Are you a merchant keen to accept cryptocurrency because you’re hearing so much about it? Want somebody to pay you $100 today that could be worth $200 tomorrow?

We can’t blame you, and we now support Coinbase Commerce in Foxy, so you can quickly and easily start accepting Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ether (Ethereum), Litecoin, and USD Coin. And, because it’s via Foxy, you can easily add crypto to whatever website you have, be it built with Webflow, Wix, whatever site builders GoDaddy’s currently rolling, Squarespace, your favorite static site generator or self-hosted or headless CMSs, or something custom.

We’ve supported crypto through integrations with both Coinbase and BitPay since 2013, but Coinbase Commerce now becomes our main supported crypto option. That said…

Will your customers actually use crypto to pay you?

In our experience… No. No they won’t. Most people who have crypto HODL their crypto. (“Hodl” being slang for “holding”, ie. not actually spending it.)

There are certainly exceptions, such as selling highly privacy-related products or services (or certain high-risk products where you simply can’t get another payment method working; or you simply must eliminate your chargeback risk and 3D Secure v2 or other anti-fraud solutions won’t work). But because we’ve supported crypto for so many years, and we’ve seen a few spikes in price (and corresponding public interest) in crypto, we feel fairly confident in our current assessment that…

  • Crypto’s reasonably difficult to actually get in the first place. Difficult enough with most country’s KYC (know your customer) requirements that the privacy-related benefits disappear for all but the most savvy of customers. There are more tech companies (like PayPal) trying to make it super easy to buy crypto, but…
  • People who buy crypto almost never are looking to then spend that crypto. Merchants want it because it’ll go up in value! But that’s the exact same reason basically nobody spends it if they can spend inflationary cash instead.
  • Even for currencies that aren’t volatile, like USD Coin, the transaction fees for most currencies are pretty silly. USD Coin is on the Ethereum blockchain, so you’re looking at an average fee of over $5 at time of writing. We think credit card fees are generally WAY too high, but for most transactions, they’ll still be lower than crypto fees. (In fairness, Litecoin’s transaction fees and speed of receiving funds are currently AWESOME, but does anybody care about Litecoin? Nobody we’ve ever talked to.)
  • Business accounting with crypto (if you HODL instead of just immediately converting to fiat) isn’t fun. How many businesses want more accounting headaches?
  • There’s significant and not-unfounded concern about crypto’s massive energy consumption. Yes, we know there are counter-arguments, and yes, we know some blockchains aren’t proof-of-work, and yes, we know Ethereum’s working on it. But given all the above… well…

Not very enthusiastic for a new feature announcement, we know 🙂

We think blockchain technology is a really interesting solution searching for a problem. But it seems unlikely that “currency” is the problem in need of solving.

Might crypto eventually be widely used for normal day-to-day transactions? Anything’s possible, but we don’t see it. It’d be wonderful to see some competition in the payments space that break away from credit cards. But government-issued fiat currencies is also a legitimately fascinating and hugely useful “technology”, and many countries have pretty solid national bank transfer systems already in place, that are just getting better and easier to use. (ACH in the US isn’t great, but debit cards in the US have very low fees. Throw in 3D Secure v2 and you’ve got immediate payments with basically no fraud risk to the merchant.)

All that said: If you definitely want to accept crypto, Coinbase Commerce is likely the easiest option. Just go into it knowing you probably won’t actually get many people paying you in crypto. And probably put aside some of your profit to donate to a reputable organization that’s working to offset the impact on the environment.

Thus ends our least enthusiastic feature announcement ever! 🙂