Cryptocurrencies were arguably the buzzword of 2017. The crypto industry has boomed, with nearly $3.7 billion being poured into initial coin offerings (ICOs). 2017 also saw a huge jump in bitcoin transaction activities, with the total value of transactions per minute jumping from about $110,000 to over $500,000! This year, investments in crypto startups have also been white hot with at least $1.3 billion invested as of May.
We mention all of these stats simply to demonstrate that cryptocurrencies are a big deal. Just as the popularization of the World Wide Web in the 1990s ushered in an era of creativity and the emergence of many now household names (e.g. Google), cryptocurrencies will likely change the way we do business and ultimately lead our lives.
Indeed, an increasing number of businesses now accept bitcoin and other crypto payments. Just six years ago, essentially no major businesses accepted bitcoin. Now, Overstock, Expedia, NewEgg, and even PwC are accepting bitcoin as payment. If your business isn’t accepting crypto payment, there’s a serious risk that you could fall behind competitors who are.
Yet what do you do with your bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies once you obtain payment? The obvious answer is to hold onto your crypto as an investment. However, there are many things you can spend your crypto on today. Let’s go over some of the most sensible options.
1. Buy Computers, Gadgets, Furniture, and Other Essentials for Your Small Business
Need a new computer or point-of-sales system? Want to replace that dilapidated desk in the office? With bitcoin, you have several options for picking up electronics, gadgets, and all the other stuff you might find at a big box store. If you run a web design company and need to pick up new computers for the staff, it’s easy to do so with bitcoin.
The biggest names in the game, Newegg and Overstock, offer a huge range of goods. Newegg is one of the more popular online electronic stores, especially for computer hardware, and Overstock offers a huge range of affordable goods. Both accept bitcoin as payment. So if you need to refurbish your office or upgrade your hardware, you’ll have plenty of options.
2. Stay Online with Bitcoin
Every business needs an online presence. Unfortunately, maintaining that online presence requires an investment on your part. You’ll need to build a website, pay for a hosting plan, and possibly pay for some other services, such as an e-commerce store. Fortunately, you can use services like BitLaunch to pay for many of these services.
BitLaunch not only allows you to pay for high-quality hosting through companies, such as Digital Ocean and VULTR, but you can also remain anonymous. Some countries, such as India, also heavily restrict the ability of their citizens to register for hosting services. BitLaunch offers an easy way around that using crypto payments.
3. Use bitcoin to build a great website
Speaking of online presence, many smaller companies and individuals also accept bitcoin as payment. If you want to hire a professional developer to build a new website, for example, you can find many developers who accept bitcoin.
Whenever working with smaller companies, it’s important to do your research to make sure they are trustworthy. The vast majority of small businesses are trustworthy, but there are a few scammers out there. So make sure you do your homework and check out reviews, social media, and the like.
4. Make Your Online Presence Secure
Okay, so you have a hosting plan and built a great new website all with bitcoin. You’re done right? Maybe, maybe not. There’s another issue you need to consider closely: security. If you follow tech news, then you probably know that huge data breaches occur regularly.
There’s no surefire way to ensure that you’re 100 percent safe online. However, there are some steps you can take to safeguard your website and data from hacks. One great way to protect data is to use a virtual private network (VPN) when transferring data. A VPN will basically set up an encrypted data transfer tunnel, allowing you to more safely send data from point A to point B.
Fortunately, you can now purchase VPN services with cryptocurrencies.
5. Business Travel Made Easy
Many business folks spend a lot of time on the road, heading to conferences, meeting with clients, and drumming up sales. Business travel can get expensive. Fortunately, websites like Expedia now make it easy to use bitcoin to pay for travel expenses. Many of these websites also offer great discounts, meaning you’ll be able to cut costs without sacrificing quality.
6. Take the Team Out to Lunch
Many small businesses, including family owned restaurants, are now accepting bitcoin. Indeed, restaurants were among the quickest in accepting bitcoin. In fact, the first ever bitcoin for real-world-goods exchange involved a pizza.
Want to take your team out to lunch? It’s a great way to build rapport with your employees. And if you want to use bitcoin, simply check out Coin Map’s helpful search tool to quickly find local businesses that accept bitcoin.
Conclusion: Bitcoin Gives Businesses Options
We’ve barely touched on all of the products and services small businesses can pay for with bitcoin. These days, just about anything you can do with a fiat currency (e.g. the U.S. Dollar), you can do with bitcoin. Want to pay for insurance, accounting services, or advertising? You can use bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.
Markets are competitive. A few years ago, cutting-edge businesses started adopting bitcoin hoping that it’d grant them a competitive advantage and publicity. It did. These days, bitcoin is in that transitionary period where it’s evolving from a competitive advantage for the “haves” to a competitive threat for the “have nots.”
Accepting bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies is wise given current market conditions. Doing so could help drum up new customers. And if you need to spend your cryptocurrency, you’ll have many options.