The bitcoin boom continues to keep eager investors on their toes, but are any of them anticipating how they’ll actually spend the bitcoin they get? Who will accept it? Is their local city open and accommodating to bitcoin as currency? Are business owners getting in on the cryptocurrency trend, and if not, why?
We recently collated data on which companies and cities are more open to accepting crypto payments, with the help of sources like CoinMap. But we also spoke to 584 small-business owners and managers about their perception of accepting cryptocurrencies. With both this qualitative and quantitative information, we were able to determine the most bitcoin-friendly cities and see how business owners are planning to approach cryptocurrency in the future. They shared everything from their plans to their top influences. Keep reading to find out what they had to share.
Cryptocurrency, by definition, is a form of currency, i.e., something that you can exchange for goods or services. But this definition has its limitations, as you can’t exactly use cryptocurrency everywhere. The first section of our study lists the top cities for cryptocurrency ATMs, crypto-accepting restaurants, and crypto-accepting retailers, all based on data from CoinMap.
While cryptocurrency might not be accepted everywhere in the U.S., there are certain hot spots in the country where you’ll have an easier time accessing your digital money. Los Angeles was the top-ranking city for all three factors of this study: crypto-ATMS, the number of restaurants that accept crypto, and the number of local retailers that accept crypto. Generally, businesses that accept bitcoin as payment tend to be located on the coast.
Chicago was also a standout city for bitcoin business. The city ranked second for ATMs and second for bitcoin-accepting restaurants. Illinois has been making intense pushes to become the epicenter of cryptocurrency, while the state is home to one of the largest Bitcoin mining facilities in the Midwest. Illinois is also working on a bill that, if passed, will make it the second state (after Wyoming) to allow special trusts (like banks) to hold cryptocurrency. Business owners in Chicago are evidently anticipating crypto’s longevity in their city.
The next section of our study talks directly to business owners and top-level executives, many of whom have already begun accepting cryptocurrency in their establishments. We gauged their opinions on the practice and what’s most influencing their attitude toward crypto.
Nearly a third of the business owners and top-level executives we spoke to said they are currently accepting cryptocurrency as an acceptable form of payment in their establishment. Mostly, they felt it was the currency of the future (49%). Many thought in terms of marketing and accepted the digital coin to appeal to younger generations (44%) or to acquire new customers (43%).
Once PayPal enabled online vendors to accept bitcoin in 2014, the decision to go crypto was cemented for many small-business owners. Fifty-nine percent agreed that major companies like PayPal giving the green light was their primary influence. Half were also influenced by players like Tesla getting in on the crypto game. Most often, businesses accepted Bitcoin (58%), Bitcoin Cash (36%), or Ethereum (35%), though some ventured down even more alternative lanes.
Lastly, our study wraps up with a glimpse toward the future – or, at least, what top-level executives think of it. We looked at the top reasons this group might oppose cryptocurrency and how they would categorize their general perspectives on crypto’s future.
The primary reason businesses reported still resisting cryptocurrency is the volatility of the market. Many financial experts say volatility is crypto’s only certainty. Another 45% felt it was just too risky for their businesses to accept crypto. Just over a third admitted that they didn’t know enough about it yet. Not everything that they did know was positive, however: 17% disliked that it was harming the environment, while 16% feared the implications of every transaction being public.
When all is said and done, most business owners seemed to be warming up to the idea. A quarter said they should start accepting cryptocurrency but don’t know how. Twenty percent were considering accepting crypto already, while an additional 7% actively planned to make the switch. If you are interested, it’s actually fairly easy to find a payment processor for your own establishment. They typically charge a 1% fee.
Even if cryptocurrency isn’t your company’s thing (yet), it’s encouraging that more options are becoming available to small- and large-business owners alike. Many of the high-level executives we spoke to have already started accepting cryptocurrency or were planning to make the switch, while those who opted out often admitted they simply didn’t know enough about it.
If your business isn’t changing, know that the world around it is. Cities like Los Angeles and Chicago have already become hubs for cryptocurrency retailers and restaurants, while PayPal is trying to make it as simple as possible for the average business owner to get in on the trend. But perhaps it’s not a trend after all and, simply (as many business owners felt), the currency of the future.
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This study uses data from a survey of 183 small-business owners and 401 top-level managers located in the U.S. Survey respondents were presented with a series of questions, including attention-check and disqualification questions. 54.6% of respondents identified as men, while 45.4% identified as women. Respondents ranged in age from 31 to 71 with an average age of 48. Participants incorrectly answering any attention-check question had their answers disqualified. This study has a 3% margin of error on a 95% confidence interval.
Please note that survey responses are self-reported and are subject to issues, such as exaggeration, recency bias, and telescoping.
The cryptocurrency implications for your business could be huge. If other business owners you know could benefit from the findings of this study, please share it with them. Just be sure your purposes are noncommercial and that you link back to this page.