What is Bitcoin?
You may have heard of a new technology called Bitcoin. Bitcoin is an inexpensive way to send value from one place to another anywhere in the world within minutes and the value you are sending is in the form of a digital currency. Bitcoin capitalized is a payment system and network and bitcoin with a lowercase "b" is the digital currency sent across the network. It is similar to if PayPal had its own currency that you could send anywhere in the world only the transactions are initiated by the sender with no third party that can intercept the transfer. The technology is open source, which means anyone can examine it at any time and this means a degree of transparency you don't often get with governments, banks, other payment systems, or credit card companies.
We will briefly go over some great features of Bitcoin, but you can find more detailed information on this technology at: https://www.weusecoins.com/en/questions
There are many advantages to taking bitcoin for merchants and consumers.
Very Low Fees
One of the downsides to the convenience of taking credit cards is that merchants get charged fees upwards of 3% and this cost gets passed along to clients or can result in minimum purchase amounts. The sign at many small businesses reading “Minimum Credit Card Purchase $10.00” is a familiar one because of these fees. It costs less than .5% to send bitcoin to or from anywhere in the world and this is a huge feature. We prefer bitcoin over credit cards because the fees are negligible when compared to credit cards and we can pass the savings on to you.
Transactions are confirmed by the network in about 10 minutes which means almost as soon as you send your bitcoin we can get your order ready to ship out. No more waiting days to receive a check in the mail and then waiting up to a week for it to clear or being surprised by credit card transactions days after swiping as bitcoin confirmations are secure and fast.
Irreversible, Sender Initiated Transactions
Transactions are also irreversible, which means that once funds are sent they can’t be unsent—this protects merchants from fraudulent purchases that can be reversed later through banks after receiving their product. The sender initiates the sale by selecting the bitcoin option at check out, BitPay provides an invoice to pay, and once the invoice is paid and transaction confirmed there is no way to reverse it. Credit card companies and banks offer little in protection to merchants from fraudulent purchases and this dissuades some businesses from accepting credit cards. In fact, Roberts & Roberts resisted accepting credit cards for years until the launch of our e-commerce site for this very reason, but we were taking bitcoin long before without any problems and to the satisfaction of our privacy concerned clients.
Sender initiated transactions also protect customers from extra, unauthorized charges by merchants. Unlike with credit cards, merchants are unable to take bitcoin from the given address and add on additional fees later. While banks will often refund their client's extraneous fees from deceptive merchants, the process can be time consuming and costly. Since the sender initiates the transaction, once you pay the invoice that is all you are going to pay period—we can't take more than is initially sent. With bitcoin, clients and merchants are on more equal footing and this can create a more harmonious business relationship.
An Exciting Future of Possibilities
Bitcoin represents a new way of thinking about money and how we send it, and digital currency is often described as just the first app of the technology in much the same way as email was one of the first applications of the Internet. We now have seen the Internet expand to all sorts of functions we previously could not imagine, and Bitcoin has similar possibilities. This technology has the potential to change a lot more than just the way we think about money and we look forward to supporting the bitcoin community as a trusted source of investing information and precious metals with which they can diversify their investments.
We are strong believers that bitcoin can work alongside existing methods of payments if not replace these systems in the future and the advantages are numerous. If you are looking to put your bitcoin in another form of “cold storage” known as precious metals, we can assist you. We’re also avid bitcoiners ourselves and are not some fly-by-night company looking to capitalize on what some have suggested is a fad; we believe in the vision of Satoshi Nakamoto and hope you’ll join us.