To a growing gaggle of supporters, spendable cryptocurrency is the future of payments. From privacy and security to the desire for new form factors and capabilities, it’s a movement gathering force in 2021 at a rate that even some big crypto cheerleaders likely didn’t expect.
The Cryptocurrency Payments Playbook: Cryptocurrencies Gain Momentum As A Payment Option, a PYMNTS and BitPay collaboration, analyzes responses from a survey of more than 8,000 U.S. consumers — current and former cryptocurrency owners, and nonowners alike — to uncover specific drivers of bold new moves into blockchain payments.
Getting straight to the point, researchers note that up to 60 percent of cryptocurrency users are “very” or “extremely” interested in using cryptocurrency “to make online purchases that are more private or secure — or because they think these purchases are.”
Researchers found that people have surprisingly specific ideas the things on which they want to spend their cryptocurrency, with 40 percent of respondents “interested in using cryptocurrency in real estate purchases say they are motivated to eliminate intermediaries,” and 38 percent interested in buying computers and electronics with crypto for reduced transaction costs.
Nearly 40 percent think purchasing entertainment and media products using cryptocurrency “would make online payments more efficient,” while 36 percent want lower transaction costs.
Nothing Cryptic About Rewards
Loyalty rewards are a powerful force in spending, and with cryptocurrency it’s no different.
Per the new Cryptocurrency Payments Playbook, “59 percent of current or former cryptocurrency holders would be ‘very’ or ‘extremely’ interested in using crypto as a payment method if it meant they could obtain discounts. This share goes up to 65 percent among holders who already make or made purchases with cryptocurrencies and shrinks to 51 percent among those who have not. Twenty-three percent of nonholders would be highly interested in paying with cryptocurrencies if they were offered discounts.”
As cryptocurrency moves into the spendable realm, merchants would be wise to read the signals and make plans for crypto acceptance, plus the incentives that people now expect.
Researchers also discovered that “both holders (57 percent) and nonholders (21 percent)” would utilize crypto for payments if the option were offered during online checkout.
Closing Gaps In Spendable Cryptocurrency
Given all the attention and headlines it’s baffling that some basic knowledge gaps exist around obtaining cryptocurrency, as well as finding merchants that accept it for payments.
For example, while researchers found wide awareness of crypto among nonholders, “75 percent report not knowing enough about cryptocurrencies, how to obtain them or their tax implications as reasons for never having purchased them.”
The second-most cited reason for never having purchased cryptocurrency is merchant acceptance, and even among holders it’s an issue. “Consumers who have cryptocurrency to spend say they are looking for ways to spend it,” per the Playbook, with 51 percent of owners “more likely to buy from merchants that accept cryptocurrency, and 47 percent of owners report they specifically seek out merchants that accept crypto.”
Additionally, 47 percent of owners would likely spend more if they could use cryptocurrency.