Top cryptocurrencies for payments

Top Cryptocurrencies for payments

Any type of cryptocurrency does not have official status as a means of payment (a number of countries have already recognized Bitcoin as such but this issue is still open). But typical cryptocurrency properties like decentralization attract users more than many fiat currencies. The owner of any existing cryptocurrency is not tied to a geographical point, state or political system. Despite linking the exchange rate to fiat money like USD, cryptocurrency is valuable in itself and definitely has the ability to become the most popular payment gateway in the near future. That’s why we present you with the list of

Top 8 cryptocurrencies for payments:

  1. Bitcoin / BTC
  2. Ethereum / ETH
  3. Paxos / PAX
  4. Ripple / XRP
  5. EOS
  6. Bitcoin Cash / BCH
  7. Tron / TRX
  8. Binance Coin / BNB

BTC

As a digital currency, Bitcoin is sometimes served as a simple problem solution for web sites that are in need to accept crypto payments. However, when you have already implemented the ability to accept payments in the most popular fiat currencies on your website, do you really need to think about additional ones, such as BTC? Usually, the currency of the country where the online store is located is definitely the primary goal. Most online merchants are focused on the local market, which means they want to receive payments in the local currency that they know and trust. At the same time, Bitcoin is such a popular currency right now and if a service is interested in attracting new users it would definitely come in handy.

ETH

Ethereum, the second most heard of crypto, is an open source software platform based on blockchain technology. This platform allows developers to create and deploy decentralized applications (dApps) on it. It was smart contracts that brought Ethereum fame. These are contracts written by program code and stored on the blockchain. They make transactions “traceable, transparent and irreversible”. Ethereum managed to win public trust, and the Ethereum Foundation, a non-profit organization, was created to manage its development. The development was funded by ICO, launched in July 2014. During the initial offer of coins, Ethereum released its own token, ether (ETH). ETH is the currency that controls everything in the Ethereum ecosystem. No surprise that it became a popular investment tool and payment method.

PAX

A wide range of people has learned about the Paxos stable coin project thanks to Binance’s support and listing announcement. But Paxos is not just a cryptocurrency pegged to the US dollar. Primarily, this is a platform for payments. Paxos project was made to solve the three main problems. First of all, it wanted to satisfy the need in instant conversion of fiat assets into digital assets and vice versa. At the same time, the number of counterparties and, accordingly, counterfeiting risks were minimized. Next problem is the elimination of transaction costs during trading. The last one is the minimization of fees when transferring funds. All of the above makes PAX a perfect online payment tool.

XRP

Ripple is a cryptocurrency operating on its own protocol and at the same time, a whole payment system used, among other things, by financial organizations. Initially, the Ripple system was conceived for the exchange of assets, and the Ripple currency appeared as a means of such exchange. In 2005, the first version of the system was released, and after six years it was decided to create a decentralized network with high speed and no mining process. 100 billion coins were issued in advance, of which only 39 billion were sold to users, the rest remained inside the company. 55 billion tokens were frozen through smart contracts. One of the contracts expires every month and 1 billion coins are released. With each transaction in the Ripple network, some XRP is removed from it. Therefore, over time, the cost of each XRP increases. As Ripple was created solely to be a payment system we think it is one of the best options for carrying out online transactions.

EOS

EOS is a blockchain-based system that allows, similar to Ethereum, you to develop decentralized, commercial-scale decentralized applications on the EOS.IO platform. Like Ripple, EOS.IO is capable of performing millions of transactions per second, which is so much more than 20 operations per second in Ethereum network and 3-4 in Bitcoins. EOS is more technological than Ethereum and Bitcoin (as it was developed much later), thanks to which its growth rates are highest compared to other cryptocurrencies.

BCH

Bitcoin Cash in 2017 as a Bitcoin fork. The two currencies have a common past, but from the moment of the fork, the miners of each platform build their own blockchain. The developers of Bitcoin Cash tried to fix the main drawback of Bitcoin, namely, slow transaction processing. For this, they increased the size of the cryptocurrency block. One of the main problems of Bitcoin was the time delay in the implementation of transactions, sometimes it took up to two days to conduct a transaction, which did not satisfy the users at all. These problems arose because of the small size of the Bitcoin block. The Bitcoin Cash block contains four times as much information as the Bitcoin’s block, which makes it more prepared and adapted to the current popularity of cryptocurrency.

