The days in which Wall Street investors could wave away cryptocurrency like some kind of passing fad are long behind us. Crypto has captured the attention of both American and international markets, and whether you’ve invested in Bitcoin itself or the Ethereum exchange, there’s no doubt cryptocurrencies are setting the stage for a major shift in the way our financial systems operate.
And is it any surprise? It’s easy to see the appeal of digital currency that uses state-of-the-art encryption techniques to regulate the generation of its units and verify transfer of your funds. Of course, it’s also easy to see why this would have plenty of Wall Street investors concerned. With cryptocurrencies operating completely independent of any centralized authority (like banks), they represent more than just a financial avenue which can’t be controlled by outside influence. At its core, the rise of cryptocurrency represents a shift in the way our current financial systems function.
All of this brings up an important question: with cryptocurrency having such a massive impact on traditional financial systems, how will crypto end up impacting vendors, merchants, and their stores?
The answer to that question is pretty complex; the easiest way of thinking about it is that the mass integration of crypto will inevitably mean an entirely new type of marketplace will have to emerge. For starters, vendors won’t have to deal with ridiculous middleman fees common among marketplaces like Etsy and eBay anymore. With the introduction of a completely new style of marketplace which focuses on cryptocurrencies as a main form of payment, merchants will be able to leverage that power into massive savings.
This brings us to an important point — the role decentralization will play in the evolution of the ecommerce market. The truth about decentralization is that it offers merchants a new level of autonomy they simply can’t get through traditional platforms. Imagine that, like plenty of businesses today, all your sales are processed through Paypal. While it might not be pleasant to think about, Paypal could arbitrarily decide one day that you somehow violated their terms of service and your account deserves to be frozen. The unfortunate reality is that whether or not your account actually deserves to be frozen, you’ll still lose access to all of your assets until Paypal decides to give them back.
An ecommerce store with a frozen bank account is a recipe for disaster, but using cryptocurrency can help merchants and vendors avoid ever having to worry about their accounts being frozen. With crypto, there’s no central authority passing judgement over your account. Your money belongs to you, plain and simple.
Beyond that, decentralization means your currency is recognized at a universal level. Since cryptocurrency doesn’t have to abide by any particular exchange rates, transaction charges, or interest rates specific to any one nation, buyers will be able to use it for international transactions without the usual headaches of global exchange.
Despite all the potential benefits of crypto, it’s important to keep in mind that the very reason these marketplaces work so well could also be the reason we are forced to develop new solutions to protect against the sale and purchase of illegal goods. By design, these marketplaces function with a lack of central authority controlling merchant store data, which ensures that merchants have no restrictions on what can be offered in their stores. This means that the ecommerce marketplace is going to need to develop some safeguards against the abuse of cryptocurrency.
Speaking of safeguards, one of the most appealing aspects about integrating cryptocurrency into our traditional financial system is that it would offer a new level of counterfeit and fraud protection otherwise impossible to guarantee. Since cryptocurrencies are completely digital, it’s physically impossible for them to be counterfeited.
Credit card fraud is a massive issue, and this is a particularly relevant problem for online merchants. This kind of fraud tends to be more common in international transactions, hence the reason so many brands are hesitant to accept international payments.
To understand why crypto is the answer, you first have to understand the way credit card purchases work; whenever you give your credit card information to any vendor or merchant, you’re essentially giving them access to your full credit line. Regardless of the size of the transaction, vendors have complete access to your credit line because credit cards work on what is known as a “pull” basis. Most simply, the stores are responsible for both initiating the payment and pulling the agreed upon amount from your account — in theory, though, they could pull whatever they wanted.
The way cryptocurrencies solve this problem is by utilizing what is called a “push” mechanism instead. Essentially, this allows the holder (you) to exchange only what they want to send to any particular vendor. At no point do they have to grant the vendor access to any further information. The truth is that cryptocurrency is designed from the ground up to protect buyers in ways traditional currency cannot.
How do you expect cryptocurrency and the integration of the cryptomarket into the traditional financial sphere to change the ecommerce world?