I digitally deliver high resolution images via Dropbox links in emails – free, instant, easy! I would be thrilled to accept payment (nearly) instantly (nearly) free as well. Bitcoin facilitates this – payment as easy as emailing.
Of course Bitcoin is still very young and it’s perhaps not as easy as mailing a check if you or your company have not done the legwork to understand this new frontier of finance. That being said, I would love to discuss how Bitcoin can help make your payments quicker, more trackable, and near-painless.
Why payment via Bitcoin helps me (and you!):
- It’s instant. I provide an address on an invoice, you hit send and the Bitcoin arrives in my account.
- It’s (near) free. Bitcoin transaction fees hover around $0.05 for any amount. A $1000 payment via Credit Card costs me roughly $30 in fees to accept (Paypal, Square, etc). A 3% payment fee is a 3% (non-governmental) tax on normal business operations.
- No returned mail! My clients have had their envelopes returned to them stamped UNDELIVERABLE despite having the correct address on the envelope with proper postage (another cost!). This creates delays, uncertainty that disrupts financial planning, and more administrative time sorting out how to proceed.
- 100% traceable and auditable – I can see exactly when payment was made and you can see and prove that I have received it.
Currently converting dollars to Bitcoin costs about 1% either way. Reputable American exchanges such as Coinbase work hard to help you easily convert in and out of Bitcoin as well as send and receive it. If you’re interested in holding large amounts of Bitcoin it may be wise to secure your account independently rather than relying Coinbase or other wallet providers to have custodial control over the funds – again I’m happy to help you learn more about this and any other facet of Bitcoin.
Bigger picture, film and printed photographs used to require physical delivery, and in return a check would be mailed for payment. Today delivery of gigabytes of files can be done instantly, and in return a check must be mailed for payment to be made.
Here’s a quick run-down of potential problems in using Bitcoin as a part of your business:
- Bitcoin is currently treated like a security from a federal tax standpoint. Capital gains tax must be paid on any gains due to fluctuation in price, and inversely losses can be deducted. If you hold Bitcoin for any length of time you will be exposed to fluctuations in its value.
- States are beginning to regulate Bitcoin beyond the loose federal guidelines. Compliance with these regulations may prove cumbersome or expensive, thus diminishing the utility of using Bitcoin in your business.
- Bitcoin is currently highly volatile. Daily fluctuations of 5% or more are common.
- You can only realize the benefits of Bitcoin when sending Bitcoin to companies who accept it, or getting paid in Bitcoin from companies who also use it. Email wasn’t useful when nobody had email… therefore Bitcoin’s usefulness is currently hampered by its limited adoption, especially by businesses.
- There is no FDIC insurance or an equivalent protection in place with most wallet providers. It is your responsibility to either secure your Bitcoin balance yourself or trust a company to hold it for you. Many companies have either been hacked or have simply stolen customer funds. The space is very young and this is a major issue for uneducated users. On the other hand, proper Bitcoin security practices can help prevent identity theft, unauthorized payments, and all manner of headaches that waste time and burden the existing financial system.
All of this is fun, right? If not, I’ll still take payment via check. If you’re interested please email me – my contact info can be found on the Contact page.
I am not interested using Bitcoin to somehow avoid taxes or otherwise engage in financial mischief. Clients currently pay me via check, cash, and barter – all of which I take into account when setting prices, managing my business and calculating taxes.