Every day, there are billions of dollars’ worth of products moving through the global supply chain. And every day, there are thousands of concerns, complaints, and lawsuits being filed due to order problems, suspected fraudulent or knockoff items and damaged goods. Each complaint needs to be investigated and the truth of the complaint established or negated. This is a time consuming and costly part of supply chain management-particularly in a Global setting.
Normal trade transactions usually require a middleman such as a bank or finance company. This adds even more complexity, resolution time and money to the process. Today, there is a growing interest in the direct, user-to-user e-commerce interface using blockchain technology.
Blockchain technology is a way to establish the “truth” as it relates to each step in the movement of goods. Blockchain refers mainly to the technology of encryption to assign validity to each step in the movement of goods.
From verifying the authenticity of origin of the product to providing a digital record of each waypoint in the supply chain, blockchain does it all without the need for a middleman or institution (such as a bank letter of credit).
Let me explain.
The basis of cryptocurrencies rests on the foundation of the transparency and security of blockchain technology to provide an uncontestable and transparent tracking of a transaction. It allows both sides of a transaction to have a time-stamped and verified record of each step in a transaction. The technology works, but the rather shady reputation of digital coins did not happen because of the technology. It happened due to the lack of regulation that normally any new paradigm where the money is involved brings out the ugly human weakness for corruption and gaming the system. However, the technology has proven to be solid and will no doubt have a significant impact on the way everybody will do business in the future. And, the Supply chain is an excellent place for its use.
The power of blockchain is its ability to provide something all supply chains need:
- Data Integrity for fair audits
So, How Does Blockchain Work?
A block in a blockchain is a collection of data, and a “Blockchain” is a distributed ledger of any transaction, which simply means that a ledger is spread across the network among all peers in the network, and each peer holds a copy of the complete ledger. Each block is authenticated by the network of peers before that block can move forward in the chain of events that takes place with a transaction. Each block is encrypted so it cannot be altered.
If blockchain works, what about Cryptocurrencies?
Over time, there has been a steady increase of merchants and corporations accepting cryptocurrency as a payment option. Some of the big players already accepting crypto for certain types of transactions. While fiat currency is in everyday use (the US Dollar), cryptocurrency depends largely on trust and acceptance as a method of payment. What most people don’t know is cryptocurrency can be safely converted into US dollars. Indeed, crypto payments are an important addition to all e-commerce stores. Ranging from big corporations to small enterprises.
Why accept payments in crypto?
- Enhanced transactional security
Cryptocurrency payments are supported on a Blockchain platform with multi-level encryption to ensure that your funds are safe.
- Protection from fraud
The problem with wire transfers and credit cards is that they are prone to identity theft. In an era where fraudsters are getting better at hacking business enterprises to steal client financials, using Crypto can shield you from such frauds.
- Decentralized System
Crypto exclusively works online; there is no third party controlling them, there are no hidden charges, and the terms of service are simple and clear.
- Low Fees
Sometimes credit and debit card fee can be a huge cost for business, especially when many transactions are involved on a daily basis. However, since cryptocurrency is decentralized, the transaction fees are minimal. By accepting crypto payments, merchants can decrease their transaction fees to less than 1%.
- Protection from consumer chargebacks
Once a crypto payment has been made, the transaction is final. It cannot be reversed by the customer. This will protect your business from the notorious chargebacks.
- Quick International Transfers
This is particularly important for global supply chain management (SCM). Cryptocurrency transfers are usually quick; take a few minutes. This is contrary to traditional payment methods such as wire transfers where a payment transaction can take several days and high bank fees.
Furthermore, the decentralized nature of cryptocurrency has made it possible for businesses to open their doors for international customers for whom their products were initially inaccessible. So, how do you integrate crypto payment methods on your website?
How to Implement Crypto Payments on Your Website?
I found a great resource via Medium for this next section, you can find it here. First, you will need to select a few cryptocurrencies that you would like to receive as payment. If you check on CoinMarketCap.com you will realize that we have more than 1,500 cryptocurrencies out there. However, only a few are commonly used for payments today.
The most common ones are Bitcoin and Ethereum. The other crypto coin that may interest you is Syscoin. At the moment Syscoin is soaring due to its low-cost financial transactions and efficiency in providing businesses with a robust infrastructure to trade assets, goods and digital certificates.
Next, create a cryptocurrency wallet through which you will receive and send your crypto coins. You will also need to sign up for an account with a reputable merchant processing service.
One of the most popular merchant processing services you may consider is CoinPayments. The service has great set merchant features that you will find useful; this includes; Point of Sale (POS) interface, shopping cart plugin, invoice builder, and more.
Once you make a selection of which cryptocurrency you wish to use, you are ready for the following steps:
Step 1: Create Your Merchant Wallet
Step 2: Integrate your merchant Cryptocurrency Wallet to Your Website
Step 3: Website Buttons for payments and mention you accept Cryptocurrency
Accepting cryptocurrency as a payment method on your website opens up new opportunities for your business. Most millennial consumers have a tendency of shopping using cryptocurrency, and by accepting cryptocurrency, you are on your way to creating a new customer base and alternative payment method.
The good news is that you can exchange crypto back to another fiat currency-the USD dollar- when you want.
Easy ways to convert BTC into USD, INR, EUR or GBP
Before you pick any of the listed methods, you need to find out how you want to receive your payments. In some cases, you can use your cryptocurrencies to purchase from other companies that accept cryptocurrencies (Amazon, for example). However, to the purposes of this article, we assume you will want to convert to your home currency.
- Via Fiat Accepting Exchanges
- bitFlyer– USD/JPY
- Waziri (India Only)- Convert BTC to INR via a P2P method or USDT
- Bibbins (India Only)-Convert BTC to INR via a P2P method
- Via LocalBitcoins
It has on-ground buyers and sellers in more than 15,000 cities across 248 countries.
- Convert BTC Into USTD Like Digital Fiat
Interesting tax strategies
A Tether (USDT) is a blockchain-based cryptocurrency whose crypto coins in circulation are backed by an equivalent amount of traditional fiat currencies, like the dollar, the euro or the Japanese yen, which are held in a designated bank account.
Using USDT has its benefits when compared to dealing in USD or EUR if you plan to buy Bitcoins later. Moving cash in and out of your bank account regularly makes you accountable and may add to your taxes.
Also, you need not worry about the volatility of cryptocurrencies when you switch to USDT because USDT always maintains parity with actual US dollars, hence maintaining its value of $1 per USDT always.
Another good thing about USDT is that unlike many fiat exchanges, USDT is supported by many exchanges across the world. Some of these exchanges are listed below.
USDT (Tether) Supported Exchanges:
If you are interested in offering cryptocurrency payments, I suggest you start small and get used to how the system works. However, it is just a matter of time before blockchain and crypto grow in popularity as central banks and politics can directly and unexpectedly impact pricing and exchange rates.