Podcast

Learn from Fast Growing 7-8 Figure Online Retailers and eCommerce Experts

EPISODE 117 39 mins

Accepting Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency Alt Coins in Online Retail w/ Mike Olthoff, Coincards.ca

Posted on 28th February 2018 , by Kunle Campbell


About the guests

Mike Olthoff

Kunle Campbell

Mike Olthoff is currently the CEO and founder of Stuff Technologies Inc, the company behind Coincards.ca and CryptoAsylum. Bitcoin has become a passion of Mike's since early 2014. He is very active in the Vancouver Bitcoin community including Running Information Sessions, Community Meetups and Sponsoring local bitcoin events. Mike has introduced many individuals to Bitcoin. Mike continues to be passionate about adoption and advising merchants on how bitcoin can help their business.



Mike Olthoff is the Founder and CEO of Coincards.ca.
Coincards.ca is a marketplace that tries to make it easier for people to spend their cryptocurrencies in stores that would not accept it directly. They have thousands of Canadian customers who exchange their Bitcoins (BTC) for gift cards that they can use to shop in stores. They currently use BTCPay to process all Bitcoin payments to their bitcoin wallets.

Cryptocurrencies are slowly emerging to becoming a medium of exchange with early adopter businesses starting to accept them for payments. There are several cryptocurrencies in the market but the most well-known is Bitcoin. For businesses to expand, they must be willing to take the risk and accept Bitcoin as a form of payment. Doing so will open them up to new markets and increase their sales due to attracting new customers who use it.

How big is the crypto world and who are their customers?

The crypto world is very big and continues to grow. Coincards currently has about 3,000 customers with most being repeat customers. They have experienced a 300% Year on Year growth in the exclusively Canadian crypto market.

They have a variety of customers. These include spectators who invested and forgot about it and want to cash out now. They also have customers who live off cryptocurrencies. These include bitcoin miners and those who work in the crypto industry and are paid in crypto.

Will Bitcoin ever stabilize?

One of the things that drive merchants away from Bitcoin is its fluctuating valuation. However, this will not be an issue for long as prices are expected to stabilize. Merchants who want to start accepting Bitcoin should find services that will help them cash out when needed.

What is BTCPay?

It is an open source payment software. Initially, they used to rely on third party sources like Bitpay. However, they realized that it was not giving them full control of their funds due to the lack of a private key. They use BTCPay for full control of their BTC wallets.

There are other platforms that do the same like Blockonomics and Mycelium Wallet.

Is speed and processing times an issue for Bitcoin?

It has been an issue for the last two months but has been improving over the last two weeks. What usually happens is a customer will be presented with a QR code or Bitcoin address they are supposed to pay with. They will then send the payment to that address that is registered. It goes through a block confirmation that takes about 10 minutes.

Using Bitcoins is cheap since you can send a large amount of money and get charged a small transaction fee.

There is no need to pay attention to Bitcoin spin-offs because Bitcoin handles everything.

Advice to merchants on the future of payments

As a bitcoin maximalist, Mike thinks Bitcoin will be the future of payments. Bitcoin is getting advanced and will increase its transaction capabilities. What will make it grow is the fact that it is a global currency and is not tied any location.

There are other cryptocurrencies in the market that might be more usable but they seem to be centralized since they are controlled by companies or organisations.

Litecoin is not very different from Bitcoin. They also accept it in addition to Bitcoin since they needed an alternative.

Ethereum

It is popular at the moment. Using it as a store of value and currency is not really what it was made of. It was made to power smart contracts. He is still waiting to see how smart contracts will work. For now, he does not think that it is best suited to being a currency.

Next big thing in e-commerce in relation to cryptocurrencies

Crypto will open up international trading. Using bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, globalization will be seen in the next decade. Banks,  credit card companies and others financial institutions are looking at crypto and trying to see what they can do.

Through cryptocurrencies, you will be able to eliminate middlemen as you can freely trade with other people from different countries.

Advice to those who want to get into crypto

They should start small and start with a platform like Bitpay. It also depends on the kind of business you have. They should go with a third party until they are sure they can take control of their currency.

If you don’t want to use a third party, you can use an exchange where you send your coins in exchange for your money. Poloniex, GDAX, BitTrex among others.

There are commissions when it comes to exchanging cryptos. In Canada, there is a trading fee of 0.5% and other withdrawal fees that could be free or 1 or 2 % of the amount you are trading.

Final words

Merchants should accept Bitcoin. It will open them up to a new world where people want to spend their coins.

Lightning round

  • How do you hire people?
    They look for people with the same values.
  • What are your 3 indispensable tools for managing Coincards.ca?
    WooCommerce, Electrum Wallet, Hardware wallets,
  • What has been your ‘best’ mistake to date? i.e. a setback that has given you the biggest feedback
    They were running on credit cards that cut them off. It helped them expand and develop relationships with vendors the right way.
  • What one piece of advice can you give direct to consumer e-tailers keen on 2X or 10Xing their sales?
    Spend time getting into the niches and know where the customers are.
  • If you could choose a single book or resource that online retailers keen to exit should read ?
    Lopp.net

 

TIMESTAMPS

06.51   ABOUT MIKE OLTHOFF AND COINCARDS.CA

08.30   HOW BIG IS THE CRYPTO WORLD AND WHO ARE THEIR CUSTOMERS

11.09   WILL BITCOIN STABALIZE SINCE THE PRICES HAVE BEEN FLUCTUATING

13.26   WHAT IS BTCPAY?

16.00   IS SPEED AND PROCESSING TIMES AN ISSUE FOR BITCOIN AND SHOULD WE PAY ATTENTION TO THE SPIN-OFFS?

19.37   ADVICE TO MERCHANTS ON THE FUTURE OF PAYMENTS

23.40   ETHEREUM

34.46   NEXT BIG THING IN E-COMMERCE IN RELATION TO CRYPTOCURRENCIES

28.36   ADVICE TO THOSE WHO WANT TO GET INTO CRYPTO

32.00   FINAL WORDS

33.00   LIGHTNING ROUND


About the host:

Kunle Campbell

An ecommerce advisor to ambitious, agile online retailers and funded ecommerce startups seeking exponentially sales growth through scalable customer acquisition, retention, conversion optimisation, product/market fit optimisation and customer referrals.

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