Ever since the advent of cryptocurrency in 2009 after the launch of the world’s first crypto, Bitcoin (BTC), it has come a long way as globally over 220 million people have now adopted it.
A survey done by global consultancy firm Deloitte found that merchants in the United States are now coming forward in accepting cryptocurrency as a mode of payment.
Over 2000 senior executives from various industries, including the consumer goods and services industry, were surveyed, and 10% of respondents were from the cosmetics, digital goods, electronics, fashion, food & beverages, home/garden, hospitality & leisure, personal & household goods, services, and transportation industries.
The report titled ‘Merchants getting ready for crypto’, which was prepared in association with PayPal, found that over 75% of those surveyed reported plans to accept either cryptocurrency or stablecoin payments within the next 24 months.
Overall, merchants broadly agree that organizations accepting digital currencies have a competitive advantage in the market (87%), the report underlined.
American Online Retail became the first merchant to accept crypto in 2014 and this was big news during that period, as crypto was just taking baby steps. It appears the baby is now over 13 years old, offering an alternative to all the unbanked, even after centuries of being out of the banking system.
Globally, consultancy firms keep doing research on crypto, but this report throws light on when crypto can be a mainstream platform for making payments.
On the way to global acceptance
Even though cryptocurrencies (also known as digital currency or virtual currency) are still in their early days, 83% of the US merchants have committed more than $1 million to enable digital payments, and a majority of them anticipate that consumer interest in digital currencies will rise over the coming year.
While digital currencies like Bitcoin are valued on the basis of users, a stablecoin is a form of cryptocurrency that is often pegged to fiat currencies such as the US dollar or commodities such as gold, and silver.
The survey targeted US consumer businesses with yearly revenues between $10 million and $500 million, and it seeks their opinions on digital currency payments, their investments in payment infrastructure, and their future plans.
The ecosystem of digital currencies is developing, and the rising usefulness and accessibility are continuously supporting business expansion, the survey report found.
Merchants positive about crypto adoption
It’s important to note that 86% of respondents believe accepting digital currency payments will significantly improve their cash management and finances.
In fact, 61% of respondents aim to integrate digital currencies over the next 24 months, and 26% have already done so in areas of finance like revenue cycle and treasury.
Initially, retailers were encouraged to accept digital currency payments as a marketing strategy, but this is now obviously changing as merchants express an interest in advantages including payment speed and cost savings.
However, there is a sense that longer-term strategic value, not immediate cost savings, is what is driving the current adoption of digital currencies.
Retailers have a more positive outlook on using digital currency as a means of payment and are quick to see this as a necessity for their operations.
Spending right now is still very low, but it is rising quickly. It should come as no surprise that bigger businesses are more likely to be investing more in their efforts to use digital money, the survey added.
Obstacles in crypto payments
But there are still a lot of things to take into account, like infrastructure choices, security, and the creation of a regulatory framework, which will greatly influence how quickly adoption grows in the future.
Retailers are aware of the challenges they need to overcome before they start accepting payments in digital currency.
Nearly 90% of respondents cited the difficulty of integrating their current financial infrastructure with a variety of digital currencies as their main obstacle.
Additionally, the security of the payment platforms topped the list of barriers to adoption, the poll indicated, followed by concerns about the shifting regulatory landscape and the unpredictability of the digital currency market.
More than half of retailers concurred that specific cryptocurrency law, such as national advice on storing digital assets, clarity about the tax repercussions of using digital currencies, and the capacity to hold digital currencies in a bank account, need to be implemented.
The ordinary client may not be making payments in digital currency yet, but there is still a substantial demand for digitally native solutions, particularly among younger generations.
It serves as a warning to merchants that those that ignore customers’ demands and ignore this trend face the risk of falling behind and losing out on sales. Future widespread adoption is also anticipated by all parties.
Crypto spending is still on the smaller side but growing significantly. Not surprisingly, the larger companies are more likely to be making significant investments in their digital currency adoption plans.
Compared to only 6% of small businesses with revenues under $10 million, over 54% of big retailers with $500 million or more in annual sales have spent more than $1 million to enable digital currency payments.
With the developments happening in the adoption of the crypto space, soon, more merchants across the globe will accept crypto as a payment mode, giving more alternatives to people who want to spend their crypto for daily expenses and leisure.