Credit card giant Visa revealed in a survey that almost one quarter of small businesses in nine different countries have plans to accept cryptocurrencies as payment in 2022.
Crypto payments gaining in popularity
Crypto prices may be going down, but demand for crypto payments continues to go up.
According to a survey conducted by Visa among 2,250 small business owners across nine countries, almost 25% responded affirmatively when asked about accepting crypto assets as payment options. In addition to specifically accepting crypto, three-quarters of respondents said accepting new forms of payments would be “fundamental” to growth. The survey was conducted in several high and middle-income countries like the United States, Brazil, Singapore, Canada, Germany, Ireland, and Russia and consisted of 1,000 adults in the States and 500 adults in each of the other countries.
Despite stringent regulation in some of the surveyed countries, cryptocurrencies have continued to rise in popularity both as an investment vehicle and as a means of payment. Particularly small businesses outside the U.S. seem to be warming up to digital currencies. 19% of American small business owners expect to offer crypto as a payment option this year. This number rises to over 30% for countries like the United Arab Emirates, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Brazil.
Visa’s Global Head of Merchant Sales and Acquiring Jeni Mundy was not surprised by the results: “I think more people are feeling more confident with crypto.” She also noted that increasing crypto adoption was the logical next step for smaller companies transitioning towards new forms of payments. Especially in developing economies, small businesses have an incentive to accept new sources of revenue, and that is where cryptocurrencies come in.
Will this trend continue in 2022?
However, with a weakening cryptocurrency market at the start of 2022, many are asking themselves if much of the achieved progress will come undone this year. There are several indicators against that.
First, companies like Visa are building on the blockchain. Compared to the previous cryptocurrency cycles, digital assets are past being a fad or an obscure Libertarian dream. Even legacy financial institutions have decided that blockchain technology has something to offer, so crypto payments are hardly going to disappear again.
Second, an increasing number of countries are working on or have already deployed their own CBDCs. Digitalisation is not going to stop because crypto prices are going down, and governments trying to take away the business of cryptocurrencies is the best indicator for crypto to stick around for longer.
However, before jumping in and accepting crypto for your business, you should realise that new technology spreads at a slower rate outside of boom phases. Money does not flow as easily in a bear market, and many of the customers that were flush with crypto-cash may be using dollars for the time being. Thus, businesses need to carefully analyse whether they really stand to benefit from hopping onto the crypto train right now or whether they should wait out the storm in the markets.