Cryptocurrencies are cash for the internet
With just a phone or computer with an internet connection, people can use cryptocurrencies to send funds nearly instantly to businesses, friends, and family anywhere on earth.
At its core, the technology that makes cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin work is a public ledger which records every single bitcoin transaction. This ledger is called “the blockchain”. Every time cryptocurrencies move from one wallet to another, it’s publicly recorded in the blockchain and verified by a network of specialized computers (called “miners”).
All cryptocurrency transactions use a “push” payment mechanism, meaning that funds cannot be pulled from a user’s account. Therefore cryptocurrency transactions can never be charged back. Funds are only transferred when the rightful owner of the funds initiates a transaction.
This process is part of what makes cryptocurrency payments uniquely secure: they can’t be forged or made without your permission.
Bitcoin was the first cryptocurrency, created in 2009 as a decentralized digital currency that could be transferred peer-to-peer over the internet, without needing intermediary parties like banks or payment processors. Over the last decade, the cryptocurrency industry has grown to thousands of different cryptocurrencies that have a total market cap of more than $200 billion. Although this is the value of all cryptocurrencies combined, roughly 90% of this value is concentrated in the 10 largest cryptocurrencies.
The seven large cryptocurrencies that can be accepted with Alternative Payments are:
1. Bitcoin (BTC)
2. Bitcoin Cash (BCH)
3. Ethereum (ETH)
4. Ripple (XRP)
5. USD coin (USDC)
6. Gemini USD (GUSD)
7. Paxos Standard (PAX)
Accepting cryptocurrencies allows merchants to tap into this $200 billion market.
How cryptocurrencies Work
Once payment with cryptocurrency has been selected, an invoice is automatically generated. A QR code is displayed on the screen. The customer scans this code with a smartphone wallet app. The customer presses “Send,” and the payment is broadcast to the network. Alternative Payments processes the cryptocurrency and provides the merchant with a bank deposit in the local currency.