Cryptocurrency such as Bitcoin or Dogecoin can provide a new way for consumers to pay. Despite the volatile nature of cryptocurrency, many US consumers own some form of cryptocurrency – mostly as an investment, not as a way to pay.
According to an Oliver Wyman survey, in 2021 less than 1% of respondents said they would pay for discretionary purchases using cryptocurrency in the future.
However, consumer interest in cryptocurrency has been rising overall, and this may expand into consumer demand for cryptocurrency as an accepted form of payment at checkout. For merchants, there are two primary ways in which to accept cryptocurrency: direct acceptance and indirect acceptance.
Overall, a stronger consumer use case along with greater merchant acceptance is required for broader adoption of crypto as a form of payment, and this is a trend worth watching.
Currently in the US market, the demand for accepting crypto at the point of sale is limited. However, market activity in all things crypto – digital assets, stablecoins, central bank digital currencies, NFT – is high.
We encourage merchants to stay informed of cryptocurrency developments, both here in the US and globally. Some indicators to watch are:
- Signs of stability and reduced volatility engender more confidence in general public
- More prevalence of central bank digital currencies (CBDCs)
- Greater use of stablecoins
- Increased regulatory clarity
- (Governmental) insurance
- Adoption by merchants – communications around when, how, and where they are accepting crypto at POS
- Adoption by retail banks – announcements related to accounts that are crypto-backed, broadening crypto use cases, access and fluency
- Trends in global markets – how crypto acceptance evolves in other, more advanced digital asset markets such as Thailand and Japan