It used to be the case that if you wanted to invest in cryptocurrencies, you invested in Bitcoin.
For two years after the first Bitcoin was mined, there were simply no alternative cryptocurrencies whatsoever. it wasn’t until 2011 that the first altcoin was launched and it went by the name RippleCoin.
If you’re active in the world of fintech then you’ll know it by its modern name Ripple (XRP). RippleCoin set a trend that most successful altcoins have followed – you can’t just be a Bitcoin copycat. RippleCoin aimed to offer a fast, safe, and cheap way for banks and other financial institutions to send and receive payments globally. So while Bitcoin aimed to be a general use currency, RippleCoin had a niche.
Later altcoins would go on to compete with Bitcoin as general use currencies, but the successful ones all offered some technological advantage over Bitcoin. The most successful of these today is Ethereum; and since it launched 6 years after Bitcoin, it’s able to do many things Bitcoin can’t, while offering much faster transaction times.
I can’t tell you if Ethereum will eventually replace Bitcoin, but I can tell you what impact all these new cryptocurrencies might have on the ecommerce landscape.
Recommended reading: What is Bitcoin’s future?
New smart solutions
Many new cryptocurrencies are designed with a specific function in mind, and with all the choice out there, it’s not unlikely that an altcoin exists with the capacity to make your life easier.
Ethereum is the cryptocurrency that probably offers the best advantages right now. While Ripple offers robust services for banks, Ethereum offers something far more versatile that can impact all of ecommerce…
To everyone who isn’t a lawyer, smart contracts are the most exciting crypto-tech yet. To describe exactly what a smart contract does, and why it’s so exciting, I’ll give an example:
Let’s say you’re leasing a piece of software such as Photoshop. You set up a smart contract so that when an amount of cryptocurrency is paid, an unlock key for a month is automatically sent. When the month ends if there hasn’t been another payment, then another unlock key for the next month won’t be sent.
So far it sounds like any subscription, but the beauty of the smart contract is that it’s self-contained, and once it’s activated it cannot be altered by either party. That means once the customer pays the requisite sum of coins, they are guaranteed to either receive their software key or get their money automatically refunded. And on top of that, the transaction is publicly visible so everyone is held accountable.
There’s more for you to support
Being the owner of an online buy levitra from india business is about being fluid, flexible, and responsive. You need to be forever providing the answers to new problems faced by your customers and offering solutions to their ever-evolving desires.
If you want to give your customers the freedom to pay by whatever method they choose, then there’s still some work for you to do on the cryptocurrency end.
As of right now, there are over 40 notable active cryptocurrencies, and over 1000 less notable ones. And let’s be honest: you’re probably not going to see many purchases made with most of them, even if you did support them.
If you care about supporting the the growth of cryptocurrencies, then you might consider using a payment processor such as CoinPayments. These services offer an easy way to accept 100’s of altcoins with low hassle and low costs — but some online stores also support Bitcoin as part of their native set up.
Right now, the main benefit of supporting a variety of cryptocurrencies is the street cred it lends your business — not the huge influx of customers.
Blockchain goes mainstream
One side effect of the diversification of cryptocurrencies is that people have realized the value of blockchain, irrespective of the currencies themselves.
We have already talked about one application of blockchain in smart contracts, but tying blockchain down to one function isn’t doing it justice. The great promise of blockchain is decentralization.
It will impact practically every fintech industry and your online business is sure to feel the effect in some way. Blockchain is practically incorruptible, and could invoke a fintech revolution by removing middle-men from our economy — lowering the cost of doing business across the board.
Will it crash?
If you’re taking advantage of a service that’s linked to a smaller altcoin, you could be in for a bumpy ride. Even if you’re completely isolated from anything to do with cryptocurrencies, a cryptocurrency crash could cause major disruption.
Ultimately, we don’t know what’s going to happen — but these currencies can be volatile.
If you thought all this cryptocurrency stuff was nothing but media hype, now you know better. I recommend taking full advantage of blockchain technology — even if the Bitcoin bubble does pop, we can be sure blockchain will bounce back even if cryptocurrencies don’t!
Victoria Greene is a branding consultant and freelance writer. On her blog, VictoriaEcommerce, she covers updates in the digital world and provides tips on how online businesses can apply them to their business strategy. She is passionate about using her experience to help other business owners succeed.