The advantages of cryptocurrencies as a means of payment are becoming more visible for payment processors and businesses. Bitcoin was founded to enable a “P2P electronic cash system” without the requirement of a financial institution. In 2021, Tesla’s CEO, Elon Musk, announced that the company would accept Bitcoin as a form of payment. Increasing the use of cryptocurrencies as payments will lead to more widespread adoption among retail users despite their volatility.
On April 21, the sixth-largest cryptocurrency by market cap received a much-needed boost toward mass adoption as the crypto payment processor NOWPayments started allowing merchants to accept and withdraw ADA. ADA, the native currency of the Cardano blockchain, will be one of the 50 cryptocurrencies accepted by the payment processor.
NOWPayments is a cryptocurrency payment processor offering a quick integration solution for e-commerce websites wishing to accept and make use of cryptocurrencies. In a statement on Cardano’s Reddit page, NOWPayment announced that website owners can accept ADA for payments on their Shopify store through their native plug-in.
Additionally, NOWPayments also integrates with WooCommerce and Magento through a plug-in and aims to partner with Etsy in the future. With a wide reach across major e-commerce platforms, cryptocurrencies such as ADA can benefit from developing from a store of value to a currency function.
Furthermore, merchants that don’t have an ADA wallet but do specify a different cryptocurrency wallet can still accept other currencies. The platform announced they would facilitate coin conversion as they “convert it automatically for you.” This means that within the NOWPayments gateway, merchants can accept any payment and be paid in their preferred currency. Therefore, merchants can allow buyers to use any currency while receiving payments in ADA, which can provide additional revenue through their investment.
On April 24, Bitcasino announced it would support ADA payments on its platform, with a minimum purchase of 15 ADA. However, it’s not clear whether it uses NOWPayments for crypto processing. Founded in 2014, Bitcasino is one of the leading cryptocurrency casinos that emerged from the blockchain boom.
The low transaction fees on the Cardano blockchain could be a facilitator for increasing the use of ADA. In a statement by Bitcasino, the owners highlight that “players have been waiting for” ADA payments, meaning that ADA is a preferred payment method given the aforementioned low fees.
Mastercard’s executive vice president for blockchain, Raj Dhamodharan, highlighted that they are “preparing right now for the future of crypto and payments.” As Gen Z and millennials are increasingly partial to using digital payments to the detriment of fiat, such a transition is well-founded. What’s more, companies such as Visa, PayPal, and Venmo have also warmed up to cryptocurrencies, making them available either as an investment or as payment. Such developments could be a catalyst for shifting people’s perceptions of crypto from a store of value to an exchange currency similar to fiat.
Twitch removed its cryptocurrency option in 2019; however, in 2020, it rejoined the bandwagon it had previously left and integrated crypto donations once more. Additionally, the company created more incentives for users to use digital currency, offering a 10% discount for subscription fees paid in crypto.
Acceptance of cross-border payments has increased substantially, as cryptocurrencies are debunking the myth of a bubble. PayPal, a leading payment processor for commercial and retail purchases, has started allowing users to make crypto payments to over 10 million retailers worldwide.
In a globalized business environment, Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies can be a saving solution, helping companies to gain and retain customers. Converting prices into many currencies can represent a barrier for online stores, restricting their customer base as transaction fees and conversion rates put purchases on hold.
The acceptance of cryptocurrencies as the preferred payment method could alter the current paradigm and advance a universal payment form. That means that Bitcoin could increase access to a globalized market, which was previously limited because of the lack of a currency that did not belong to any sovereign state.