Cryptocurrencies are no longer seen as solely an investment vehicle. According to a report by payments provider, Checkout, adoption has grown significantly in recent years.

According to the findings, crypto payments are becoming popular among younger demographics in particular, with 40% of 18-35-year old consumers wanting and planning to use cryptocurrencies to pay for goods or services within the next year.

Examples of online businesses that currently accept cryptocurrency payments include Microsoft,, Expedia, Etsy, Twitch, and online electronics retailer, Newegg.

Major e-commerce platforms like Shopify, WooCommerce, and BigCommerce accept crypto payments through digital wallets like BitPay and Coinbase Wallet.

The question is, considering the volatility of cryptocurrencies, is this a safe step to take?

How Does Crypto Work?

Crypto, short for cryptocurrency, works by using a combination of blockchain, encryption, decentralization, mining, and wallets to create a secure, decentralized, and transparent digital currency system.

"Crypto" refers to the various encryption algorithms and cryptographic techniques that safeguard entries on the blockchain. A blockchain consists of a chain of blocks, each representing a list of transactions.

Cryptocurrency is a digital or virtual currency. Cryptocurrencies are built on a technology called blockchain, which is a decentralized digital ledger that records all transactions securely and transparently. It is decentralized because the information is stored on a network of computers.

Crypto enables secure online payments without the use of third-party intermediaries such as banks and government agencies.

Since cryptocurrencies are mined and not issued by a central authority, they have been protected from government interference. That may change, though.


Parties store their cryptocurrency in digital wallets secured with encryption keys. Users send and receive crypto through these wallets, check their account balances, and view transaction history.

Benefits of Accepting Cryptocurrency Payments

Accepting bitcoin and other crypto payments can keep a business competitive, give it access to more customers and potentially lower payment processing fees.

Paying with cryptocurrencies is fast – these transactions are processed instantly and don't require the same level of verification and approval as traditional transactions. The result is faster and easier payments for both online merchants and customers.

Currently, cryptocurrency transactions have lower fees than traditional payment methods like credit cards or PayPal. This can result in overall cost savings for online businesses.

Cryptocurrency transactions are protected by advanced encryption techniques, which protect them from fraud and hacking. This means transaction security for online merchants and customers alike.

The wallets merchants and customers use contain cryptocurrency keys allowing the user to access their coins. The keys mean that when a person conducts a transaction online, they don't have to provide any personal information, which limits the possibility of identity theft. Security is further strengthened by the use of blockchain, which ensures there’s no single point of failure.

People who have to make international payments benefit immensely from this technology. When they use cryptocurrency for international payments, there is no need for currency conversion or cross-border fees. This makes it less complicated and more cost-effective for online businesses to accept payments from international customers.

Consumers are eager to pay with crypto. The research from Checkout revealed that one in three (30%) UK consumers, and two in five (40%) global consumers intended to use crypto as a form of payment in 2022. One upshot is that online businesses offering crypto payment solutions can attract new customers and reach new demographics.

Potential Risks of Accepting Cryptocurrency

There are risks attached to crypto payments.

The volatility of cryptocurrencies can make it difficult for businesses to manage their finances. Because the value of cryptocurrencies tends to fluctuate much more compared to fiat currencies, businesses may experience cash flow issues when crypto values drop.

Cryptocurrencies are still largely unregulated, meaning that businesses may not be protected in case of fraud, hacking, and money laundering. Another worrying issue is future regulatory changes and how they could impact the legality and use of cryptocurrency.

Although crypto is showing signs of acceptance, the reality is that cryptocurrencies are still not widely accepted by consumers and businesses. This means that accepting them as payment may limit the customer base and result in lower sales.

Implementing cryptocurrency payments is a technologically intensive undertaking requiring technical expertise, which can be costly. All businesses are not ready for this challenge.

In addition, cryptocurrency transactions may be subject to tax laws, which can be complex and vary depending on the jurisdiction. Businesses may need to invest in specialized tax software or consulting services to ensure compliance.

When businesses decide to accept crypto as payment, they need a new infrastructure that will cost time and money to implement.

Strategies for Mitigating Risks and Challenges

Despite the risks, many merchants will decide to accept cryptocurrency payments because increasing numbers of customers are demanding the service.

If you’re one of these merchants, you can protect yourself by taking steps to mitigate the volatility and unpredictability of the cryptocurrency market.

Establishing Clear Policies and Procedures

One thing you can do is to ensure that the process you choose to exchange crypto will protect you from cashing out at the wrong time and losing money as a result. You can look for a service that can convert your cryptocurrency transfers instantly upon receipt.

Educating Staff and Customers

Cryptocurrencies and crypto payments are still relatively new. Online businesses that decide to accept crypto payments should educate staff and customers on how crypto works and the risks related to it.

While crypto payments can be secure, customers may not be as familiar with the technology and may be hesitant to use it. Businesses may have to step in and provide education on the benefits and risks of using crypto payments.


Partnering with Reputable Payment Processors

With cryptocurrency gaining acceptance in many markets, it is becoming important for merchants to find the right crypto payment processor to implement a cryptocurrency payment system. Crypto payment processing is still in its infancy, but there is already a few that have proven themselves. One of them is Coinbase.

Coinbase has established itself as a secure online platform for buying, selling, transferring, and storing cryptocurrency. Other reputable crypto payment gateways and processors include BitPay, CoinGate, NOWPayments, and AltaCoins.

Diversifying Cryptocurrency Holdings

To combat the volatility of crypto, enthusiasts are advised to diversify their cryptocurrency holdings. This investment strategy boils down to not putting all your eggs in one basket.

Anybody who decides to accept crypto payments will do well to accept different coins to minimize any loss in case of a sudden drop in value.

Engaging Professional Accounting and Legal Services

Cryptocurrency regulations are still evolving, and new regulations could affect online businesses in the future. Business owners may need to hire legal experts to stay informed on possible regulatory changes that might affect online operations.

Legal services can also help businesses to stay on top of tax laws related to cryptocurrency transactions.

Final Recommendations

Cryptocurrency payments are still new. Business owners need to enter this new phase of commerce with caution. Crypto and blockchain are advanced technologies that take time and expertise to implement.

Below are more considerations for online merchants to consider when accepting crypto payments.

Diversify payment options

Don't forget about the other payment options in the eagerness to accept crypto. Accepting multiple payment options, including traditional payment methods, can help mitigate the risks associated with cryptocurrency. This can provide customers with more choices and increase sales opportunities for online stores.

Monitor market trends

Cryptocurrency prices are notoriously volatile, so it's important for merchants to stay on top of market trends and adjust prices or payment options accordingly. In addition to reading market analysis reports, merchants can consult cryptocurrency price trackers to stay up-to-date on crypto prices.

Implement strong security measures

Use a reputable crypto wallet for crypto payments. These wallets have two-factor authentication (2FA), such as a one-time password or biometric authentication. Also, use secure payment gateways to prevent fraud and hacking.

Invest in technical expertise

Accepting cryptocurrency payments requires technical expertise, so business owners may need to do one of two things: either invest in tech training or hire professionals familiar with cryptocurrency technology.


Merchants should implement as many popular payment methods as possible to meet the demands of different customers.

So, it may be a good idea for online businesses to consider accepting crypto payments, as it extends their payment options, which may attract new customers.

However, crypto is still relatively new, and it is definitely somewhat complicated. Getting involved in something you don't understand completely is never a good idea, so business owners need to be cautious and familiarize themselves with the ins and outs of crypto before taking the plunge.