On this page:
- First pizza paid with Bitcoin
- How to accept crypto payments?
- Why would you consider crypto payments?
- Setting up a crypto wallet
- What does it take to accept crypto payments on Shopify or WooCommerce?
- API integrations for crypto payments
- Enabling on-chain, non-custodial payments
- Want to accept crypto in your business?
As crypto gets more and more popular, you might want to consider accepting it in your app. But what does it take to do that? Let’s explore in this article.
In 2010, when one wanted to order a pizza with his Bitcoin, he had to go to great lengths. Since no business accepted cryptocurrencies, he’d have to find another person who would buy that pizza with cash and get the appropriate amount of BTC sent in return to his wallet.
That actually happened and Laszlo Hanyecz, an early bitcoin miner, paid 10,000 BTC for two large pizzas, brought to him by a fellow bitcointalk.org member. We all know how it turned out for him and for Bitcoin, but in those early days, that was one way to find out whether you can buy anything with the magic internet money.
Today, we’re way further down the road and there are numerous solutions that can allow businesses to embrace cryptocurrencies and accept payments with them.
And if you wanted to be one of them, how to integrate cryptocurrency payments into your app, ecommerce business or any other type of idea that you have?
Here’s what it takes to do so.
How to accept crypto payments?
Let’s give you an idea on how to do it by first laying out the choices that you have.
- Off-chain integrations with 3rd party providers – Custodial
This is the most out-of-the-box solution that would help you accept crypto payments on Shopify, WooCommerce or any other platform that you’re using for facilitating online sales. On the development side, that’s often similar to integrating with a standard payments provider such as Stripe–it’s just another external tool that needs to be built into your app or ecommerce business.
Third party integrations have most of the headaches of facilitating crypto payments on them, but that comes at additional transaction fees. The good news is that they’re still often cheaper than the usual 3% fee for credit card payments.
- Off-chain payments through APIs – Custodial & Non-Custodial
Another option that you have is still off-chain, but with a greater level of flexibility and potentially limitless customizations. Most public blockchains have open-source API endpoints that allow for facilitating transactions through the code–some of them are free to use while others require additional costs, i.e. for additional performance, number of requests per day, SLAs, support, etc. With APIs, you can initiate a transaction off-chain and perform the next action (such as sale of the item), based on what the API returns (i.e. sale after the transaction had been received in your wallet).
- On-chain transactions – Non-Custodial
When designing with crypto payments, you can always make the decision to build a completely decentralized checkout. That involves limiting to one blockchain type and building the whole application with that chain in mind, adjusting to its specifics, etc.
For ecommerce and apps that aren’t dedicated to crypto natives, this choice is most likely unreasonable as it extends the development process and adds complexity to the project, considering the end-user. However, it’s a natural choice for most NFT marketplaces and Web3.