Like any online business, I’ve accepted credit cards and Paypal for quite some time. But, I’ve decided to also accept Bitcoin. Here’s why…
Like any online educational business, the Blog Marketing Academy has long accepted all major credit cards and Paypal.
But, just recently, I set up the ability for people to buy training and services here at BMA using Bitcoin.
So, what is this thing?
Many of you have likely heard of BitCoin, but don’t really know what it is. It is just this weird thing that geeks and some investor types talk about. And being that it is new, it is often written off.
I’m one of those people who wrote it off, too. In the scheme of the world, I’m certainly an early adopter of Bitcoin. However, in the world of early adopters, I’m a bit late to the party. I know several people who got started with BitCoin much earlier than I did – some of who have done pretty well with it.
I started looking into Bitcoin just a few weeks ago. And I decided to purchase some – just about $1,000 worth. I wanted to dip my feet into this world of crypto-currency, but not enough where if I lost it all I’d lose any sleep.
So, let me give you the bird’s eye run down…
What Is Bitcoin? Is It Real?
Bitcoin is a crypto-currency. In other words, it is a digital currency that exists only in computers. There are actually many different crypto-currencies out there, however BitCoin was the first and has, by far, the largest market adoption.
To understand this, we should probably first look at what a currency really is.
Many people hold a dollar in their hand and they think of it as money. But, we think of it as money simply because everybody else does, too. In reality, it is just a piece of paper not much different than a piece of notebook paper. That dollar bill has NO value whatsoever, in reality.
A currency is simply a medium of exchange of value. It gets its value only through mutual agreement and confidence. Aside from that, it has no value. This is distinctly different from something of innate value, such as gold and silver.
Gold and silver have historically been used as actual money around the world, but of course it becomes impractical to lug it around or break it apart. So, we created a representation of gold and silver called currencies. Currency (in our case, the US dollar) used to represent some fractional amount of gold. Then in 1971, Nixon officially cut our currency loose from the gold standard and the dollar has been decreasing in value ever since. That is because the ONLY value of the dollar today is mutual agreement and confidence.
Now, we have a long tradition of using dollars. So, we’re used to it. Most of the world is as well, since the US dollar is the main medium of exchange worldwide (aka the reserve currency). I could get into why that isn’t going to last and why we’re looking at an almost certain devaluation of the US dollar, but that is a whole new blog post. 🙂
But, this brings us to BitCoin. It is a digital currency. It has only existed since 2009.
Lot of people look at that and think it must be fake. Not real. Play money.
And certainly, it doesn’t have the historical record of the US dollar.
But, if a currency is just a medium of exchange backed by confidence, obviously Bitcoin is a real currency. It isn’t one which is represented in paper money, since it is all digital. But, it is a currency with an almost $11 billion market cap and growing.
Many large, billion-dollar companies are now accepting Bitcoin as payments. Now, many of them simply exchange it back into US dollars, but it is still being accepted as a medium of exchange.
When you get right down to it, most US dollar transactions are all digital today. So, really, aside from historical record, what’s really the difference?
My Own Personal Interest In Bitcoin
I’m pretty new to the whole thing. But, I’m not new to the world of economics and money.
In my personal opinion, we’re in for some big shifts in the world of monetary policy in the coming years. The massive amounts of debt (both public and private) have served to create a lot of new dollars out of thin air. The value of the dollar, as a result, has decreased alot.
I also think the world is going to soon dump the US dollar as the world reserve, which is going to have a significant impact on the value of the dollar.
So, I look for places to store and invest money that will not fall in value along with the dollar. Gold and silver are top among them – again, in my opinion. Physical assets such as real estate are also good (although I think we’re in another bubble and buying later makes more sense).
But, I see Bitcoin as a currency with potential as other world currencies fluctuate. In some ways, it could mature even to a point of being similar to gold in terms of a “safe storage”.
A “fiat currency” is simple a currency issued and managed by governments and central banks, and its value is solely derived from the confidence in the issuing government. Bitcoin, by nature, does not derive it’s value from any government. It is not managed by any government. It is completely de-centralized, which gives it a similar nature to gold.