TRX

TRON (TRX) is a decentralized open-source cryptocurrency. Tron coin was founded by the Chinese company TRON Foundation, registered in Singapore. TRON works as a unit of account in an application on the blockchain, in which content creators can receive a reward for its distribution. TRON technology is a distributed repository that allows its users to access entertainment content from anywhere in the world without the help of intermediaries. At the same time, content producers will receive rewards directly from the audience, depending on their popularity. As the entertainment industry is the biggest source of funds at the moment, we think that with the growth of the amount of the users, TRX can become quite a popular payment method.

BNB

Binance Coin (BNB), as is widely known, is a native token of the Binance exchange. BNB is used to pay fees on the stock exchange and to trade in pairs with 57 most popular cryptocurrencies. Binance Coin holders have a discount on the trading fees. Just lately, Binance has migrated its currency on the blockchain of its own. The cost of BNB Coin in the first place will be affected by the trading volume that occurs on the Binance stock exchange. At the moment, it is one of the most popular exchange ever so we are pretty sure BNB token won’t lose its appeal as a payment method.

Bitcoin VS credit card

Bitcoin VS Credit card: a comparison

Long story short, cryptocurrency is a digital (or virtual) currency that does not have a physical representation. The unit of such a currency is a coin. Bitcoin is one of the first cryptocurrencies to be created and in this article, we would like to provide you with Bitcoin vs credit card comparison.

Fees

Modern cryptocurrency wallets are designed in a way so that the user can forget about what is actually happening. When planning to run a transaction, the user enters the wallet address of the transfer recipient, the amount of the coins that they want to transfer and the fee amount that they are willing to spend. Then the user confirm the transfer with a password and voila: the coins are gone!

Transition cost in the Bitcoin network does not depend on the transaction amount, it depends only on the number of addresses participating in it. After you sign and send a transaction to the Bitcoin network, it spreads very quickly across the entire network and enters the memory queue that’s called mempool. Mempool is usually compared with a bottle, through the neck of which transactions fall into the blocks. At the moment, the block size in the Bitcoin network is 1 MB and each block takes 10 minutes to be completed with only 2000-3000 transactions being able to get into one block. Right now, mempool size is 15 MB. This means that only 6.7% of all of the transactions can get into the next block, the rest will have to wait for their turn.

This architecture can be considered both as Bitcoin advantage and disadvantage. Visa or MasterCard transfers fees are determined based on the amount of each transaction and can be truly huge. In the blockchain transfers, you can control the fee yourself and it will affect only the speed of processing.

Speed

All transfers from one Bitcoin wallet to another occur with some delay. The delay depends mainly on two parameters: the transaction fee and the network load.

The amount of the transaction fee is determined by the user themselves, and they can put in any amount they are willing to spend. However, a zero or too small of a fee can lead to an infinite delay, i.e. the transaction will not be accepted and the funds will return only in a few weeks.

After being signed, the transaction enters the queue (mempool). Since the block size, as we have already mentioned, has a fixed size of 1Mb and the transaction size in bytes can be different depending on the amount of participating addresses, those transactions for which the fee for each byte is maximum are selected for the next block.

The transaction is considered successful if it receives several confirmations. The first comes when the transaction is received in the block, the second and subsequent after the block with the transaction will form the following blocks, and the entire chain will be accepted by the network.

Credit cards transactions, on the other hand, take a fixed amount of time to process but that time can amount to up to three days. Many advantages of Bitcoin include being able to control the speed of processing but you will have to pay for it.

Security

Naturally, the integrity and security of the blockchain (the distributed access system that Bitcoin is based on) are secured by special kind of cryptography. Bitcoin network is designed in a way that makes cryptocurrency transactions as safe as possible.

You own your Bitcoin funds, and no one can access them. With conventional fiat currencies, it is different: banks can freeze accounts and funds on them and the government can confiscate the money that is listed under your name. This is a very important aspect of the modern world, where money often acts as a way to pressure and punish people. At the same time, Bitcoin was created to guarantee full economic freedom.

Unlike conventional fiat currencies, Bitcoin is completely transparent. Anyone can check the blockchain, see every transaction ever made and make sure everything is working properly. Unfair actions will be immediately noticed and eliminated. It is for this reason that fake Bitcoins and corruption within the system are simply impossible.

