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Online purchases made in cryptocurrencies, big and small, are quickly becoming a thing. The infrastructure is still shaping up, and new startups are emerging to connect consumers who wish to make online buys in cryptocurrencies with merchants who wish to accept those purchases.
The number of purchases made in cryptocurrencies rose by 34% in 2017
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The CEO of one of the leading cryptocurrency payment processors/gateways TheBigCoin, Aivaras Isajevas, is optimistic about the demand of cryptocurrency-enabled purchases in the future.
“A few years ago, it seemed like a crazy idea – that somebody would want to actually spend their cryptocurrencies for shoes and movie tickets,” the CEO told us, “However, we’ve noticed that people are doing it – and we’re only fulfilling their their demand, and helping businesses do so as well. This year, we’ve seen an increase of over 34% in product purchases made in cryptocurrencies.”
As for the actual products and services that are being purchased most, Mr. Isajevas says he doesn’t see any strong trends towards any niche or industry.
“People are buying pretty much everything in cryptocurrencies nowadays. Shoes, airplane tickets, clothes – you name it,” the CEO shared, “A couple of days ago, we’ve received an order for a massage table.”
“There aren’t any noticeable trends in terms of what kinds of products have the highest demand among cryptocurrency buyers,” Mr. Isajevas continued, “but it’s clear that it’s mostly higher-end purchases. Most online orders made in cryptocurrencies we receive usually amount to $100 or more.”
Currently, TheBigCoin caters for both sides of the cryptocurrency purchase equation. Customers can shop at any online retailer in 5 cryptocurrencies by simply entering the product’s URL into TheBigCoin’s interface, and online merchants can start accepting payments in cryptocurrencies by simply installing a plugin on their e-commerce platform.
“Observing how customers make purchases in cryptocurrencies allows us to improve our solutions for businesses,” Mr. Isajevas said, “For example, we’ve noticed that recently the number of purchases made in Litecoin, Ethereum, Dash and Monero significantly rose and overtook cryptocurrencies.”
“99% of the online retail space still doesn’t support cryptocurrency payments. We’re trying to change that,” the CEO added.
Biggest Challenges: High, Volatile Fees and Lack of Trust
When asked about the barriers and challenges currently present in the cryptocurrency commerce scene, the CEO of TheBigCoin acknowledged that there are quite a few.
“First of all, it’s a very new industry and a very new service. People are still trying to understand what cryptocurrencies are all about, let alone making purchases in them,” Mr. Isajevas said, “ That’s why we’re trying to show the world that real people, just like yourself, are making online purchases in cryptocurrencies every single day.
However, lack of trust isn’t the only issue that stops potential customers from making purchases in cryptocurrencies. Volatile, increasing fees make cryptocurrency commerce less attractive for both sides of the equation:
“Yes, and this is especially true for online retailers who want to accept cryptocurrency payments,” the CEO explained, “They never know what the fees are going to be tomorrow, and they’re scared they might lose a substantial margin of their profits overnight.”
“Since other cryptocurrencies – Litecoin and Dash, for example – tend to offer much lower and more stable transaction fees, we’re working towards introducing as many cryptocurrency options as possible. Customers can already choose to make purchases in five cryptocurrencies – Bitcoin, Ethereum, Dash, Litecoin and Monero – and we’re planning to make those currencies available for the merchant side of our business as well in 2018. Which means that online retailers will be able to accept payments for goods and services in at least 5 cryptocurrencies in the nearest future,” Mr. Isajevas told us.