The Challenges Facing Bitcoin Payments Adoption
While several online retailers have made the move to integrate bitcoin payments on their platforms, it seems that gaining mainstream acceptance is still a huge challenge. During the first Virtual Currency Today Summit held by Networld Media Group, bitcoin enthusiasts and startup owners discussed the roadblocks to bitcoin payments adoption.
GoCoin CEO Steve Beauregard mentioned that the industry shares the same adoption challenges a mobile payments a few years back. When the concept was introduced, consumers had to deal with a lot of friction when it comes to setting up secure accounts and transferring funds.
Bitcoin Payments Challenges
“We need to help solve for the user-adoption problem,” said Beauregard. “It’s difficult [for consumers] to get coins, [figure out] which wallet to use [and there’s] still friction around the actual transaction itself. In the the overall [bitcoin] ecosystem, there is a lot jockeying around, but there are silos of innovation.”
Compared to regular online transactions involving debit or credit cards, bitcoin payments promise zero to lower fees. Merchants who accept bitcoin for payment do not have to pay the typical 3%transaction fee that comes with credit card payments and can then pass these savings off to consumers to encourage sales or chalk it up as additional profits.
Other retailers have even offered discounts for clients who transact using bitcoin payments. One example of this is Overstock.com which has been one of the pioneer retailers to accept bitcoin.
“One way we consider it an ongoing success is that the bitcoin shopper is loyal and zealous,” narrated the director of communications at Overstock.com Judd Bagley. “It costs next to nothing to acquire these customers.”
However, some pointed out that the main challenge facing bitcoin payments adoption is that of educating the consumers about the technology. After all, it is more complex compared to credit cards or online wallets such as PayPal, Stripe, or Apple Pay.