On the same time, banks can be robed or corrupted, PIN-code of your credit card can be stolen and it would be almost impossible to return your money or even prove that it was stolen. This is also an advantage of Bitcoins vs cash or credit card as the system was made in a way that prevents the possibility of funds being stolen in the first place.

Decentralisation

Bitcoin has remarkable quality, decentralization. This means that the currency does not have a single issuer, its existence in the economy is provided by all of the holders. Another point is that the decision on the reliability of the transaction is not made by any central organization, but by the entire community. Bitcoin guarantees owners economic immunity because it can not be faked or destroyed.

Some do not understand why Bitcoin is worth so much. Everyone who is familiar with the stock market knows that the price of Bitcoin (as well as stock price) depends on supply and demand. In short, the more people believe in cryptocurrency, the more expensive it is. Bitcoin pricing is, in fact, an example of an ideal capitalistic concept where no one can influence the price. Bitcoin is an example of the fairest market that has ever existed.

The banks, once again, are controlled by the government or at least small groups of people that chase their own interests. Yes, Bitcoin is criticised for its mining mechanism that allows hoarding large amount of Bitcoins in the hands of the mining elite but this problem is solved in forks, for example.

Mass adoption

Although the retailers will only be happy to replace credit cards terminals with Bitcoin payment option (due to the ease and speed of the transactions) the cryptocurrency holders are not ready to rejoice. The reason is obvious. Credit cards change the ratio between the joy of shopping and suffering, they provide an opportunity to experience joy now, and the discomfort is paying off to postpone until later. It is so much easier to use borrowed funds!

That being said, the process of mass adoption itself is slow and painful. Governments are not ready to lose control over financial operations and the advantages and disadvantages of Bitcoin do not matter much if it is still illegal in some countries. The biggest pro in using a credit card over BTC payments is that at least you can pay with card anywhere.

What can you buy with Bitcoin

What can you buy with Bitcoin

Bitcoin has had a short but curious life. Back in 2010, the question “what can I buy with Bitcoin?” was downright obscure. But the first two pizzas were bought with it. This day became legendary mostly due to the pizzas’ price: they cost the buyer 10,000 bitcoins (at that time it was worth only $25). Today, for that amount of money you can buy a few houses and several cars to top it off. And you wouldn’t even need to exchange BTC for fiat at all. What to buy with bitcoin today?

The list of things you can buy with Bitcoin:

  • Real estate
  • Gold
  • Gift cards
  • Cars
  • Travel

Real estate

Unfortunately, there are still very few companies in the field of real estate that decided to support Bitcoin by using it as a payment gateway. But the solo enthusiasts that are willing to sell their real estate for BTC could be found everywhere. It is noteworthy that most often the owners of real estate in resort areas agree to Bitcoin payments and even offer them instead of the traditional bank transfers.

Most often, the arguments in offering such transactions are the speed and reliability that Bitcoin offers. A private broker who made out a sale-and-purchase agreement in the USA noticed that using cryptocurrency allowed to make the fastest deal in thirty years of his work. It took 10 minutes for the buyer to fully pay off the financial obligations to the seller.

Knox Group, a corporation from the UAE, launched a housing and commercial project, in which studio apartments can be bought for 33 BTC, one-room apartments for 54 BTC, and the most expensive apartments for 80 BTC. Magnum Real Estate, operating in real estate in New York in Manhattan, also offers buyers to pay in Bitcoins. According to representatives of the board of directors, it is meant to  help with the diversification of portfolios of the company but as long as it helps with the mass adoption of cryptocurrencies we are willing to praise it.

Gold

Funny enough, Bitcoin is often called digital gold. It’s only logical that many of its crypto fans also like gold in its physical appearance. Over the past couple of years due to the market demand, several companies that provide the opportunity to buy gold with Bitcoin have appeared.

Why would one want to buy gold at all? Some choose it as a tool for investment purposes, others as a trading asset, and there are those who hedge their risks of high volatility in cryptocurrency, while being outside the fiat monetary system.

A new type of companies selling gold for bitcoins expands the possibilities of investors who want to protect their savings from the inflation risks. Most of these companies will not require documents from you to make a deal so your funds will remain out of sight of various government supervisory agencies.

Travel

Some airlines can be considered one of the leaders in the cryptocurrency adoption. Back in 2014, Lithuanian Air Lituanica made history and provided passengers with the opportunity to pay for the tickets with Bitcoins and even canceled fees to encourage this payment method. A few months later, the Latvian AirBaltic did the same. In 2015, the similar payment method appeared on the website of the Polish airline LOT.

