Thanks to our member company, Bitsie, we now accept payment in Bitcoin.
What is Bitcoin?
Bitcoin is a decentralized digital currency that can be sent and received over the internet. Transactions have no middlemen (banks) and can be done anonymously. Unlike credit cards, Bitcoin transactions have little to no processing fees and cannot be traced. Transactions are recorded on a public ledger without revealing any names. Instead of a bank, Bitcoins are stored in a digital wallet which can be used to send and receive Bitcoins, pay for things, or save as you would with a bank. This new form of currency is currently unregulated, which raises some concerns – perhaps the greatest being that Bitcoin wallets are not insured by the FDIC (so don’t do this). On the other hand, the lack of control is creating opportunities for new companies to form, such as Bitsie, to make it more accessible and set new standards for regulation.
Bitsie is Maryland’s first full-service Bitcoin firm. The firm focuses on increasing the adoption of Bitcoin through technological development as well as building awareness and educating the community on the benefits of Bitcoin over current systems. Bitsie provides a payment platform that allows merchants to start accepting Bitcoin quickly and easily using payment cards, a tablet or integrating with their current point of sale system.
Bitsie promises that its “products are built to integrate into existing platforms easily, without investments in new systems or devices” — and that’s the truth. Within a few minutes, a simple “Pay with Bitcoin” option was added to our existing billing platform. Once a payment is made with Bitcoin, it is automatically converted into dollars and deposited into our account – free of any transaction fees.
So, what are the benefits of using Bitcoin as a business? The biggest advantage is that Bitcoin provides merchants with a way to accept payments without the high cost of credit card transaction fees or chargebacks. Also, accounts cannot be frozen or confiscated. For the consumer, it doesn’t require the disclosure of any personal information, thus eliminating the risk of identity theft or fraud.
Another promising quality is Bitcoin’s potential of becoming a truly global payment system, where payments can be sent from one country to another in real time, for a fraction of the cost of going through a bank and decreased risk of fraud. Additionally, unlike typical currencies, Bitcoin has a fixed supply. Only about 21 million will ever be created, which protects against inflation.
Whether its Bitcoin or another cyber currency, it’s impossible to ignore that this innovative payment network is a fast growing alternative to traditional banking. The momentum behind it is a first for digital currencies and as more businesses begin to adopt Bitcoin, its potential will only grow.
If you’re interested in learning more about Bitcoin, Bitsie, or how your business can start dealing in Bitcoin, stop by our Happy Hour sponsored by Bitsie, Friday November 21 from 5-7 PM. We’d love to see you there.