Retailers

Third of SME retailers expect Bitcoin on high street in two years

Cryptocurrency will be a regular thing on the UK high street say a third of SME owners.

A study conducted by payments provider Paymentsense showed that 35 percent of SME owners surveyed expected to see Bitcoin and other forms of cryptocurrency on the high street within the next two years.

Over a fifth (21 percent) of the 504 business owners asked predicted that cryptocurrency will start appearing within one year, however, only 13 percent said they already take cryptocurrency payments with 25 percent believing that it will never hit the high street.

The recent volatility of Bitcoin – which is the most popular of dozens of cryptocurrency options available to investors – doesn’t seem to have discouraged SME owners when it comes to their own cryptocurrency investment, however. Some 59 percent said they’d consider investing in it, while 18 percent had already done so.

The study also revealed that other forms of payment were becoming more prominent amongst UK small businesses.

Of the owners’ questioned, 46 percent accept alternative currencies, with 27 percent involved in schemes such as the Bristol, Liverpool, Brixton and Lewes pound to encourage local spending. A further 15 percent said they accept national bartering schemes such as Bartercard, with 11 percent taking regional gift vouchers.

Guy Moreve, head of marketing at Paymentsense, said: “It’s clear that cryptocurrencies are moving swiftly towards the mainstream. However, small business owners considering cryptocurrency as a payment option should be clear about how they can integrate it with their existing financial arrangements.

“Also, the value of unregulated cryptocurrency changes fast. This has significant implications for an SME’s revenue security. Using a trusted payment processor or merchant service provider can help guard against this by allowing a swift currency exchange, and improve security processes.

“For entrepreneurs in emerging sectors it might be worth the risks involved, but for others in more established or slower-moving areas it could be wiser to wait and see how things evolve over the next six to 12 months,” he added.

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