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Guide to accepting Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies on your website or online business

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How to accept payments with Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies on an e-commerce website? Basically there are two ways:

  • direct payments,
  • compatible gateways.

The system with direct connections

The first system requires that website operator activate their own bitcoin wallet and provide the customer with the public address to send the payment with BTC.

In this case, it is better to use a different public address for each order, so that the payment can be verified.

In fact, since all data related to Bitcoin chain payments is public, after the payment is made, it is possible for everyone, including the customer, to verify that the transaction has been made, including the date, time and the amount.

Since the manual management of this organization is not easy, plugins for popular e-commerce platforms already exist They allow the operator to connect their own bitcoin wallet to their website, to automatically provide the customer with a different public address to make the payment, for each order.

Bitpay or GourlFor example, they offer the possibility of integrating a payment system on e-commerce websites to collect direct payments in various cryptocurrencies, but there are also others. It is enough to search for "bitcoin wallet" on websites where you can download the plugins from the various platforms to have a variety of options.

A wallet with a seed can have many different public addresses, therefore, even with a single wallet, it is possible to generate a new address for each new order.

This system has some advantages and some disadvantages.

The main advantage is that it does not require intermediaries and therefore does not imply any commission cost for the website operator. In fact, the cost of the transaction is borne exclusively by the paying customer.

The main “downside” is that bitcoin is collected and not fiat currency, and if merchandise sold by the website is purchased in fiat currency, this could lead to the need to convert BTC to fiat currency once received. In this case, the website operator will require a second manual step to move BTC to an exchange, sell it, collect fiat currency and then move the funds to a bank account, for example.

Third-party gateways

The second system, on the other hand, involves relying on a third-party payment gateway which is in charge of collecting on behalf of the website operator and can often also allow the operator to collect fiat currency directly.

Also in this case, it is better to use a suitable plugin for the platform in use on the website, since manual management is likely to be unfeasible.

These gateways require the operator itself, and not the operator of the e-commerce website, to manage the BTC collection. The payment process for the end customer will remain the same, but the bitcoin will be sent to the payment gateway and not to the website operator.

Coingate or Coinbase Commerce They offer this type of service, although it is enough to search for "bitcoin gateways" on websites where you can download plugins from the various platforms to have a wide range of options.

The main advantage for the website operator is that they do not have to manage the collection of BTC, in part because these gateways often allow automatic exchange of BTC in fiat currency and therefore direct income in fiat currency. In this case, the operator does not have to change anything compared to other fiat currency payment gateways, and can also completely avoid handling bitcoin.

The main disadvantage is the cost, since the use of these gateways implies costs for the site operator, as well as collection rates or an exchange rate differential.

In other words, part of the payments is somehow transferred to the gateway operator to pay the cost of the service, while with the first solution, i.e. direct BTC collection, the website operator does not pay any fees. However, it should be noted that exchanging fiat currency BTC on an exchange generally involves costs, either as a percentage of the exchange, or in terms of deposits and withdrawals on the exchange.

As expected, it is not difficult to enable payments in bitcoins or other cryptocurrencies on an e-commerce website.

It is enough to use the right tool (usually a plugin) and also the website administrator may not change the operation in any way. Additionally, the fees involved in using the second solution (the cryptocurrency payment gateway) are often lower than the world's leading fiat currency payment gateways.

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