According to a new study, more than 50 percent of retailers utilizing Square Inc.’s checkout technology would be willing to accept Bitcoin (BTC) as a form of payment.
Bitcoin Acceptance on the Rise
A Nomura Instinet-conducted survey of roughly 100 merchants in the United States revealed that 60 percent would accept Bitcoin over USD.
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As reported by Bloomberg, the merchants surveyed spanned various industries and all had a minimum of $100,000 in annual revenue. Roughly 40 percent of those polled fell between the ages of 31 and 40.
The willingness to accept Bitcoin came as a surprise to those conducting the survey. Said Nomura Instinet analyst Dan Doley in a report:
This result is surprising, especially amid Bitcoin’s elevated volatility.
Square Inc. itself has been a proponent of the dominant cryptocurrency as of late.
Last November, Square began affording select customers the ability to buy Bitcoin on its Cash App — a popular app which allows users to send money to each other. In January, the company began rolling out the Bitcoin-buying option to the majority of its user base. Stated CEO Jack Dorsey in an earnings call in February:
Bitcoin, for us, is not stopping at buying and selling. We do believe that this is a transformational technology for our industry and we want to learn as quickly as possible.
Bitcoin has its Haters
Of course, not everyone believes in Bitcoin’s potential as a currency.
Last month, Bank of England Governor Mark Carney claimed that Bitcoin has failed as both a viable currency and as a store of value – citing volatility and the lack of vendor adoption. He told students at London’s Regent’s University:
It has pretty much failed thus far on … the traditional aspects of money. It is not a store of value because it is all over the map. Nobody uses it as a medium of exchange.
Carney later followed up his FUD-filled rhetoric in a speech to Bloomberg, in which he stated:
The short answer is: they’re failing. Cryptocurrencies are poor stores of value. Over the past 5 years, the daily standard deviation of Bitcoin was 10x that of sterling […] This extreme volatility reflects that the cryptocurrencies have neither intrinsic value nor external backing. Their worth rests on beliefs about their future supply and demand — ultimately about whether they’ll be successful as money.
Of course, not everyone listens to Carney, whose job is to defend the traditional financial institution Bitcoin undermines — as evidenced by the increasing interest in accepting Bitcoin as payment from vendors.
What do you think about Bitcoin’s long-term prospects as a viable currency? Let us know in the comments below!
Images courtesy of Reuters, Square Inc., Flickr/Policy Exchange
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