This is Part Two of a three-part series aimed at learning more about the merchants who accept bitcoin and support the wider digital currency ecosystem.
In the first installment of our merchant survey, we uncovered that the majority - 59% - of merchants are accepting bitcoin to better support the bitcoin ecosystem. However, the bigger takeaway from this statistic is that the main driver of bitcoin adoption is not its cost-cutting benefits when compared to traditional financial tools.
While bitcoin benefits from adding like-minded merchants to the ecosystem, the true expansion of bitcoin as a currency and payment method will likely rest on convincing those who may not believe fully in bitcoin's underlying political motivations and ideology.
As such, it's arguable that the most important question when it comes to merchant expansion is, if the savings bitcoin provides isn't a major factor: Do merchants that accept bitcoin see a sales increase for doing so? And if so, do they make enough to convince those who might have reservations about joining the movement?
What isn't clear, though, is if smaller and mid-size merchants are achieving similar results.
In Part Two of this series, we’ll seek to examine more broadly how merchants are accepting bitcoin and what their success to date has been.
25% attribute more than 10% of their monthly sales to bitcoin
In total, our survey found that 24.5% - or roughly one-fourth - of respondents indicated that more than 10% of monthly sales are attributable to bitcoin purchases.
It's important to note that an unknown number of these respondents are likely bitcoin-only businesses, but that we do know that some merchants are achieving similar results even when accepting fiat currency.
The majority of merchants (56%), however, say that bitcoin is attributable to 0% to 2% of their total monthly sales.
The graph also shows that about one-fifth of merchants see a sales increase of between 3% and 10%,
Though, it should be noted that Part One of our survey showed half of respondents have only been accepting bitcoin for under three months, meaning this figure may be due to the initial bump in sales most merchants report.
44% say it's 'very easy' to accept bitcoin
The survey also asked merchants to rate how difficult it was to start accepting bitcoin, and in the process debunked a long-standing myth that accepting bitcoin is an onerous process.
Overall, 42.7% said it was 'very easy' to begin accepting bitcoin, while an additional 35.39% said it was 'easy'. Just 1.12% reported that it was 'difficult' to begin accepting the digital currency.
On a scale of one to 10, with 10 representing the highest difficulty, respondents, on average, reported that accepting bitcoin had a difficulty level of 2.
44% use BitPay
Our survey also sought to examine which business partners are most popular for merchants, and revealed BitPay to be the clear frontrunner in the market, capturing 44% of the vote.
Coinbase came in second with 36% of the total vote, while the standard-issue Bitcoin-QT wallet came in third in terms of total responses.
Smaller percentages were observed for merchant processors GoCoin and BIPS.
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