You can’t help but hear the buzz about cryptocurrency these days. You may be at the point of being ready to invest in it, and perhaps you’ve thought about accepting crypto at your business. Here are several compelling reasons to strongly consider making that move in 2021.

Crypto’s User Base Is Growing Globally

It’s often easier to make business decisions when referring to reliable, relevant data. Statistics can give you an idea of the overall trends that could positively or negatively impact your company. Seeing measurable indications that a progressively larger number of people use cryptocurrency could be enough to convince you that 2021 is an excellent time to start accepting it at your business.

The University of Cambridge’s 2nd Global Cryptoasset Survey may provide the necessary content. It includes data through part of 2018 — the most recent information available from the authors — and shows a clear growth pattern in the number of people using cryptocurrencies. For example, the research highlighted a 94% growth rate in the number of identification-verified cryptocurrency users between the end of 2017 and the first three quarters of 2018.

Moreover, identification-verified user accounts only comprised 10% of all signups at cryptocurrency services in 2016, but the percentage rose to 25% in the first quarter of 2018.

The study’s data came from 47 countries and five world regions. That means wherever you operate, there’s a good chance your nation will experience some growth.

The researchers also mentioned that measuring identification-verified users provided a more accurate total than overall people on a crypto platform. Some may sign up but never do anything more at the site. Those who take time to verify an ID are likely more serious about actively participating.

Specialized Maps Show People Where They Can Use Cryptocurrency

You probably already know the importance of going through the steps of getting your business verified and making it show up on Google Maps. Something useful to know when thinking about accepting crypto at your enterprise is that there are several specialized maps showing the tens of thousands of places worldwide where people can pay with cryptocurrencies.

Getting your business listed on them is typically a self-service process you can do in a few minutes. Some maps also show you where crypto ATMs are located. Studying those specifics can help you decide if having one on your premises is worthwhile.

The fact that these specialty maps exist is another solid reason to start accepting cryptocurrencies at your business in 2021. Consider that the people most often accessing them are either long-time crypto enthusiasts or individuals who are just beginning to get involved and want to find cryptocurrency-friendly merchants. Consumers from both segments could bring you new business and become repeat customers.

Some of your existing customers may use cryptocurrencies as well. That’s why it makes sense to publicize your acceptance of those forms of payment on your blog, social media pages, and website. Consider how signage such as a window sticker on the front door could inform passersby that you accept some cryptocurrencies, along with more traditional payment types, such as credit and debit cards.

Most People Use Cryptocurrency for Aboveboard Transactions

Maybe you’ve seen headlines associating cryptocurrencies with illegal activities like Ponzi schemes, ransomware attacks, and money laundering efforts. You might think cryptocurrencies could hurt your business more than help it, given those eyebrow-raising ways that some people use them.

However, the critical thing to remember is that most people dealing with cryptocurrencies do so for legitimate, legal reasons. Research into incidences of cryptocurrencies used in financial crimes shows that they account for a tiny amount of overall digital currency activity. Only about 1% of cryptocurrency transactions in 2019 had links to illicit activities.

The report also cited that 81% of Americans are familiar with cryptocurrencies. You can take those two statistics together and see why accepting cryptocurrencies at your business in 2021 makes sense.

The chances of you directly encountering someone using cryptocurrency illegally are incredibly slim. It’s even less likely that your business would get wrapped up in a crypto-related crime just because one of your customers did not abide by the laws. Keep in mind that the ways law enforcement officials catch people engaged in financial crimes have evolved along with the nontraditional payment forms those criminals might use.

Artificial intelligence (AI) and the blockchain are among the emerging options that can spot potentially unlawful activities. As it stands, business owners should not feel overly fearful about people who use cryptocurrencies for illegal reasons. They should instead focus on how accepting crypto could appeal to new customers and help their enterprises grow.

Research Indicates That Accepting Cryptocurrency Drives New Customers and Sales

Perhaps the statistics about the growing usage of cryptocurrencies is still not enough to wholly win you over and convince you to start accepting them at your business. If so, consider that a study also found a connection between merchants letting people pay with cryptocurrency and getting more customers and sales.

The study examined the outcomes of sellers who used a service to accept Bitcoin at their businesses. It found that up to 40% of people who paid with that cryptocurrency were new customers. Additionally, the sizes of the Bitcoin purchases were more than twice that of credit card transactions.

Due to those advantages, the merchants that chose to accept bitcoin saw an average 327% return on investment, the research revealed. Another interesting conclusion was that enabling people to pay with Bitcoin caused a substantial reduction in business risk by lowering or eliminating expenses related to fraud or errors.

Accepting cryptocurrencies does not mean you can scale back on the things that ordinarily attract people to your business, such as fantastic service, reasonable prices and a wide selection of products people want. However, as this study confirmed, being open to cryptocurrency could make more consumers eager and willing to buy from you.

What Can You Expect as a Crypto-Friendly Merchant?

It’s impossible to predict what will happen if you decide to start offering cryptocurrencies at your business. However, this overview uses data to give you a trustworthy look at what’s likely.

For example, the rising growth and familiarity with cryptocurrencies mean a larger segment of your audience may already be using them or want to soon. Additionally, crypto integration services and maps showing the locations that accept cryptocurrencies make it easier for merchants to take digital currencies and promote the fact that people can pay with them.

Statistics also emphasize that accepting cryptocurrencies could directly and positively impact sales and customer volumes. Plus, although some people use cryptocurrencies for illegal reasons, the percentage of doing so represents a remote risk. It should not make you avoid catering to people who want to conduct their transactions with Bitcoin or other popular crypto options.

Think of this information as food for thought. You should do substantial additional research before finalizing this or any other business decision. However, the odds appear in favor of company owners who embrace cryptocurrencies in 2021.

Lexie is a digital nomad and graphic designer. If she’s not traveling to various parts of the country, you can find her at the local flea markets or hiking with her Goldendoodle. Check out her design blog, Design Roast, and connect with her on Twitter @lexieludesigner.