Risks, rewards with Bitcoin payments

Bitcoins have earned big press lately. And why not? They are a virtual way for people and businesses to pay one another on the Internet. As Entrepreneur Magazine explains in a recent story, these virtual coins are traded between individuals online without any trace being created. These virtual coins also don’t go through any banks or financial institutions. And that raises the question: Should your business accept Bitcoin payments? Here, according to Entrepreneur, are the big questions you’re likely to have regarding this virtual currency.

Is it real money?

Individuals purchase Bitcoins with real money. Then they use these virtual coins to purchase goods and services from online companies. A lot of companies that deal with Bitcoins aren’t quite legal. Nevertheless, many others are. Entrepreneur states that such online vendors as Etsy, WordPress and Reddit accept Bitcoins.

How safe is it?

Like all online transactions, there are safety risks with taking Bitcoins. These transactions are protected through a process known as public key cryptography encryption. That doesn’t mean clever criminals can’t hack these transactions. Businesses should be wary of malware that steals Bitcoins.

Why take them?

Along with risk, there are some potential benefits to Bitcoins. For starters, it’s a growing trend. Your small business may be required to accept Bitcoins to do business with certain online vendors. Secondly, Bitcoins don’t incorporate any fees or charges from banks or other financial institutions. Additionally they aren’t taxed.