First introduced as an open source software in 2009 by developer Satoshi Nakamoto, the peer-to-peer payment system Bitcoin is gathering popularity fast for the last two years, as the network stabilised in 2013.
As the number of Bitcoin users grows locally and globally, Australian retailers need to recognise the opportunity this trend brings – Statistics show that over 6 million tourists visited Australia 2013, and around $642 billion was spent by Australians in 2012.
Tomas Forgac, the founder of Coin of Sale joined us recently. He talked to us about why we should accept Bitcoin in our Australian stores:
Reasons for accepting Bitcoin range from practical to ideological.
Low costs, easy set-up, virtually no fraud and literally no risk of charge-backs are among those practical. Low costs and fraud prevention go hand in hand. The main reason why credit card transactions cost so much is, that it is so easy to do fraudulent payments. With every transaction, customer hands out information sufficient for merchant or anyone with access to it to milk his account. That is the reason why customer needs to be able to do charge-back, even merchants rightfully don’t like that “feature”. Bitcoin is fundamentally different as all data required to create transaction are safely stored in wallet when the payment is sent. That eliminates all insurance costs and charge-backs.
The openness of the protocol then allows competition to rise and keep prices down, but also to bring solutions which require practically no tools on top of smartphone or tablet with Internet which is becoming more and more standard equipment of every person and business.
To understand the philosophy behind reasoning for Bitcoin economy, one doesn’t need to master the principles of our monetary system ruled by unaccountable bureaucrats, who on a daily basis decide on value of savings of billions of people and heavily influence investment decisions of millions of businesses. It is sufficient to see prices of virtually everything to grow despite continuous and successful endeavour of entrepreneurs to increase efficiency of their production. We’ve made such an immense progress in creating new, better and more stuff and yet prices are going up. Does it make sense? Only if you are government in need to print out of your problems or central bank looking to bail out your cronies. Bitcoin cannot be manipulated in the same way. Scarcity, that was given to gold by physics and chemistry was achieved in Bitcoin with cryptography and distribution by work of an incredible genius.
If nothing else, no merchant should ignore the opportunity to reach out to rapidly growing number of Bitcoin owners who are looking for places to spend with every bump in the exchange rate (as our records show) and to generate a bit of local publicity by displaying “Bitcoin accepted here” sticker or being featured in traditional or social media. Last, but not least, Bitcoin has been the best performing asset in all five years of its existence and even the richest person in Asia came out saying he is buying it. Accepting it as a form of payment is the best way to invest in it simply because merchant is “buying” it for spot price instead of paying for brokerage premium or spread. Naturally same goes for spending and the best thing is, that the average appreciation in purchasing power is merchant’s savings.
Tomas will be speaking at the upcoming Cryptocon event, taking place on 24th and 25th July in Sydney. Join him and many other Bitcoin pioneers at this topical event to find out more about how your business can benefit from Bitcoin and Bitcoin’s underlying technology. For detailed event program and to register, visit the Cryptocon website.