Danny Brewster, MD at FastBitcoins.com  

Ten years ago, a research paper titled “Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System” was published, under the pseudonym, Satoshi Nakamoto. The paper outlined a format for a radical new digital currency called Bitcoin, created by marrying computer science, distributed systems, applied cryptography, economics and game theory.

This currency promises to deliver big benefits over traditional currency for everyone - including retailers - now that more innovative solutions are available to allow Bitcoin to be taken mainstream. But misconceptions around what Bitcoin is, as well as a genuine lack of understanding of money by the general public, remain hurdles that currently stand in the way of it fulfilling its potential to become the native currency of the internet age.

Shifting popular beliefs

Many people think of Bitcoin as an asset you can buy and sell to make money. Whilst its growing value makes Bitcoin attractive to speculative traders, there is much more under the hood that ensures it remains both scarce, extremely useful and thus valuable from a broad economical point-of-view.

One of the largest misconceptions surrounding Bitcoin today is the cost of participating or simply buying “a bitcoin”. The currency is actually divisible up to 8 decimal places so you can in fact hold or acquire a fraction of a bitcoin very easily. And here at FastBitcoins, we are making it super easy for retailers to enable customers to buy and sell small amounts as little as £10.00.

With this in mind, retailers could better engage with the current and future users of this currency. As the user base grows, so too will the opportunity for retailers to make money and keep customers happy.

How can retailers take advantage?

With awareness and understanding of digital currency on the rise, the biggest opportunity that exists today for retailers is being able to offer fast, simple and secure ways to allow customers to buy it. FastBitcoins offers retailers the ability to give customers access to buying and selling Bitcoin in a number of unique ways, including pre-paid vouchers and state-of-the-art POS terminals. No prior knowledge of Bitcoin is required to get started, and it is possible to offer such services without any upfront cost or risk exposure to the underlying Bitcoin markets. When offering this services, retailers can earn healthy commissions and significantly increase footfall through their retail location.

Additionally, our Bitcoin POS technology can let retailers lower transaction costs. How? Bitcoin has made it possible to transfer value directly between two parties without having to employ or trust a third-party such as a bank or clearing house. For retailers, removing this middleman is a big deal; with a way to accept Bitcoin transactions, retailers can eliminate the transaction and chargeback fees card payment companies charge (often as high as 4% of a transaction), and meet customers demands for digital payments. Furthermore, retailers could use the money saved by not having to pay third-party fees to lower the cost of goods and services for customers, whilst also driving better profit margins. A win-win!

Getting ahead

When a retailer wishes to start selling Bitcoin or offering transactions with it, they are faced with two options: embark on the cost and complexity of deploying their own Bitcoin infrastructure or employ the services of a company like FastBitcoins which allow them to do this with ease through a number of unique offerings.

Technological developments like ours are finally making it possible for the whole world to benefit from what Bitcoin has to offer as a legitimate form of money. Along the way, retailers have a very big opportunity to get ahead of the curve and drive fresh business opportunities. To make the most out of the opportunity, building the right partnerships is critical. Having a technology partner that allows you to facilitate the Bitcoin economy is one thing. But just as important is ensuring your partner can really support and guide you with creating a successful revenue model around Bitcoin.