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What Does Bitcoin Mean for Point-of-Sale Systems?

Oct 28, 2015 | Weekly Articles

On October 6th 2015, Ingenico, a French based payment processor, has announced they plan to integrate Bitcoin payments into their Point-of-Sale technology, rocking the world by bringing an online currency into the brick and mortar world.

Bitcoin, shrouded in mystery when it first was released to the public in 2009 by Satoshi Nakamoto, an alias that translates to “to rise from the ashes”.

Historically Bitcoin came at an interesting time, released during the Recession caused by the 2008 stock market crash. Banks caused the downfall of an entire economy, costing jobs and money left and right.

People had started to see the damage banks could inflict upon an entire country, and the how much authority government and banks had over money left many uncomfortable.

It’s not hard to draw the conclusion that Bitcoin was partially created to stop that kind of control from government and banks.

Bitcoin is the first decentralized currency, meaning it has no owner. No one owns Bitcoin, not even its creator Satoshi Nakamoto in their anonymous glory.

It essentially runs a giant transaction bookkeeping program, where every transaction is documented, but only the wallet ID is shown rather the transaction participates names.

So should merchants drop everything and join the Bitcoin wagon?

Not yet.

Bitcoin does have significant benefits for merchants, and it is a reasonably safe, since their mining network prevents fraud better than credit card fraud detection.

So if you have a majority of customers who want to pay with Bitcoin, you may want to start looking into finding a way to integrate it (if you’re an E-Commerce merchant).

Still proceed with caution

As of today, the U.S government has not made any statements towards Bitcoin, and their response will affect the outcome of merchants adapting the technology.

This will affect future business with both face to face and online transactions.

The U.S government has called it a “currency”, but unlike Germany, France, the UK, and Japan, they haven’t outright embraced it.

While it’s highly probable they won’t outright make it illegal like Russia has, their lack of a statement leads to concern towards Bitcoin’s future in the U.S.

Why anti Bitcoin?

The U.S government would lose currency control (since it’s not owned by them), and banks would lose a lot of money since Bitcoin does not charge any fees to use.

The U.S government would benefit if it can find a way to tax Bitcoin, but as to any sort of plan of how to implement that has not be revealed by the treasury.

For right now, Bitcoin is still a bit new for merchants to dive head first into the pool of Bitpay. Since it has only been integrated through a French company with Point-of-Sale systems, it’s unlikely U.S merchants will have to adapt this technology right away.

It’s actually wiser to let the government take an official stance on how they will process Bitcoin before you go crazy adapting technology.

Even if you wanted to, it’s not an available option yet.

Almost no processors for face to face transactions accept Bitcoin, since we’re on the brink of a new technology it’s not widely circulated yet.

Will Bitcoin become widely adapted for card present transactions?

Probably.

We wouldn’t be surprised if it was used for face to face transactions in the future.

If Bitcoin continues to grow like it has so far, and they develop even tighter safety features, then it’s hard to image it not becoming the currency of the future.

But until then, stay tuned.

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If you’d like to learn more about what technologies steps to take with your own business, or would like a free demo, contact us here.

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