At least a third of new small businesses in the U.S. are accepting crypto payments according to a survey by HSB. However, growing cyber threats connected to virtual currencies might scupper virtual currency adoption by smaller businesses.
One-third of U.S. Small Businesses Accept Crypto Payments
In a press release published on Wednesday (January 15, 2019), HSB announced the results of a survey to determine the extent of crypto adoption by small businesses in the U.S. The research showed that 36 percent of the 505 small and medium-sized enterprises in the survey already allow crypto payments in America.
Of the over 180 businesses already accepting crypto payment, more than half also buy digital currencies as part of their operations. The HSBC survey indicated that newer businesses were more likely to adopt cryptos than businesses for more than 20 years in operation.
According to the survey, 47 percent of the crypto adopting businesses were less than five years old. Only 21 percent of the over 180 businesses already accepting crypto payments were 20 years or older.
Retail adoption remains one of the fundamental challenges for the emerging crypto market with issues such as volatility and transaction speed, especially for micropayments a problem for many businesses. Data from Coinmap.org shows that more than 15,800 different bitcoin-accepting businesses exist around the world presently.
Commenting on the results of the survey, HSB vice president Timothy Zeilman cautioned small businesses about the risks associated with cryptos, saying:
“Cyber criminals follow the money and fraud can be a serious problem. A number of currency exchanges have been hacked or embezzled and millions of dollars were lost. Smaller businesses, especially those starting out, can’t afford to be cheated.”
For Zeilman, small businesses should do proper due diligence before creating protocols to accept crypto payments.
The Push for Retail Crypto Adoption
Crypto companies like Abra have continued to foster greater cryptocurrency adoption, especially in the retail market. Back in 2019, the Bitcoin wallet provider enabled 6,000 retail outlets under the 9-Eleven franchise in the Philippines to accept virtual currency payments.
Apart from activities on the merchant side, some companies are also creating avenues to incentivize consumers into crypto adoption. Some crypto startups are inking deals with online merchants to enable cryptocurrency rebates which could open up a pathway for people to spend virtual currencies.