As of today, Balanced will be working with Coinbase to make it possible for any of our customers to accept Bitcoin with a trivial amount of work. It’s the job of Balanced to do whatever we can to enable new commerce, and that means giving merchants the ability to accept payment in whatever form consumers want to pay.
I own bitcoins, and I want to be able to spend them. The reason I own bitcoins is not as important as the fact that I have bitcoins in the first place.
I also have a credit card, and I want to be able to use my credit card. The reason I have a credit card (cash-flow, convenience, being able to buy online) is not as important as the fact that I have a credit card in the first place. What matters is the number of people that have cards and want to be able to buy with them. It’s that demand that has forced so many merchants, whether they like it or not, to accept cards.
Love them or hate them, think about what card networks like VISA have enabled for merchants in comparison to other alternatives. When you swipe a card, the issuer of the card authorizes the transaction in under a second and guarantees delivery of the funds for the purchase to the merchant. The purchase is instant and fairly simple. Merchants want to accept credit cards despite high fees, chargebacks, and all sorts of broken systems around cards because it means more business for them.
Bitcoin creates a scenario where a buyer wants to use bitcoins, and the merchant wants to accept bitcoins. That is … the merchant wants to accept bitcoins if they can receive money in their local currency, maintain their existing processes, and have a checkout experience that’s as good or better than what they already have with cards.
Balanced is launching the support for Bitcoin initially with Gittip and Crowdtilt. It’s too early to know how this will impact our customers’ businesses or if we’re going about it the right way. All we know is that this is the right path. We’ll continue to work on making the process better, based on transaction data and the feedback of our community, and will work on making it possible for everyone to accept bitcoins with Balanced.
Please let us know if you’re interested and your feedback on our GitHub issue.