Initially met with scepticism, in a rapidly evolving digital landscape, attitudes to cryptocurrency are gradually improving in various domains as the technology matures. In the past decade alone, cryptocurrency and its underlying blockchain technology has seen a significant uptake in a number of verticals outside the payments sector, including gaming, property and even healthcare.
As the crypto sector endeavours to make access to cryptocurrency as transparent and simple as possible, many demographics still have concerns. In this article, we look at the adoption curve of cryptocurrency, and delve into common misconceptions surrounding crypto security, usability, and sustainability.
Crypto regulation and security
For many, using cryptocurrency is perceived as a high risk practice, and widespread media coverage on popular volatile investments like Bitcoin and Ethereum do little to dispel this assumption. However, recent changes from the FCA surrounding crypto buying and investment mean that crypto is becoming subject to increasingly stringent regulations. In fact, cryptocurrency is now included in the Financial Services and Markets Act, and is also subject to the new financial promotions regime.
If we look at legacy concerns surrounding security and fraud when using cryptocurrency, these have also seen a shift from early scepticism to a more nuanced approach. Nowadays, attempted fraud often occurs with traditional e-money forms rather than through blockchain-powered currency, with credit card fraud (including phishing, skimming and card-not-present fraud) on the rise. While cryptocurrency has this perceived high risk, in reality anything using blockchain technology leaves a much longer audit trail and thus has a higher level of security that often encompasses features such as decentralised verification mechanisms and encryption.
Challenges for payment processors
For payment processors, these common concerns are still very present. It’s no secret that the CMA9 (the UK’s nine largest banks) still prefer to steer clear of crypto and often don’t support it as a payment method. For crypto merchants this poses a very clear challenge, often meaning that pricing is still high and making it difficult for merchants to easily offer crypto as a solution to their customers. Higher transaction fees and more complex payment processes can lead to additional costs passed on to customers, reducing the appeal of cryptocurrencies for payments.
In addition, implementing cryptocurrency payments can be technologically intensive and a time-consuming undertaking. For smaller businesses, the time and cost involved in this may make it difficult for them to justify the benefit of offering cryptocurrency for payments, limiting the solution to more-established merchants. While these concerns are justified, it’s important for merchants of all sizes to keep up with the momentum of crypto trends, and finding a payment solution that can easily implement this new technology alongside offering wider industry support can be key to meeting increasing customer demand.
Evolving attitudes towards crypto
As with any new and disruptive technology, there’s always going to be pushback. However, education, data, and positive use cases are supporting a change in attitudes and dispelling myths presented by the media. In 2023 alone, we’ve seen shifting attitudes within both the UK government and the FCA when it comes to cryptocurrency, aimed at striking a balance between fostering innovation and ensuring consumer protection. Many crypto merchants are hopeful this will dissipate into wider positive mainstream perceptions. As education surrounding cryptocurrency builds, more businesses will be able to make informed decisions about how they offer crypto to customers.
How Acquired.com can help
As a market-leading payment solution that’s been in the industry for over a decade, Acquired.com endeavours to be a vital part of a merchants journey towards offering crypto. We offer wider support to businesses in the cryptocurrency space, including failover contingency measures, ensuring we’re able to migrate traffic quickly if an acquirer sees issues with any crypto platform. In addition, Acquired.com can assist with connectivity and creating strong relationships with acquirers in order to make the payments journey as smooth and secure as possible.
Looking to offer crypto to your customers but unsure where to start? Get in touch with our team today to learn more.