75% of Merchants Plan to Accept Crypto Payments in 2 Years

From Starbucks to Lamborghinis, consumers are using cryptocurrency to pay for a variety of products — and retailers are taking notice.

Nearly 75% of retailers plan to accept payments in cryptocurrency or stablecoins within the next two years, according to a June survey conducted by Deloitte titled “Merchants Prepare for Crypto.”

Deloitte interviewed a sample of 2,000 senior retail industry executives who represent a range of subsectors, including cosmetics, electronics, fashion, transportation, food and beverage.

While digital currencies like Bitcoin are generally only as valuable as users believe, a stablecoin is a type of cryptocurrency that derives its value from an underlying asset. Stablecoins are often pegged to currencies such as the US dollar or a commodity such as gold.

Although paying with cryptocurrency is fairly new now, 83% of retailers expect consumer interest in digital currencies to increase over the next year and just over half of them they have invested more than $1 million to enable digital payments, according to the survey.

For consumers, this means you will soon be able to buy clothes, drinks, beauty products and more with crypto.

How retailers plan to enable payments with digital currency

Although retailers plan to accept digital currency as payment, that doesn’t necessarily mean they plan to hold virtual assets.

Just over 50% of respondents plan to have digital currency converted into fiat by third-party payment processors, i.e. money that is legal tender by a government, such as the US dollar, pound sterling and the euro. This means that retailers do not plan to actually own the cryptocurrency used for payment.

Given the unpredictability of the crypto market, using this strategy is considered less risky for retailers than holding crypto themselves. This approach also makes it faster and easier for retailers to enable payments with digital currencies, reports Deloitte.

Barriers to Enabling Payments with Cryptocurrency

Crypto-curious retailers recognize that there are a number of challenges to overcome in enabling payments with digital currencies. Nearly 90% cited the complexity of making their existing financial infrastructure compatible with various digital currencies as their biggest challenge.

Additionally, payment platform security tops the list of barriers to adoption, the survey found, followed by concerns about the changing regulatory landscape and instability in the digital currency market.

More than half of retailers agreed that certain regulations regarding cryptocurrency needed to be enacted, including national guidelines on holding digital assets, clarity on the tax implications of using digital currencies, and the ability to hold digital currencies in a bank account.

Retailers remain optimistic about the future of payments made with cryptocurrency

Despite their concerns, retailers remain optimistic about the benefits of enabling payments with cryptocurrencies. Nearly half of retailers believe the move will improve the customer experience and increase their customer base.

“We anticipate that new partnerships with regulated and established industry institutions will help deliver the benefits of digital currencies (e.g., convenience and support) and continue to build the necessary foundation of trust,” the report concludes.

While the ability to pay with crypto might be good news for some crypto users, it’s always important to remember that these assets can be very volatile, and experts generally recommend investing only as much money as you are ready to lose.

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