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• Imminent expansion of the acceptance of cryptocurrencies is very likely
• Various factors make crypto payments even more difficult
• Most retailers are opposed to long-term storage of tokens
Individual retail chains such as Starbucks already offer payments with digital currencies, and Lamborghinis can also be purchased with Bitcoin. As you know, Bitcoin is even a nationally recognized currency in El Salvador. Cybercurrencies are still miles away from being accepted as means of payment by all economic players – but that could change in the near future, as a Deloitte study suggests.
75 percent of retail businesses plan to accept crypto payments
Nearly 75 percent of U.S. retailers plan to accept cryptocurrency or stablecoin payments within the next two years, according to a June survey by Deloitte titled “Merchants getting ready for crypto.” As reported by CNBC, Deloitte surveyed 2,000 retail industry executives representing a variety of subsectors, including cosmetics, electronics, fashion, transportation, food and beverage. By enabling crypto payments, companies hope to improve customer satisfaction and expand their customer base. In addition to the highly volatile cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ether, stablecoins such as Tether or USD Coin should also be accepted. Stablecoins seek parity with an underlying asset – such as the US dollar – and are therefore typically less volatile.
Interest in crypto payments is likely to increase
An even larger proportion of the managers surveyed expect the demand for payments via cryptocurrency to increase in general. 83 percent of retailers expect consumer interest in digital currencies to increase over the next year. Just over half of them have already invested more than $1 million in enabling digital payments, according to the survey.
Overall, offering crypto payments is a complex task: Almost 90 percent of retail businesses surveyed cited making their existing financial infrastructure compatible with different digital currencies as the biggest challenge. Security concerns, the huge volatility of the crypto market and the lack of legal regulation were highlighted as additional obstacles. More than half of the traders agreed that certain government regulations related to cryptocurrencies need to be adopted, including national guidance on holding digital assets, clarity on tax implications of using digital currencies and the ability to store digital currencies in a bank account.
Retail chains face two variants when it comes to crypto payments
If cryptocurrencies are accepted as a means of payment, merchants face two options: after payment, they can either exchange the cybercurrencies directly for fiat money (eg US dollars) or hold the cryptocurrencies and benefit from price increases in Bitcoin and Co. to hope. The latter variant enables additional profits, but can cause serious losses if the crypto industry develops unfavorably. A well-known company pursuing such a strategy is Tesla. In the spring of 2021, the CEO was born Elon Musk Bitcoins in the amount of 1.5 billion US dollars for the American group. Tesla has sold 75 percent of these crypto assets again this year, the US carmaker’s latest quarterly report showed.
This riskier variant is not very popular. Just over 50 percent of retailers surveyed plan to convert cryptocurrencies directly into cash assets, with only a minority considering holding tokens. Converting to fiat money is also more attractive to many businesses because it is faster to implement and has lower initial costs, as the Deloitte report highlights.
What does accepting crypto payments mean for the sector?
Greater acceptance of crypto payments in the economic cycle should make tokens even more attractive. The Deloitte report concludes: “We expect that further partnerships with regulated and established institutions in the industry will help take advantage of digital currencies (eg convenience and support) and create the necessary trust base”. However, the enabling of crypto payments should slightly change the downside risk of digital currencies, at least in the medium term, as “CNBC” emphasizes.
Gearing must be between 2 and 20
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