Here at Libra, we encounter a lot of different businesses and individuals that fall across a vast spectrum of familiarity with Bitcoin. This is especially noticeable with businesses – many owners and decision makers at companies have heard a lot of the buzz about Bitcoin and want to find new ways to connect with the customer segments that used it to send over $150,000,000 in payments last year. This is in addition to the much lower fees merchants can take advantage of by using Bitcoin as opposed to other methods like PayPal and Credit Cards. Unfortunately, it is often times daunting for business owners to become familiar with Bitcoin. There are so many questions and terms that many new users have that often need to be answered. This post is part of a new series where we try to help individuals, particularly business owners get acquainted with Bitcoin as easily as possible via different methods. Today we will go over how to do begin accepting Bitcoin via BitPay, a leading Bitcoin payment processor for businesses.
What is Bitcoin?
Many people have varying levels of understanding as well as their own answers to this question, but we’d like to try to just answer it as simply as possible. Using Bitcoin for payments is kind of like email. Like email, a user can send money (in the form of bitcoin) from one address to another almost instantaneously.
A large Bitcoin network spanning the globe then confirms the transmission (the transaction) as authentic. We won’t dive into how this technical process works. Again, Bitcoin is like email in that we all use email and the majority of us do not have expert comprehension of the technological protocols that facilitate it. We use email providers like Gmail or Yahoo, or others who handle all of that under a very simple, secure and easy to use user interface. The same thing is happening right now with Bitcoin, except instead of email providers, we have Bitcoin companies – like BitPay. They allow people to begin using Bitcoin in minutes, almost instantaneously being able to draw on it’s numerous advantages, without having to be an expert.
Accepting Bitcoin with BitPay
Accepting Bitcoin with BitPay is super-easy. All you need to do is go to their website and sign-up. There’s just a small amount of information you’ll need to provide to create your account.
From there, all it takes is a couple of minutes to verify your business and add supply your withdraw info (where you want your payments to go). You can specify whether you’d like payments you receive to be immediately converted to dollars or if you’d like a portion (or all) of it to remain in in Bitcoin. Regardless of your decision – voila – you’re now accepting Bitcoin. 🙂
Making use of BitPay Integrations
When you’re logged into BitPay, you can make use of their hosted payment page, buttons or code snippets on your website to accept payments in Bitcoin. Alternatively, they also have dozens of integrations available. Either way there’s a good chance that they already have something that easily integrates with your existing payment system.
Accounting for Bitcoin-Related Transactions
Now that you’re accepting Bitcoin, the last component to consider is how you’re going to account for it. Accounting for Bitcoin is not the same as cash or credit cards and it’s important to maintain proper records when your business accepts Bitcoin.
We’ve partnered with BitPay to offer Libra for Business so that accounting for Bitcoin can be done as easily as possible. Libra for Business gives businesses a full and complete perspective of anything they would need to know relating to their Bitcoin transactions. It’s free to sign-up – additional reporting features can be unlocked for $49/year.