Here is some exciting news for all you crypto enthusiasts. What if someone told you that you can now shop on your favourite online stores by paying in Bitcoins?
Yes! You read that right. Shopify, which is the world’s 18th largest e-commerce company, has decided to take the plunge into accepting Bitcoin payments for all its members hosting their online store on their platform. Shopify has firmed up a strategic tie-up with a Strike – payments network company to enable its users to make payments in Bitcoin.
For those who are not aware of Shopify, it is a Canadian e-commerce company that hosts online stores on its platform; its services allow merchants to open online stores across 175 countries. With such varied nationalities of people hosting their accounts on Shopify, most transactions take place in international currencies. To secure all the trades and make the process more global, Shopify has taken this decision.
However, the crypto community has raised some serious concerns over this partnership. They believe giving Bitcoins without any KYC (Know Your Customers) can lead to malpractices and can be treated as a way of avoiding taxes. To know more about this in detail, let us dive right into the article by learning more about this strategic partnership between Shopify and Strike. We will then understand the arguments made by the crypto community that question the legality of using Bitcoin as a payment method on e-commerce platforms. Lastly, we will explore the future, and whether such trends will continue to prevail or not.
Strategic Partnership Between Shopify And Strike
In the recent Bitcoin conference in Miami, Jack Mallers, CEO of Strike, a cryptocurrency payment network, announced a strategic partnership with Shopify that would allow retailers on Shopify to receive payments in Bitcoin. Such integration will help retailers simplify the transactions by enabling them to take digital currency in US dollars while saving money on processing fees through cash-final settlements. Strike plans to employ this service via “Lightning Network” to help merchants receive US dollars in a cheaper and faster way. The success of this partnership lies in the Lightning Network so let us first understand the network in detail.
What is Lightning Network
The lightning network is an international payments network that focuses on increasing transaction speed. It aims to lower transaction costs, and was built to propagate financial inclusion worldwide. The network was built on the blockchain and a layer-2 communication and payment network. The lightning network takes the load of the leading blockchain network as this is a layer-2 network and aims to improve scalability.
Lightning network will essentially convert Bitcoin payments credited to merchants into US dollars. The aim of building and adopting such a network is to help merchants receive digital payments from all over the world.
How To Make Payments In Bitcoin
This integration between Strike and Shopify is available to any customer worldwide because that person has a Bitcoin-Lightning Network-enabled wallet. According to a press statement issued by the team of Strike, only “qualified” merchants will be able to register themselves for receiving payments in Bitcoin. This service is live in Los Angeles at a streetwear designer Warren Lotas’s store. Maller, CEO of Strike, announced that new merchants would be onboarded with this program in the coming month. Furthermore, offline retailers such as Walmart and McDonald’s will also be invited to use this network.
Despite all the good things that come with this technology, the crypto community has some strong views about the ethics and malpractice that can happen while using this technology. Let us understand this in detail.
Ethics And Malpractice Consequence
Matt Ahlorg, a cryptocurrency researcher, deems this strategic tie-up between Shopify and Strike a significant event in the crypto world. He believes this will allow users of Bitcoin to “dump” or ”offload” coins without going through any KYC. Such practice can lead to tax avoidance. Other crypto experts have suggested not taxing low-value transactions. Many believe government regulators will try and form established rules and regulations that will bring clarity.
Companies such as eBay have already hinted at integrating alternative payment methods into their organisation that is currently processing billions of dollars every day. Similarly, New York Digital Investment Group (NYDIG) launched a program within their company that enables employees to receive remunerations in the form of Bitcoin (BTC).
Such developments tell us that alternate digital payments such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, etc., are here to stay. The government regulations and refinement of rules will settle the dust, and as cryptocurrency enthusiasts, it is essential to choose the proper cryptocurrency exchange that offers secured wallets.
One such cryptocurrency exchange in India is Zebpay. If you want to learn more about cryptocurrency, ZebPay is a great place to start. At ZebPay, it is straightforward to purchase and sell multiple crypto assets on a single platform. Furthermore, a user-friendly interface allows you to monitor real-time crypto market price variations and provide a seamless crypto trading experience.