Deepika, who writes blog posts for LocalBitcoins, a peer-to-peer Bitcoin exchange, has asked whether there are any small business owners in India that accept BTC as a form of payment for goods and services.
Deepika notes that it can be inconvenient when a small business such as a grocery store or restaurant doesn’t offer a wide range of payment options. A board that states “cash only” may frustrate many potential customers, and that’s why most SMBs are supporting cashless payments via standard credit or debit cards and also take online wallet payments.
Bitcoin-savvy clients are now beginning to expect small businesses to accept the cryptocurrency as payment as well. But can this really happen in countries like India that have recently proposed banning “private” cryptos? Are there any small businesses in the country that’s home to around 1.5 billion residents who will take crypto payments?
Bitcoin’s price surged by over 200% last year. This dramatic price increase was due (at least partially) to the rising demand for BTC while the supply of the digital asset is decreasing.
Chainalysis reveals that there’s been a major shift in the relationship between liquid or trader-held BTC and illiquid or investor-held Bitcoin: the amount held in illiquid or investor-held wallets is rising steadily, Deepika confirmed.
“Undoubtedly, 2020 has been the year when institutional dollars began flowing into Bitcoin. Companies like MicroStrategy, Square, and more started buying Bitcoin to use it as a hedge against inflation. Meanwhile, something remarkable happened. According to the latest industry figures, the number of retailers accepting Bitcoin surpassed 100,000. This indicates that the widespread merchant adoption of Bitcoin has finally begun.”
“Widespread merchant adoption doesn’t only mean big corporate giants. In fact, Bitcoin is now being accepted by small and medium business owners too.”
Individuals in India are increasingly using BTC as a convenient way to make remittance payments, as a conversion instrument, and also as a hedge against demonetization, the LocalBitcoins team revealed.
Notably, after the nation’s Supreme Court decided to lift the crypto trading ban (introduced by the Reserve Bank of India or RBI) back in March of last year, “the confidence and acceptance for Bitcoin has increased in the country,” Deepika claims. She added that the local banks which were hesitant to deal with BTC or other cryptos are now “actively dealing with Bitcoin users.”
Industry experts claim that the Bitcoin trade volume in India last year grew significantly. By the end of last year, BTC trades worth more than $60 million were taking place on a daily basis.
The LocalBitcoins team asked Manish Garg, who works in the sustainable fashion business (at Ahmev.com) whether they accept Bitcoin. Garg confirmed that they established Ahmev back in 2019, and since that time, they’ve accepted BTC payments.
“Our fashion label brings sustainable wear to the market and it is in heavy demand across global markets. The traditional modes of payment like bank transfers or PayPal were slow and pricey. However, with Bitcoin, the money transfer is almost instant and transaction charges are low.”
Garg also mentioned:
“The most important benefit of Bitcoin payments for us is the instant transfer. As a small business, immediate liquidity is important for us. Apart from that, it offers our customers across the globe payment flexibility and ensures transaction security. Accepting Bitcoin has positioned us uniquely in the highly competitive fashion industry. Along with that, it gave us an edge over the rest of the small fashion houses in India that face challenges in accepting payments beyond borders.”