From the Stampsplatform platform, companies can issue marketable encryption tokens that represent legal capital in their company, providing a revolutionary alternative to the traditional ICO model.
Despite increasing popularity among investors, most people have no idea what virtual currencies are, how to use them, or what benefits they offer. In a survey conducted earlier this year, most Americans reported having heard about Bitcoin and about one-third have heard of Ethereum. However, only around 15 to 20 percent reported any plan to invest in the cryptocurrencies.
Virtual currencies have millions of users and billions of dollars in trading volume worldwide. Regardless, however, the average American’s understanding of cryptocurrencies is mediocre at best. Virtual currencies are nowhere near the financial mainstream – so why are an increasing number of online and brick-and-mortar retailers accepting cryptocurrency payments?
Which Retailers Accept Virtual Currencies
Many investors are skeptical about the long-run viability of virtual currencies as a in traditional financial systems due to their famous volatility. After all, with daily inflation and deflation rates sometimes reaching the double-digits, it’s pretty hard to set firm cryptocurrency prices for retail goods. However, many large retailers accept Bitcoin and other virtual currencies for their goods in order to take advantage of the transactional efficiencies that digital coins commonly offer. Overstock.com – an online retailer specializing in selling overstocked consumer goods at discounted process – started accepting Bitcoins in early 2014, and customers are now able to use a number of other virtual currencies on the site including Ether, Litecoin, Dash, Monero, and Bitcoin Cash. One of the most recognized names in online travel, Expedia has also given customers the option to check out using Bitcoin.
Virtual currencies aren’t just being used to pay for things online. Earlier this year, Japan declared Bitcoin a legal tender, and the digital currency is now being integrated as a payment method hundreds of thousands of stores. Shoppers at major Japanese retail stores like Bic Camera and Marui can pay for their purchases using Bitcoin, and virtual currencies are becoming more popular than ever among the country’s vendors.
Why Do Retail Businesses Accept Cryptocurrency?
Price volatility has been a major issue in cryptocurrency markets from the very beginning. In fact, the recent spikes in Bitcoin trading recently caused leading online gaming platform Steam to drop the virtual currency from allowed payment methods on its site. So, why do businesses accept virtual currencies at all?
The answer, as it always is, is in the bottom line. Blockchain-based virtual currencies can perform and verify digital transactions much more quickly and efficiently than third-party vendors like PayPal or MasterCard. This means virtual currencies usually charge lower transaction costs, which can add up to billions in cost savings over time.
Virtual Currencies Must Stabilize to Become Useful to Consumers
Volatility in cryptocurrency markets doesn’t just make investors skittish, it also causes real challenges for end-use consumers who may want to use digital currencies as a way to make retail purchases securely and privately. Decreasing volatility is a major priority for many virtual currency entrepreneurs, including the founders of the Stamps Equity Token Platform. Stamps provide a safer, more stable alternative to the traditional wild-west atmosphere of Initial Coin Offerings (“ICO”). Businesses issuing their own equity tokens on the Stamps platform will retain a share of them. Equity tokens are legal representations of equity in the issuing business. The rest of the equity tokens are then gifted to STAMP coin holders. Once a strong market has formed around the equity tokens the business can then liquidate a portion of their retained holdings to fund their operations as needed. If no market demand arises, the tokens are destroyed, and the equity is returned to the issuer without increasing volatility in the wider market. This is just a small glimpse of the Stamps platform, you can read more about how equity tokens can benefit both the business and holders in their Whitepaper. The founders have planned a soft cap raise of $1 million and a hard cap raise of $89 million.
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