The owner of a fish and chip shop in Queensland is now accepting payments in cryptocurrency, in a bid to offer customers “a bit of a quirky thing”, and to get ahead of an accelerating trend.
Clint Horsfall, who runs Seagulls Takeaway in Yeppoon, has himself been dabbling in crypto trading for some time, he tells SmartCompany. But he found there was nowhere locally, or even in nearby Rockhampton, to spend his wallet-load.
While he admits he’s not taking things too seriously, he thought offering crypto payments in his takeaway could bring a bit of marketing attention to his small business.
Once tourism is up and running again, he hopes it will help Seagulls stand out for inter-state and international visitors too.
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Why crypto payments?
So far the move has attracted “some comments and raised eyebrows”, Horsfall says.
He’s completed one transaction in Bitcoin. The order was $32.66, and that payment is now already worth $35 or $36 he estimates.
But the volatile nature of cryptocurrency valuations is a “double-edged sword” for the business.
A $20 sale one day could be worth $50 a week later. Of course, it can go the other way too.
“It’s a bit of a gamble, I suppose.”
“But I think as a general rule, most major cryptos increase in value slowly.”
Horsfall says the process of setting up cryptocurrency payments was a smooth one. All he has to do is access his own wallet app and select the option to receive a payment. The customer can then pay by scanning a QR code on Horsfall’s phone.
However, the business owner admits he may not have smoothed out all of the edges just yet.
“I don’t know how it’s going to work with the accountants,” he says.
“I haven’t really talked to them about it yet.”
The next step in crypto adoption
Cryptocurrency is arguably no longer on the fringes of the finance world.
Even over the past few months we’ve seen Commonwealth Bank allowing its customers to buy, sell and hold cryptocurrency via their banking app, and global platform crypto.com is launching its Visa cards in Australia.
All of this speaks to crypto edging into the mainstream market, adding legitimacy to the whole concept.
Horsfall also notes that throughout the COVID-19 pandemic we have seen a shift in the way people pay for things. They’ve moved almost entirely away from cash, and people are more accepting of BNPL-style payment technologies.
Crypto payments for small businesses may well be the natural next step.
Ever modest, Horsfall is reluctant to paint himself as a leader here. But he does believe we will start to see more small businesses accepting cryptocurrencies, and more people paying with them.
“The benefit for me is the potential for gains,” he says.