Coinbase says its “Coinbase Commerce” service will make it easier for all merchants to accept and process cryptocurrency payments. The new point-of-sale system is designed to integrate more smoothly into users’ “checkout flow” — and to demonstrate, the company has partnered with Shopify and provided instructions for merchants to add it to their online stores.
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Coinbase Commerce Accepts Four Currencies, Allows Local Key Storage
Coinbase Commerce is designed for both physical and online stores, and differs from previous point-of-sale (POS) offerings by allowing more control over the balances merchants hold. According to its announcement, Coinbase’s new product isn’t hosted — meaning merchants will store their keys and tokens locally.
It will allow them to accept the four main cryptocurrencies Coinbase currently supports: bitcoin (BTC), ethereum (ETH), bitcoin cash (BCH), and litecoin (LTC).
Coinbase is clearly aiming to make the Commerce service as simple as possible. Merchants can create new accounts with just an email address. However there is mandatory 2FA setup with Google Authenticator (QR only, no backup key is provided) and new users have to view and confirm their 12-word recovery phrase before settling into their account.
Shopify merchants can add Coinbase Commerce directly by creating an API key, then locating the option in their Shopify settings under “additional payment method”.
On the main dashboard for all users is a button marked “Accept payments” — this accommodates both products and campaign donations. They’ll then be invited to input a name, description, product photo or organization logo, and price.
E-commerce merchants can add site domain names to the dashboard to embed a payment button on their site/s.
Coinbase said the new service is available everywhere. “Our mission at Coinbase is to create an open financial system, so we’ve designed this solution to serve merchants worldwide.” However users outside jurisdictions Coinbase serves would still need to find a way to convert cryptocurrency payments into local cash — assuming that’s what they want.
Are Merchants Still Interested in Cryptocurrencies?
After a year of speculative price activity that ended with a 55+ percent correction, the focus is shifting back to whether cryptocurrencies have any utility as money in the wider economy.
Expectations of capital gains, coupled with high fees and network delays on Bitcoin and Ethereum have led to hoarding and reluctance to spend — impacting payment processors like BitPay. Despite the record high values, actual merchant transactions using cryptocurrencies remains low.
Coinbase and other newly-launched services like Litepay are looking to change that by encouraging more commercial activity — and hoping ease-of-use will bring more on board.
Will this new service be simple enough to bring more merchant users to cryptocurrency? Let’s hear your thoughts.
Images via Coinbase, Pixabay