Bitcoin is designed to be capped at 21 million bitcoin. Once 21 million have been created (through “mining”), no more. That alone makes the currency immune to huge inflationary risk.
Bitcoin is subject to the raw free market, rather than government monetary policy. Basic laws of supply and demand. For this reason, it goes up and down in value. In fact, it can fluctuate up and down rather violently at times, although in the last year or so it has steadied out much more. Bitcoin still has a lot of maturing to do, but it has come a long way in it’s 7-year history.
Bitcoin can seem complicated at first. But, one of the best places to get started with it is CoinBase.
CoinBase brings the simplicity of Paypal to the world of Bitcoin.
CoinBase is an exchange (which allows you to transfer dollars into Bitcoin) as well as a wallet service. A bitcoin wallet is your means of digital storage. There are a lot of ways to store bitcoin, however Coinbase does make it quite easy and avoids you having to understand all kinds of cryptographic keys and stuff.
If you decide to give it a go, sign up for CoinBase using this link. Yes, this is a referral link. But, the way it works is that, if you buy $100 or more in Bitcoin for your account, Coinbase will credit both of us – me and YOU – with $10 in Bitcoin as a commission. So, yes, even you get an affiliate commission by signing up via my referral link.
Keep in mind, too. When you “buy” $100 in Bitcoin, it isn’t as if you’re spending $100. You’re simply transferring the value of that $100 into another currency. It is no different than if you went to Russia and exchanged your $100 into rubles. So, you don’t lose any money, outside of fluctuations that are natural in the exchange rates. It works just like any other currency.
Plus, you can get your money back out of Bitcoin and convert back into dollars any time you want.
Why I’ve Decided To Accept BitCoin
When I signed up with CoinBase, I saw that they had a merchant setup as well. I also noticed that my membership site platform, MemberMouse, has a built-in integration with Coinbase.
Well, how cool is that? 🙂
So, honestly, it was child’s play for me to get things set up to accept Bitcoin transactions here at the Blog Marketing Academy.
Now, I’m not under any expectation that this is going to be a popular option. I realize that credit cards and Paypal will continue to be the most popular options.
However, there are a lot of people out there who own Bitcoin. Plus, it is a growing market.
I also appreciate that it is accepted worldwide. Since BMA operates from the United States, I do all business in dollars. However, customers from other countries end up dealing with exchange rates that are not always favorable. My friends in Canada, for instance, have a bit of a punishing exchange rate right now when buying in US dollars.
So, part of my intention here is to make the training that I sell here at the Blog Marketing Academy more worldwide accessible. Bitcoin is a worldwide currency. It makes my stuff buyable from people all around the world, even if they are not able to get a Paypal account or a credit card.
You can be in the most remote sections of the world and, as long as you can get Bitcoin, you can buy things on this website.
The only hitch right now is that I cannot currently accept Bitcoin for recurring payments unless you are using a Coinbase account yourself. If we go Coinbase-to-Coinbase, you can even pay for a Lab membership with Bitcoin. But, if you’re using another Bitcoin wallet, I cannot do recurring payments at this time. However, all one-time purchases, including all Action Plans, are available using any Bitcoin wallet.
So, There You Have It
You can now buy things on this site using Bitcoin.
And, if you’re running an online business, perhaps it is something to look into. Coinbase makes it pretty easy. MemberMouse works directly with it. I’m sure several other platforms do, too.
We’ll see how it goes. 🙂 Is Bitcoin here to stay? I tend to think so, but you never know. Bitcoin is still young and there’s no guarantee of what will happen with it. Some people think it will eventually become the new world currency. I tend to think that is quite unlikely, but I do think it will continue to grow in usage as a major medium of exchange worldwide. And it certainly will be interesting to see how it fares in some of the coming monetary system changes that we’re sure to experience in the coming years.
And if other digital currencies end up having more long-term use, you can always swap it out.
One more time…
If you’d like to give Bitcoin a go, sign up for a Coinbase account. Once you put at least $100 in Bitcoin into your account, you and I both receive a $10 bitcoin affiliate commission.
There are other services out there besides Coinbase, however I think Coinbase is the simplest to use and quite flexible.
Do you own any Bitcoin? Ever looked into it?