A lot of people have been talking about the possibility of cryptocurrencies going mainstream lately. The biggest obstacle to this mostly have to do with the supply chain. If more wholesalers accept Bitcoin, this could help trigger the snowball effect of making cryptocurrencies more acceptable at every stage of the supply chain. So I’ve emailed a couple of wholesalers I know about with the suggestion that they might consider taking Bitcoin. I sent this to AHI Distribution:
Just a quick question/suggestion: Have you ever considered accepting Bitcoin as payment for orders? Right now there are a lot of people interested in using cryptocurrencies to pay for high priced items like your generators and it could help retailers if wholesalers like you could accept Bitcoin.
And I got this back:
We have not until it proves itself. Thanks.
Proved itself? I would have thought that Bitcoin would have proved itself by going from mere cents per Bitcoin to a surge of over $1000 in 2014, and then stabilized in the $500-600 range. It’s been accepted by Dell, TigerDirect, and Expedia. Mars One and Wikipedia accepts Bitcoin donations. It’s valuable enough that people can buy and sell real estate and high priced luxury items with cryptocurrencies. When you look at the Bitcoin prices, they don’t seem very high until you notice the prices under them in dollars or Euros. Wholesalers are basically dragging their feet when it comes to accepting Bitcoin, perhaps because they see how volatile it still is. Or perhaps they’re still acting like a herd of cows like this one, which doesn’t move much until a remote controlled car starts leading them around.
Most retailers still accept mostly fiat currencies, but Expedia has indicated that their test of booking hotels with Bitcoin has done better than expected. One family went on a road trip strictly using Bitcoin, booking hotels on Expedia and buying restaurant gift cards on Gyft. This demonstrates how much cryptocurrencies are already sinking into the economic world. They could go farther if wholesalers would quit being like the cows in that video and become the remote controlled car that can lead the effort to add Bitcoin to the supply chain.
It’s going to take patience. Obviously, wholesalers aren’t going to do it on their own because their profit margins are probably lean enough as it is. If enough retailers that do business with wholesalers like AHI Distribution bring up Bitcoin, maybe they’ll start thinking more seriously about accepting it. Until then, retailers are pretty much stuck either selling their own used items and services (kinda like me), or converting their Bitcoin into cash every time somebody places an order.
It can be a problem. Everybody is waiting for Bitcoin to catch on before they make a move, but Bitcoin is never going to go mainstream if everybody just waits for it. I’ve pounded on the fact that bloggers have the potential to become leaders in this arena for exactly this reason. Even if each blogger only gets 50 unique visits a day, that’s 50 people who could place an order in the blogstore using Bitcoin. I’ve sold exactly one book in the past few months just by promoting my blog in forums a little bit, but I’ve made more through affiliate links to TigerDirect. That’s a potential dollar value in Bitcoin commerce that could be used to impress the wholesalers if we could just show them charts of the total value being bought and sold using cryptocurrencies every day.
That’s something worth thinking about. So don’t be shy about buying that book using Bitcoin if it’s really something you want. It’ll give us something to show the wholesalers so they can see that retailers are really interested in doing business in cryptocurrencies.