From the moment we became able to purchase goods and services electronically and online with the click of a button, it seems that the evolution of cryptocurrency was inevitable. After all, if we can transfer money digitally, it naturally follows that our currency might become digital, too. As various cryptocurrencies like bitcoin have mushroomed in value, more businesses have started accepting them as forms of payment — which in turn, has made the rise of blockchain and cryptocurrency ATMs inevitable, too.
For consumers and business owners who are new to the idea of cryptocurrency and bitcoin ATMs in general, let’s give a little background on the idea of blockchain and how cryptocurrency works.
What Is Blockchain?
Blockchain technology serves as the foundation of all cryptocurrency — but what, exactly, is blockchain? Put as simply as possible, blockchain is a form of secure data entry that is updated simultaneous on all computers connected to a network (a peer-to-peer, or P2P, network). At its heart, it’s not that much different than an open-source, community-driven platform like Wikipedia. Virtually anyone can create and edit entries in Wikipedia, and the entry will update automatically for anyone who accesses that entry. The biggest difference with blockchain is that it is encrypted data.
How Blockchain Works with Cryptocurrency
When someone makes a cryptocurrency transaction — for example, when someone purchase bitcoin, or uses bitcoin to make a purchase — that transaction is recorded in the blockchain and instantly propagated across all computers in the network. (This makes transactions exceedingly simple since bitcoin and similar currencies are effectively data.) What makes blockchain so effective in this case is that the transactions are both secure and transparent. They are secure because they are encrypted, making it difficult for hackers to tamper with them; and they are transparent in that every computer updates with the same information, so it is very difficult (if not impossible) to tamper with the books or hide transactions.
What this technology means for bitcoin users is that every time you conduct a transaction with bitcoin, it instantly and securely registers across the global network how much you bought or spent while still protecting your identity and privacy. This makes it incredibly easy to conduct transactions across the world with little risk of theft or tampering.
Which Types of Businesses Benefit from Cryptocurrency?
Cryptocurrency is now being accepted by a wide range of businesses, ranging from e-commerce sites to local retailers to national chains like Subway. Specifically, cryptocurrency might be a good fit for your business in any of the following situations:
- If you conduct transactions internationally. Cryptocurrency bypasses many of the complex foreign banking processes.
- If you conduct a lot of business online.
- If you run a marijuana dispensary. While cannabis is becoming legal in many states, the federal government still considers it a controlled substance, which means federally insured banks can’t do business with dispensaries. Cryptocurrency gives you an alternative form of payment to cash-only or running funds through a bank.
- If you simply want to provide an alternative form of payment.
If your business accepts bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies as a form of payment, it might be in your best interests to install a bitcoin ATM in your place of business to make it easy for your customers to use this form of payment. To learn how we can help, call National ATM Wholesale at 1-866-295-2329.