Thursday, September 17, 2020

A Virtual Treasure Trove: How Startups and Small Business Owners Can Utilize Cryptocurrency

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It’s not just your job; it’s your baby. It’s not only what you do to put food on the table. It’s your passion. It’s what you were made to do. But owning your own startup or small business isn’t easy. There are a lot of moving parts. If you’re a freelancer, you control all those moving parts, from the industry to the schedule to the marketing. 

But unless you’re a Hearst, Rockefeller, or Kennedy, chances are your first order of business in making sure your company endures is to stabilize your revenue stream. Traditional currencies, though, can come with a lot of problems, especially if you’re conducting most of your business online or your working with clients in other states or even other countries. This is where cryptocurrency can turn out to be exactly what your company needs. Read on to learn more!

What Is Cryptocurrency?

Basically, cryptocurrency is a digital form of currency. It exists only on the internet, and, unlike traditional (or “fiat”) currency, it doesn’t have to go through the centralized banking system to circulate or have value. Unlike traditional currencies, cryptocurrency isn’t determined by national exchange rates, meaning that every unit of cryptocurrency will have exactly the same value in the US as it has in Australia, or Guatemala, or Kenya, and so on and so on. Cryptocurrency is also virtually immune to fraud, as each transaction is simultaneously verified by millions of computers through the “blockchain.” 

Best of all, you don’t need a bank account, credit, or a credit or debit card, and you don’t have to disclose your personal information. All you need is your unique and anonymous personal security key, which you will use every time you make a purchase with or a transfer of your chosen cryptocurrency, of which there are several different kinds, including the oldest and perhaps most popular: Bitcoin.

What is Cryptocurrency Used For?

Cryptocurrency began largely as a convenient way to purchase online games and virtual gaming assets, and that is still one of its foremost uses, as gamers from across the globe can use cryptocurrency to quickly complete transactions without worrying about exchange rates or the security of their personal financial data.  

Even though cryptocurrency is a virtual currency often used in gaming, that doesn’t mean it’s only good in the virtual world. Cryptocurrencies can also be used for the purchase of gift cards and can even be exchanged for fiat money. In fact, some of the world’s foremost companies, such as OKCupid and Etsy, are increasingly accepting cryptocurrency in exchange for services, as well as physical goods.  

Incorporating Cryptocurrency into Your Business

There are a lot of potential advantages to incorporating cryptocurrency into your business. It can speed processing and make transactions far more secure, both for your business and for your customers. It can also provide a distinct marketing advantage, setting your business apart from others in your market who don’t accept this safe and increasingly popular form of currency. Best of all, if you’re doing business with customers in other countries, this can make the process much easier and more efficient.

Despite the advantages, however, there are some possible drawbacks to consider if you want to make the best use of cryptocurrency in your business. First, though cryptocurrencies are being embraced not only by more and more companies but also by a growing number of national governments, the currency is still currently illegal in some countries, such as Russia and China. Likewise, in many EU countries, virtual currency is still very much a gray area, with individual governments still trying to figure out if, and how, to allow or use it.

However, in many nations, including the US, Canada, and Australia, cryptocurrencies are entirely legal, but that also means they’re subject to taxation and other forms of government regulation. So when you’re first entering the realm of cryptocurrency, there’s definitely a bit of a learning curve. That’s why it’s probably a good idea to research crypto exchanges and wallets in order to manage your coin wisely.

The Takeaway

Owning your own business isn’t easy. There are a lot of hats you have to wear and a lot of skills you have to develop, to turn your baby into a success. Managing finances in the increasingly globalized world of business is perhaps one of the most important, but also the most challenging, of those skills. Fortunately, the rise of cryptocurrency has helped to make that process easier, facilitating online and offline sales, speeding international transactions and protecting companies and customers alike from the threat of financial fraud and data breaches. All it takes to join the financial revolution is a bit of know-how and a touch of daring.

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