The days of cryptocurrency being seen as another novel idea have long gone. Seeing excited posts on blogs and social media platforms when a corner stand or food truck accepted it for payments, with advocates happy with whatever real-world use they could get is now part of history. The monumental rise of the industry over the last decade has seen the technology being adopted by major corporations and even governments embracing censorship-resistant digital payments. Taking a step back, it is truly staggering to think that a time when a local bakery adopted the technology was news is not too long ago. In another way, however, we have arrived precisely at the point where the small-fry merchants deserve much more attention.
Why Small Merchants?
For Cryptocurrencies to develop, further adoption of the technology must grow. After all, cryptocurrencies with no users offer no use. And to see increased adoption beyond first adopters, the users have to be able to use the currency. If the users have nowhere to use it, the adoption rate will be low and subsequently, merchants will be hard to sell on adopting a new payment method without users. Approaching a small business with little complexity and direct access to the owner is, however, an achievable goal. A local economy with time can grow to dozens of customers and several businesses, each new acquisition increasing the value proposition for the currency and its adoption, and each new sales pitch becoming easier than the last. Going after a large merchant will cost considerably and the yield will be too low to make the proposition worthwhile. The best “bang for your buck” is probably going after more than a few small local businesses.
A successful local merchant adoption initiative will increase the adoption of the currency and will also attract customers, the most basic of needs of any businesses. Targeting small businesses, however, can have another benefit, the businesses themselves can have a tendency to become customers. A larger crypto-accepting business will employ the use of a processor to immediately convert unless significant volume and eventually, stability is attained. A small business owner need not convert his warned currency immediately or even not at all, as he has the discretion of using crypto revenue as personal income to shop at other supporting vendors. This vendor may use those funds to patronize another, and so on. The micro economy involving small merchants utilizing a new digital medium of exchange is much more likely to expand quickly than corporate giants determining when it’s in their interests to save some of their crypto income before converting the rest, especially since this income will at least initially be far smaller than their average turnovers.
Large merchants will be late adopters
Mass adoption requires the largest and most demanded merchants accept and adopt the cryptocurrency. But these large merchants are the most stubborn of the lot and will be one of the last to make radical changes to their existing and proven payment method. Working out a solution with corporate approval, standardizing infrastructure and accounting across all franchises, training staff, dealing with legal, avoiding upsetting partners, and so on, is a massive hurdle to overcome, this seems even more unlikely as the outcome of the massive reform cannot be predicted in accuracy beforehand. Larger merchants have to forced to adopt the technology by increasing the user base using smaller merchants. The potential competition that the smaller merchants provide will force the large merchants to overhaul their system to keep up with times or risk getting left behind and losing customers. Localized adoption is the strategy to be employed towards achieving global adoption.
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