Are cryptocurrencies legal tender in the Netherlands?
Our government does not see virtual money as an official legal tender. But cryptocurrencies are certainly not illegal. The law does not oblige entrepreneurs to accept only euros. Fortunately, you can decide for yourself how you want to be rewarded for your services or products.
So you can safely let customers deposit for example bitcoin, ethereum or any of the other cryptos available today. Incidentally, tax sees possession of crypto-coins as an investment. You have to pay tax on owning it and the profit you get from it.
Cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin and Ethereum, have become quite popular in recent years. Both as a personal investment and a business investment. Are you also interested in buying, selling and storing digital currencies? Create a free account with the largest trading platform in the Netherlands: Bitvavo and trade the first €1000 without transaction costs.
Where can you pay with cryptocurrencies?
There is a famous story about an American programmer who paid 10,000 bitcoins for two pizzas on May 22, 2010. Then it was 35 euros. The same bitcoin is now worth around 230 million euros. In the Netherlands, you can simply pay for a pizza (or other food) on the desktop version of Thuisbezorgd.nl with a digital coin.
You can also pay with bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies in the online stores of Zalando, Bol, De Bijenkorf and Mediamarkt. Just not directly. It still has to be done via an intermediate station. How does it work? At Bitrefill, for example, you buy a Mediamarkt gift card with cryptocurrency, which you use to pay for your new computer at the electronics giant.
There are countless brick-and-mortar entrepreneurs worldwide who accept crypto. An overview can be found at coinmap.org. Click on the map and zoom in on the country or city you want.
What are the benefits of accepting cryptocurrencies?
Customers who really want to pay with bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies, but can’t do it with your business, go to the competition. Accepting crypto can therefore provide additional income.
Another advantage is that the payment transactions run directly between you and the customer. There is no intervention from financial institutions such as banks. And then there are no bank fees. There are some transaction costs, but they are lower than in a bank
If you, as an entrepreneur, want to sell products outside the eurozone, you must deal with foreign currency. It takes time and money to convert them back into euros. You don’t have that problem with payments in cryptocurrencies. If all businesses accepted crypto, international trade would become much easier.
What are the disadvantages of accepting crypto?
Most people do not yet have a digital payment method and find it a bit too complicated a show that is far from my bed. There are now just under 2 million Dutch people who own cryptocurrencies. Most of them see it as an investment and not (yet) so much as a means of payment.
The large price swings and high volatility of cryptocurrencies is perhaps the biggest problem. Suppose you deliver something to a customer and the payment is late. Then it can work hugely against you if the price of bitcoin drops by 20 percent in a few days. Do you want butter for the fish right away? Then, as the receiving party, you can of course convert the crypto coins directly into euros, so that you suffer as little as possible from the high volatility.
How does crypto work in a webshop and physical stores?
Entrepreneurs with a webshop can quite easily place a plug-in on their site with which you accept cryptocurrencies. There are many providers of these. An example is the free application nomiddleman from WooCommerce, which works on Worldpress. There you can set the currencies that you accept. And of course you must also have a wallet to receive the payments.
Do you have a physical store with not many customers? Then just a wallet is enough for customers to transfer crypto to it. There are now also different ways to integrate bitcoin payments into a normal point-of-sale POS system. Google, for example, nuvopos POS systems, SpectroCoin or bitpay.
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