What are the benefits
for Merchants?

Bitcoins have great properties for consumer transactions. Low fees mean you can pass the savings on and get a price advantage over other merchants. There are no chargebacks in Bitcoin, any confirmed transaction is protected by the full hashing power of the network. So businesses can accept bitcoins from any country in the world, with no risk of fraud or chargebacks.

Point-of-Sale (POS) Transactions

In retail stores, Bitcoins can be used side-by-side with local currency and credit cards. The merchant will need some type of point-of-sale software, which can calculate the exchange rate. They can generate an address to the shopper and monitor their account to see the payment has been received.

Features to look for

Here are some common questions that merchants should ask:

  1. Can I get a unique Bitcoin address for each transaction?
  2. How is the exchange rate calculated?
  3. How fast are payments approved?
  4. What is my exchange rate risk?
  5. How do I receive the funds?
  6. Are there any fees involved?
  7. How can I see a listing of my sales?

Payment providers

Merchant tools with USD exchange: Bit-Pay and BitSpend.EU

Bitcoin-only merchant tools: WalletBit, BitWillet and BTCinch

A full list of available shopping cart interfaces can be found at the Wiki page.

Frequently Asked Question

What are "bitcoin days destroyed"?

The idea of "bitcoin days destroyed" came about because it was realised that total transaction volume per day might be an inappropriate measure of the level of economic activity in Bitcoin. After all, someone could be sending the same money back and forth between their own addresses repeatedly. If you sent the same 50 btc back and forth 20 times, it would look like 1000 btc worth of activity, while in fact it represents almost nothing in terms of real transaction volume.

What is a good way to concisely explain Bitcoin?

Bitcoin is a new kind of money. It's the first decentralized electronic currency not controlled by a single organization or government. Its an open source project, and it is used by more than 100,000 people. All over the world people are trading hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of bitcoin every day with no middle man and no credit card companies. Its a startup currency which has never happened before.

How can I accept bitcoins on my website?

There are a number of ways one can go about accepting Bitcoin on a web interface. Keep in mind as you review these options that Bitcoin is still a young technology and many of these options aren't what you'd call "friendly" just yet. That said you do have quite a few options depending on your level of expertise and technical requirements:

What are some good resources for understanding Bitcoin?

Collecting some of the publicly available information that I found.

Weusecoins.com has an excellent video on the basic premise of bitcoin. Bitcoin is a very complicated platform, and really has two separate entities. There is bitcoin the currency, and bitcoin the currency ledger.

Should I leave the Bitcoin client open?

Bitcoin is a peer-to-peer network, which means that the clients not only receive the blocks from other clients, but send out the blocks to other clients. (You may notice the "connections" number in the bottom right of the original client. You can think of this as "peers" in a torrent client). So yes, by having your client open you are technically helping relay the recent blocks out across the network faster than they would get their otherwise, but there is really no reason to keep a client running all the time.

How much will transaction fees eventually be?

I read that the market will find the equilibrium how much these transaction fees will be. It will not. This is perhaps the biggest flaw in Bitcoin at the moment: once mining rewards end there is no direct linkage between the amount of hashpower needed to secure the network and the incentive to mine.