Nevertheless, people willing to pay with Bitcoins are far from always being able to find a suitable option. There are thousands of airline companies that do not accept Bitcoins and only several dozen airlines do. Therefore, if you are willing to buy things with bitcoin during your  vacation you will do better with choosing a tourist agency that sells full packages. With their services, you can pay with Bitcoins for tickets of an airline of your choice, including popular lowcosters, for hotel reservations; for taxi rides during your stay; tickets for sightseeing tours, etc! Many companies noted that after the cryptocurrency payment had been introduced, their customers traffic increased.

Сars

In the automobilia, Bitcoins are more often accepted as payment for premium cars. For example, the infamous Tesla Model S with the price of about 140 thousand euros was more than once sold for Bitcoins at the current exchange rate. At the end of March 2018, there was news that a large dealer from Japan plans to sell premium-class cars for cryptocurrency. That company, L’Operaio, announced the partnership with the large stock exchange, bitFlyer. As a result, Bitcoin payment with a limit of $ 1 million became available to customers. It was a big day for the industry as partnerships with such a high exchange limit were unheard of.

If you are not ready to invest in a luxury vehicle but still want to buy car with bitcoin look at some private ads. There are many cars for sale for BTC, as it is the case with real estate. And in the same way, those ads are in higher demand than similar ads in which there is no mention of cryptocurrency.

Gift cards

Bitcoin can pay for almost everything, whether it is household goods, food, dinner in a cafe or a new haircut. And even if there are no cafes and hairdressers in your area that accept BTC as a payment method you can always use an intermediary.

At gyft.com and similar services, you can purchase gift cards for Bitcoins for almost 200 online stores and websites, including Starbucks, eBay, Walmart, Nike, Apple, Uber, Google Play, etc. Just like that, you can buy almost anything you need with crypto and not worry about what currencies your favourite online store supports. All you have to do is to buy Amazon gift card with Bitcoin and make yourself a really nice gift. Be mindful of the fees though as sometimes they are unjustified.

Such websites allow you to buy goods for Bitcoins in regular stores but bear in mind that it is not always profitable. Alternatives in the form of market platforms that support the possibility of paying with Bitcoin can help save money and support local manufactures. As a good example of such a platform we can mention OpenBazzaar. There, you can interact directly with a seller and there are no service fees.

Now payments API guide

NowPayments API guide

This article is meant to ease the integration of NowPayments onto your service platform. We have designed it to be in compliance with any kind of background knowledge and therefore this guide is suitable even for complete beginners.

Quickstart

The first thing to do is to sign up on NowPayments website. It can be done in six easy steps:

  1. sign up at our account page;
  2. activate your account via the e-mail that we have sent you;
  3. sign in into your account and open the Dashboard Page;
  4. press “Add new key”. You will get an API key, please save it;
  5. enter the wallet for funds withdrawal on “Outcome wallet” page;
  6. use API!

Please note that at the moment our base currency is USD and the minimum transaction amount that we are able to carry out is an equivalent of 0,003 BTC. We are working hard to lower this number.

Now to the API workflow itself.

  • To get the list of the supported currencies: [GET] /currencies
  • To get an estimated price in the selected currency: [GET] /estimate
  • To create a payment: [POST] /payment
  • Тo check the payment status: [GET] /payment/{payment_id}

For further references and more detailed code examples please consult with our full documentation.

Crypto Systems Review

Crypto Payments review

There are several good reasons why it is more convenient for your customers to pay with cryptocurrency.  It may be highly beneficial for your business to add crypto payments into the mix. Companies should consider accepting cryptocurrency in order not only to offer existing customers new payment methods, but also to get access to new customers who use cryptocurrency to pay for goods and services. This is a real, win-win way to increase revenues that cannot be ignored.

In this article, we would like to review a few most popular payment systems and compare them to our product, NOWPayments.

BitPay

Founded by Tony Gallippi and Stephen Ferry in May 2011, BitPay became the first operator to work with Bitcoin. Development of the project began because of the need for a quick, safe and cheap way to pay for goods and services with Bitcoin.

Funds can be deposited directly from a Bitcoin wallet or through an authorized supplier. BitPay’s commission is relatively low, up to 1.9%, but the speed of data processing leaves much to be desired. To increase the availability and popularity of the application, BitPay announced support for Bitcoin Cash in addition to other currencies in December 2017. As of right now, BitPay accepts only these two coins and the variety of fiat currencies that are allowed to be exchanged for in BitPay is limited.

