Opinion. Morning Coffee for BTC: Fiction or Reality?


Let’s say you’re in a coffee shop and want to pay for it with crypto. What do you need to do it? Let’s take a step back to the BTC basics before diving deeper into this

Every new block writes into Bitcoin’s blockchain approximately once in 8.78 minutes. This is an average time to wait until the transaction gets confirmed by the network. By introducing this challenge, Satoshi Nakamoto strived to create scarcity in order to increase the value of the first cryptocurrency. Clearly, the merchant’s need is to exchange goods (a cup of coffee in this case) for a valid currency, and to do it quickly. Instant settlement is an ideal situation in this case because of the considerably high flow of orders, especially in the mornings. Customers don’t want to wait for 10 minutes near the counter to get their transaction processed. Furthermore, with such a slow pace of serving coffee, it would’ve been impossible to handle a line, and people would simply go away to get their coffee elsewhere.

A coffee shop may want to consider other cryptocurrencies with advanced capabilities, that have been created in recent years and addressed the drawbacks of Bitcoin. But what are the chances that the absolute majority of incoming coffee fans will have this crypto in their wallets? 

So the coffee shop owner considers accepting payments with Bitcoin. A friend told him about another opportunity to handle BTC payments – by using Lightning Network that makes it possible to speed up the Bitcoin transactions.

One issue is solved, however, other ones are appearing on the way. Turns out, now a coffee shop needs to decide on a fair exchange rate to offer reasonable prices for its products and manage the company’s expenses. Another risk is that a spike in crypto activity will be noticed by regulators and considered a red flag that requires investigation.

After careful consideration, it appears that introducing Bitcoin as a payment option requires implementing a highly specific payment gateway.

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