Citius, Parvus, Fortius
Faster, Cheaper, Stronger.
Faster payment initiations.
Cheaper transaction costs.
Stronger documentation and protections against fraud and mistakes.
For business to business payments, crypto is a serious, professional option.
For international B2B transactions, frankly, it's a no brainer.
In 2023, we estimate that global cryptocurrency transactions for strict business purposes, domestic and international, will exceed $1.9 Trillion.(footnotes 1-5)
In this article, we'll discuss the benefits of crypto payments and walk through how you can start accepting crypto payments today.
Three reasons to accept crypto payments
Crypto speeds cash flow.
Nothing offered by the traditional banking system comes close to the speed of crypto for international payments.
In a best case scenario, a business can hope to receive an international wire transfer the day after it was sent.
Unless that date was on a weekend or holiday, in which case there will be delays.
If the two banks don’t have a direct relationship, then one or more intermediary banks can slow up the process several more days.
If the payment is held up for compliance purposes, it can be weeks before a payment is received.
Crypto is cheaper
If you sell internationally, you know it adds another layer of difficulty.
But the number one pain you deal with is more expensive payments.
The combination of international transaction fees, and foreign exchange fees can really pinch into profits.
The costs can be considerable.
Fees for International wire transfers are typically around $50 when combining those paid by the sender and recipient.
Currency conversion can lead to additional fees.
Meanwhile, crypto payments made using a stablecoin on the Ethereum blockchain cost about $0.01 and take less than 5 minutes to settle.
This is possible because the payment is peer-to-peer, without the need for intermediary banks that extract fees and add delays.
But using an established cryptocurrency like Ethereum can make your sales instantaneous, cut your overall fees by up to 80% and add transaction details into the record that confirm, and affirm internally, the details of the transaction.
International wire transfers utilize one or more correspondent banks that introduce fees and delays.
Crypto is stronger and more transparent
One of the challenges with traditional payment methods is lack of transparency.
Once a payment is sent, there is no visibility into the current status of the payment, nor a confirmation of receipt.
Sending an international or domestic wire transfer feels like paying something for nothing.
There is no way to inquire about the status or receive an estimated time of arrival.
The more money sent, the more nerve-wracking this can be.
Domestic payment methods, such as ACH transfer in the US, also give no indication of the status.
This is a major advantage for blockchain, where numerous block explorers can report on the status of a payment and confirm receipt once the payment is complete.
Peace of mind is one of the most compelling reasons to accept crypto payments.
And this cuts both ways, both for the payer, as well as the payee, so they can prepare or make shipments with confidence that payment has already been made.
Choosing which cryptocurrencies to accept
You need to accept and make payments in at least two currencies:
Ethereum and Bitcoin, in that order.
Combined we estimate that Ethereum and Bitcon cover 85% of the business peer-to-peer transaction market.
If a business is going to accept cryptocurrency, Ethereum needs to be the first option.
Ethereum has actually overtaken Bitcoin from a transaction volume standpoint, generating 3.5 more transactions than Bitcoin in 2022 and growing at a much faster pace.6
But, don’t count out Bitcoin. Almost every business that transacts in crypto includes Bitcoin in their options.
Bitcoin is massive in market cap, $544.4 billion (4/6/23) and ubiquitous.
Ethereum market cap is $226 billion (4/6/23), but it is outsized in its peer-to-peer transaction volume.
Also, Ethereum offers multiple stablecoin tokens whose values are tied to the US Dollar, making them ideal for payments and removing currency price volatility risk from your transactions.
The chart below illustrates the most common options for businesses accepting crypto payments:
Where to store the crypto you earn
You store cryptocurrency using wallet software that runs on a computer or other device.
This is called “non-custodial” because there is no bank or custodian which is actually holding the crypto: you maintain ownership of the tokens at all times, just like the cash you hold in your wallet.
Here’s our list of what we think are the best wallets for business.
Hardware wallets like Ledger are generally more secure.
Only a handful of solutions like Multis, MetaMask, and Gnosis Safe offer support for multiple users (including approval flows), a necessity for many businesses.
Non-custodial wallets are a more advanced option because they require you to have some knowledge about how crypto works.
For example, if you lose your wallet software’s private key, there’s no one you can turn to for help unlocking it.
However, non-custodial is the best option for maintaining ownership and full control of your assets.
Crypto exchanges like Coinbase offer a bank-like experience for storing your crypto. This minimizes the level of technical knowledge you need in order to hold crypto.
Plus, if you forget your password, the exchange’s customer service may be able to help.
On the other hand, there’s danger in trusting a third party with control of your assets.
Billions of dollars have been lost in exchange hacks over the years. It’s easier but not quite as safe as the bankless option.
That said, a handful of exchanges like Coinbase, Kraken, Gemini, and Binance are gradually becoming more secure and trustworthy.
How to accept crypto payments
Just like wire transfers have an IBAN and account number in order to route payments from sender to receiver, crypto has a blockchain and a public wallet address (or “Receive” address) to identify a recipient.
Sharing the “Receive” address generated by your wallet software enables you to receive crypto payments from customers.
In addition, wallet software is often capable of generating a QR code which, when scanned by another device, transmits your Receive address automatically.
Unlike credit cards and wire transfers, there is no fee to receive a crypto payment.
The payer only incurs a small, fixed-amount fee of a few cents in order to send a transaction.
Bitcoin transactions can take up to an hour to clear (or “confirm”), although an emerging technology called Lightning is capable of nearly-instant Bitcoin payments.
Meanwhile, Ethereum and stablecoin transactions can often be confirmed in less than 5 minutes.
Regardless of the method, crypto payments are significantly faster than most traditional payment solutions, especially for international payments.
And unlike banks, crypto is open 24 hours, a day, 7 days a week, with no breaks or holidays.
For e-commerce merchants, crypto payment processors CoinPayments and BitPay offer integrations into popular shopping cart platforms like Shopify and Magento.
Typically these solutions require only a few minutes to set up.
Processing fees range from 0.5-1%, rates significantly lower than those of credit card processors.
For B2B companies, invoicing and payment solutions like Gilded make it easy to bill customers, accept crypto payments, and generate tax and accounting records.
Gilded integrates with CRMs and accounting software like Quickbooks to make accepting crypto a more seamless process.
Ready to send your first crypto invoice?
- If you don’t already have a crypto wallet, create one by signing up for the Coinbase Wallet App (mobile, bankless experience), Metamask, or Coinbase.com (bank-like experience)
- In your wallet software, select Ether and copy the Receive address for ETH
- Create a Gilded account and paste in your Receive address as the “public wallet address” when setting up your account
- Send a crypto invoice using Gilded
3 IMF Report on Crypto Ecosystem