Cryptocurrencies have been in the news a lot lately. Well-known CEOs have gone public with their thoughts on what makes crypto wonderful or terrible, leading to huge price swings and lots of public interest. As a business owner or executive, you might be wondering: should my business accept crypto payments?

This is more of a legal and financial issue than it is an IT question, of course. But given that it comes up fairly frequently we thought we would address the subject in today’s post. When deciding whether to accept crypto payments or not, here are a few things you might want to consider…

The Technical Details Can Be Tricky

Accepting crypto payments isn’t as simple as signing up for a merchant account. There are generally more complex technical requirements involved. These aren’t overwhelming, by any means, but they should cause you to think about whether the need is significant enough to outweigh the effort and cost involved with setting the right systems up.

There Is a Financial Risk Involved

One of the reasons stories about crypto are so prevalent right now has to do with the violent swings in valuations the different currencies are experiencing. A virtual coin could be worth thousands today and hundreds tomorrow… or vice versa. Given that most business owners like stability when it comes to incoming and outgoing revenues, accepting crypto payments represents an additional risk.

Crypto Payments Are Hard to Trace

This is by design, of course, but it may create difficulties for certain types of businesses or organizations. That’s because a portion of crypto transactions are associated with illegal activities. It’s probably not something you have to worry about being tied back to your business, but potential liabilities should be discussed with a lawyer first. And, you have to decide whether there are any ethical dangers you would rather avoid.

You’ll Want to Talk to Your Accountant

Because crypto has gone more mainstream in the last couple of years, the IRS has taken a bigger interest in virtual transactions and valuations. By accepting crypto payments you could be increasing your tax liability in unforeseen ways. Again, you’ll want to check with a CPA to be sure you understand the implications before making a final decision.

The Bottom Line on Crypto Payments

If all of this seems like we are down on cryptocurrency payments, then know that isn’t the case. We are excited to see what they will become, and the role they might fulfill in future banking systems. And yet, it’s also true that working with crypto is probably not worth the hassle for most small businesses just yet. However, only you know whether it’s something your customers are asking for and where your company is headed in the future.

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