Unlike BitPay, NOWPayments is not limited to Bitcoin-like currencies. We are planning on covering as many coins as possible to provide our customers with the most convenient option to choose from. On top of that, we eliminate the need to work with fiat currencies as the withdrawal of funds support stable coins.

CoinPayments

CoinPayments is an online wallet for cryptocurrencies that launched in 2013. It is no longer a newcomer to the crypto market and is a well-respected platform to accept payments in crypto. CoinPayments allows accepting transactions, store different cryptocurrencies, as well as carry out crypto swaps. It has basic functionality and useful options that improve it.

CoinPayments relies on the blockchain technology to ensure security and also possesses additional security measures as two-factor authorization and instant notification of any actions in the account (refill, swap, withdrawal of funds). However, be mindful that 2FA is implemented via e-mail notifications. Also, your funds are kept on the generated wallets and you do not have private keys for them.

Unlike CoinPayments, NOWPayments doesn’t keep your money at all. It is a safer option as the fewer steps there are the fewer possibilities to steal your money could be found. We value your privacy and safety of your funds the most.

Coinbase Commerce

Coinbase has launched a special plugin for the popular e-commerce platform WooCommerce, which will allow merchants to add a function to pay for goods in cryptocurrency on their websites.

Coinbase started off by offering the option of directly sending Bitcoins and Litecoin from Coinbase Commerce and later added the support of Ethereum and Bitcoin Cash transactions. The main drawback of Coinbase Commerce is that it does not allow in-system swaps and you are bounded to withdraw the same currency (one of the four!) that was sent to you.

Unlike Coinbase Commerce, NowPayments supports five currencies from the very beginning and the list is constantly growing!

CoinGate

CoinGate is a service that provides a payment gateway for Bitcoin and more than fifty altcoins. It uses ShapeShift to allow the in-service swaps. CoinGate charges a 1% fee for using the gateway services. It also allows withdrawal of fiat money to various systems, including PayPal.

You should bear in mind that CoinGate is not supported in some countries due to their financial laws and you will have to choose your country of residence during the signing up process. It is also a custodial service, i.d. your funds are kept in newly generated wallets and you have no means of getting their private keys.

Unlike Coingate, as we already have mentioned, NOWPayments has no access to your funds and the withdrawal is immediate and can be done in the cryptocurrency of your choice.

Why to accept payments in crypto

Why Accept Payments In Crypto

There are several advantages of crypto in comparison to fiat money, and it is vital to be aware of them before making a choice between the two. Check out this educational article by NOWPayments that explains the difference.

Security

The blockchain is notorious for being the safest options of running any kind of transaction. You can secure your payments by integrating NOW Payments and never worry if your bank is going to crash or if a transaction is going to crash. The blockchain’s performance is not affected by minor inconveniences as it is decentralized and stable no matter what.

Privacy

Clearly, not everyone is willing to share their personal information with every payment on the Internet. Cryptocurrency payments are solving this problem as crypto wallets are not linked to the owner’s identity. For someone who is looking not only for profit but also for safety, crypto payments are the best option.

Low fees

Fiat payment systems set their fee high as they don’t have any competitors. Well, let’s change that! Our payment system’s fees are lower than those of the fiat systems and its adoption will be beneficial and profitable both for the users and the companies. You will be able to get more profit from the same amount of payments and customers will pay you directly without the unnecessary intermediacy of the banks.

Multiple currencies

We support multiple coins. It means that your customers can choose the most convenient option for them and overall be more satisfied with your services. More supported currencies mean more accessibility and higher adoption rates among the crypto people. The community would enjoy the lack of unnecessary exchange that causes losses of funds.

Simple API

By far, our development team has worked hard to ensure that the integration will run smoothly on any website or platform. All you need to do is use a simple API with a clear manual.

Instant Conversions

There’s no latency for the funds’ withdrawal. You can use, send, convert them immediately and overall have a bigger and more stable asset turnover.

Stablecoins support

Last but not least, our team has made sure to include stablecoins’ support. They are closer to fiat currencies in terms of their market price. Little volatility makes them more convenient for day-to-day purchases while the blockchain base retains all the benefits of the decentralization. Stablecoin adoption is a necessity for any payment system that is going to be widely used.