Unless you have been living under a rock for the last few years, you have probably heard about crypto or cryptocurrency. A mysterious yet much talked about form of payment that has been slowly making headlines, including in the mainstream media. But what is it and how can you use crypto as payment? Should PPC agencies accept crypto as payment? We thought we’d have a look at what the hype is about and try to weigh in whether your PPC agency should consider it or not.
What Is Cryptocurrency?
We’ve all heard about crypto before, but what exactly is it? Cryptocurrency is an entirely digital currency that is not controlled by any bank or government. Its creation uses encryption techniques and it is these same techniques that regulate its use. Every transaction made with crypto is verified through an algorithm by the users on a network, and generally, those transactions become public to prevent the coin from being spent multiple times. Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Dogecoin are some of the most popular cryptocurrencies out there.
Cryptocurrency: Why the Hype?
As you have probably figured out by now, crypto is related to the tech world, as both its creation and regulation have to do with technology. We are living in a world of digital transformation, where trends like AI and machine learning are gaining traction. Technology is powering industries in ways it wasn’t possible before: we all own smart devices, smart homes, and even our factories, and our cities are all becoming “smart”.
In this global context of embracing digitalization, it was only natural for “digital” currency to draw attention. Cryptocurrency has become even more popular since big companies like Tesla, Microsoft, and PayPal have announced that they would be accepting crypto as payment.
How Can You Accept Crypto As Payment?
There are two ways to accept cryptocurrency as payment: through your personal wallet or through a third-party payment processor. The first option involves setting up a virtual wallet. Most wallets can be quickly downloaded to your phone or computer. There is also the option of getting a hardware wallet - that is, a physical safe that stores the cryptocurrency in the device on a special hard drive.
The second way to receive crypto as payment is through a third-party payment processor, such as Coinbase or BitPay. These third parties will handle the entire payment process, just like credit card payment processors do. One benefit of using this instead of a personal wallet is that it allows you to instantly convert the cryptocurrency into fiat currency, saving you from any price volatility.
Crypto As Payment: Are There Any Advantages?
While the world still has mixed feelings about crypto as payment, there are no doubt some advantages to this kind of currency. Here are some of the most cited advantages:
- Access to a broader market: Crypto's decentralized nature may allow businesses to sell to international buyers, as the value of crypto stays the same worldwide.
- Lower fees: The lack of a central intermediary reduces transaction fees.
- Faster transactions: Cryptocurrency is processed immediately, unlike credit card systems that may take a few days to be processed.
- Higher security: After a transaction with cryptocurrency is completed, it is very difficult to reverse.
Crypto As Payment: Where’s The Catch?
Perhaps all these benefits sound too good to be true. Actually, there are both advantages and disadvantages to using crypto as currency. If you are considering accepting this type of currency for your PPC agency, you should be aware of the disadvantages too:
- Technical limitations: as this technology is rather new (and still a mystery to many), your team should be tech-savvy enough to understand how crypto works and how to operate with it.
- Cryptocurrency volatility: If you have been reading the news about cryptocurrency, you may have noticed that, unlike fiat (traditional) currency, the value of crypto can shift dramatically. There have been cases of crypto’s value changing dramatically within a short time span.
- Security risks: As is the case of anything digital, crypto isn’t 100% safe. While you may have control over your transactions, so far there is no way to completely prevent cybercriminals from attacking users' wallets.
- Regulatory uncertainty: Perhaps the biggest risk associated with crypto is its regulatory uncertainty. Lawmakers are still working on regulations regarding it. And even once regulations are in place, they are likely to evolve further. This means that should you accept crypto as payment, your PPC agency should be prepared to adapt to the changing regulatory landscape.
The Bottom Line: Should PPC Agencies Accept Crypto as Payment?
Well, it depends. Up until now, we don’t know of many agencies that accept crypto as payment. However, we believe it’s worth looking into this. As ClickGUARD founder Ralph Perries pointed out in one of our webinars, it’s a “matter of faith” - do you believe in crypto enough to hold it after you receive it as payment? Accepting crypto as payment clearly has both advantages and disadvantages. It all comes down to how your agency can take advantage of it and mitigate the risks.
Who is your audience? An important factor you should take into consideration before making a decision is who your target audience is. Would accepting crypto as payment be seen as an advantage for the clients of your PPC agency?
But let’s see what a typical crypto user looks like. Those who use crypto are currently the “early adopters” - the tech-savvy ones, who believe in a digital future and are easily “on board” with new trends.
If your audience addresses them, then you should definitely look into this option.
Is crypto something your clients are fond of? Would it be convenient for them to use crypto as payment when working with your PPC agency? If the answer is “yes”, then this can represent a competitive advantage for your PPC agency. As the market is not big at the moment, your agency can be one of those innovative ones.
What is your PPC agency like? Accepting crypto as a currency can also help define how you would like to position yourself as a PPC agency. It can also be a means of branding your business as a “cool” tech-oriented company - if this is something aligned with your business goals, your marketing strategy, and your target audience.
So, should your PPC agency accept crypto as payment? There is no short answer for that. It essentially depends on your marketing strategy and your audience. Both the ad tech industry and crypto are part of the digital trend and though there is no big overlap at the moment, we cannot ignore the possibility of things changing in the future. After all, if we look at the news, crypto seems to be here to stay.