The Pros and Cons of Bitcoin

Throughout the recent recession, entrepreneurs have been constantly looking for ways to improve efficiency, cut costs and ensure their businesses survived. Although we are told that the economy is recovering, this is not the time to relax efforts in this respect. One of the innovative ways that some owners of businesses operating beyond their own localities is to use Bitcoin as an option for payments and receipts. For most people, though, Bitcoin and how it works is still something of a mystery.

Some outsourced bookkeepers have been intrigued by Bitcoin and looked into it so they can discuss it knowledgeably with their clients. While there are a number of advantages to using the Bitcoin system, there are also risks that need avoidance measures. As long as robust security policies and procedures are in place, a Bitcoin system could be a valuable asset to many small businesses.

Advantages of Using Bitcoin

If you decide to add Bitcoin to your payment options for customers, it's still a rare enough phenomenon to be a perfect opportunity to get some publicity. When you let your local press know and announce it on social media platforms, it will be followed up and your business will get plenty of exposure. You will be recognised as innovative and up-to-the-minute.

To take advantage of this, you need to make sure you have the knowledge to answer questions about it and can provide helpful quotes. Adam Twidell, founder of private jet firm PrivateFly, said, "The private jet market is all about fast turnaround, and processing bank transfers or clearing credit card payments at short notice can slow things down. With Bitcoin we can easily make a £20,000 payment at midnight when the banks are shut. For us, offering Bitcoin is about increasing customer choice, improving efficiency and embracing the latest technolog.'

As well as being fast, Bitcoin is an economical system that cuts out the cost of currency exchange and card processing. You just need to sign up online for a Bitcoin wallet, which acts like an online bank account. This is linked to your physical bank account so that transfers can be made. Then you should sign up with a payment processor to manage your transactions. Fees for this are much cheaper than bank charges or those from credit card companies.

Risks in Using Bitcoin

The most obvious risk is that of computer hackers. That's why you need to take really robust security measures. Bitcoin transactions are transparent and publically available, and will leave a really good audit trail. If you want privacy, you should learn how to use different Bitcoin addresses with this in mind.

Another risk is that the value of Bitcoins is still constantly fluctuating so you are advised not to keep them for long. Most transaction processors will convert them on receipt and pass cash to your bank account.

As long as you take the measures to avoid these risks, Bitcoin should bring business benefits. Many small businesses have taken the plunge as you will see if you search online via CoinMap.org or similar sites. Your outsourced bookkeepers will be interested to discuss Bitcoin and see what you think about it.

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