Ink Factory has been accepting Bitcoin as a payment method since November 2013.
“In just over six months of accepting Bitcoin at Inkfactory.com, the number of orders paid with Bitcoin has not reached three-figures and our largest order in that time was less than 1 BTC (one Bitcoin).”
The benefits to Ink Factory (a printer cartridge retailer) for accepting Bitcoin are clear: near-zero transactional costs and no risk of chargebacks (payment reversal due to fraud). Benefits for customers to pay with Bitcoin are less clear.
“A typical customer paying with Bitcoin buys toner cartridges and tells us they are experimenting with using it as a payment method.”
Experimenting with new technology is always fun, and we’re grateful for the extra business Bitcoin has brought us, but experimentation is not enough for the long-term.
In the absence of a compelling reason, retailers might need to find ways to incentivise customers to use Bitcoin if the benefits it brings are truly valuable enough to do so.
Buying goods with Bitcoin as an exit for speculators?
At some point holders of Bitcoin may wish to “cash out”, and buying (swapping) Bitcoin for physical goods (like toner cartridges, we
hope joke) is one quick way they can do that.
Whilst we don’t seriously expect a rush on toner sales next time the price rallies, we do predict that other types of high-value goods retailers could do very well by accepting Bitcoin in payment.