- 1 % transaction fee
- Plugins for: WooCommerce, Magento, PrestaShop, OpenCart, Drupal, WHMCS, Zen Cart
- Instant settlement – receive your funds immediately after the client pays, no need to wait.
Founded in 2014 with headquarters in Russia, China and Cyprus, B2BinPay is a one-stop cryptocurrency payment solution that allows businesses to accept cryptocurrency payments online securely. With B2BinPay merchants can accept all most popular cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH) and Monero (XMR) among the others.
- rates starting as low as 0.5%
- no hidden charges
- over 888 coins and tokens supported
- plugins for WooCommerce, Magento, PrestaShop
B2BinPay is an extremely secure and reliable cryptocurrency payment provider that allows you to offer your customers fast crypto payment capabilities online.
How does a Crypto Payment Gateway Work?
Crypto Payment Gateways Works the same way as traditional online payment getaways, although there are some factors differentiate them. The main one – a customers pay via a crypto wallet, not a debit or credit card.
The process when somebody pays with cryptocurrency can be divided into five steps:
- A customer selects certain goods or services and chooses cryptocurrencies payment.
- Cryptocurrency payment processor issues a merchant’s wallet address where to send funds. Usually, it is a QR scan.
- A customer transfers the required amount of altcoins or Bitcoins from his wallet to merchants wallet
- Customers have to wait for the necessary number of confirmations. It could take from instant to 20 min.
- A transaction is completed. Merchants send goods or provide services.
Pros and Cons of Cryptocurrency
This is one of the main reasons why digital currencies offers much more possibility for societal change and liability. While the use of cryptocurrency is anonymous, the transactions themselves are all recorded on an open ledger (the blockchain). This means that the data is available to view by anybody at any time, and that’s a major advantage for those desire for a more transparent banking system.
Relatively stable and secure against inflation:
All traditional currency face inflation because of economies shift prices and governments continue to print more money. Cryptocurrencies do not experience this as much because there is a finite number of minable coins.
Low transaction fees
Cryptocurrencies have done well in eliminating third-party intermediaries in transactions. And no middle man makes means low transaction fees.
Cryptocurrency is entirely decentralized – That is one of defining characteristic of blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies. Any cryptocurrency resists the control of the central authority.
Transactions are irrevocable
This good thing for merchants, because it means, no chargebacks. There are no dispute procedures and no third party with which a consumer can file complaints.
It is subject to market fluctuations:
When you accept cryptocurrencies, keep in mind it is currency, but at the same time, it is a commodity like oil or gold, which is subject to changing market prices. That is the reason why the majority of people are still using cryptocurrencies only as an investment.
Cannot be recovered if lost:
Cryptocurrencies are not recoverable if lost. There are currently no mechanisms to recover lost Cryptocurrencies.
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has specified that “virtual currency transactions” are taxable by law like property transactions.
Therefore, taxpayers must report cryptocurrency transactions on their tax returns. It could be unclear as to how to report the value of the cryptocurrency.
Let’s wrap it up
If you are thinking to start a new business or already have a successful enterprise, you should think about accepting bitcoin payments on your website.
Now is a great time to start accepting cryptocurrency as payment. It’s a case of “you snooze you lose” in the current market.
Bitcoin has several benefits, especially the fact that you can swiftly make anonymous transactions. Also, having access to all your funds without any control from banks and other centralized institutions puts every cryptocurrency owner full control of his funds.
Some most optimistic predictions say that half of the world will march towards cashless transactions and by the year 2030 and cryptocurrencies will replace fiat currencies.
Is that’s the case? I don’t know. But this I know for sure – cryptocurrencies are here to stay! If you can’t beat them, join them.
Read also: Best Payment Service Providers in Europe
And What do You think? Do you already accept bitcoin payments on your website?