Richard Costello, owner of MultiPlumb, explains why his business started accepting cryptocurrency payments.

2017 was the year that cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin in particular, announced their arrival on the world stage with a bang. At the beginning of 2017, the price of a single Bitcoin was around £700 but, by the end of the same year, it had reached a value of just over £15,000. There has been a pullback since and, at the time of writing, the price of one Bitcoin is now roughly £5,000.

On 4 September 2017, I publicly announced on my website and social media channels that I had started to accept Bitcoin as a method of payment. At the time, the price was around £4,000, and was fluctuating up and down on a daily basis. Most people thought I was crazy, and perhaps they were right.

Some close and trustworthy friends introduced me to the world of cryptocurrencies, explained the fundamentals, and it just made so much sense.

I found myself talking to clients about Bitcoin and realised that some of them actually held some. They even asked me if they could pay me using Bitcoin instead of pound sterling. At the time I would laugh it off, but then it got to the point where I thought to myself: “Why not?”

I started to do more research into the area and found that companies like Microsoft, Overstock, Expedia, Subway, and PayPal were already accepting cryptocurrencies. These companies invest millions into research and development, so they’re not going to make a decision like this on a whim. They know what they are doing, and know exactly what direction the future is heading, so they want to stay ahead of the game.

Every day, more and more companies are adopting cryptocurrencies because of the benefits they bring. These include:

You are paid quickly

Lower transaction fees

Fraud prevention

No chargebacks

Cheaper international payments.

The global market cap for cryptocurrencies at the time of writing is only around $220 billion. While that sounds like a lot, it’s only a fraction of the size of the US stock market ($30 trillion) and the gold market ($7.8 trillion).

This means that cryptocurrencies are still relatively small in comparison to the competition. The world is becoming more and more digitalised and it only makes sense that cryptocurrencies will continue to play a huge role in this. Some would say that cryptocurrencies are the next stage of the digital revolution.

Consider how much they’ve grown in value over the last few years. It makes a lot of sense that the market cap will continue to rise and that more and more people will adopt them.

One of the biggest challenges we had as a company was deciding which ones to accept, but we decided to just stick with Bitcoin because historically it has been the most stable and has the biggest market share. However, we’re seriously considering accepting other well-known and large scale currencies, such as Litecoin, DASH, and Ethereum, at some point in the future.

If you want to adopt cryptocurrencies, make sure that you seek the right advice in terms of security. There are a lot of fraudsters out there waiting to pounce on innocent victims, so be very careful.

To store your Bitcoin you must have a wallet, like a bank account for your Bitcoin. There are different types, such as online, software, hardware, and even paper wallets.

I would seriously recommend that only the owner of the company stores the private keys and passwords for the wallets. Whoever has this information has the ability to move your Bitcoin to their own private wallet, and it’s extremely difficult (not impossible) to find out who has taken your cryptocurrency if this happens.

I must stress that I’m not a financial advisor, and the above comments are just my personal opinion, but I believe that cryptocurrencies are the future.