Since it’s customary to start every crypto conversation with the date you got involved with Bitcoin, for me it was Oct. 2013. I read the Bitcoin White Paper, knew immediately crypto was the future of money, bought my first Bitcoin and began exploring ways to stack more.
Configuring mining rigs isn’t really in my wheelhouse and I’d invested all I could (afford to lose) in crypto. As a serial entrepreneur I did what I know best – I founded a new company with the sole purpose of receiving Bitcoin as payment.
Many of my early customers said the same thing, “I want to buy your products, but I don’t have Bitcoin, can I just use PayPal?”. Bitcoin was still in it’s infant stage and eventually I broke down and added PayPal.
In the early days our sales were roughly 60% Bitcoin and 40% PayPal since my marketing targeted only the crypto community. Over the next 5 years the business grew to 6 figures a month and the ratio of crypto/fiat dwindled to about 5%. Even still, 5% of our sales today is a lot more than 60% in the early days.
Today we’ve done over 8,000 crypto transactions with customers. We’ve seen everything from people paying us with MtGox withdrawals to people accidentally sending us multiple Bitcoins instead of multiple bits (which we promptly returned!).
We’ve used/tested every crypto payment processing tool available with a heavy emphasis on non-custodial solutions. We developed custom integrations with Mycelium Gear and were early advisors to the Coinbase Commerce team. We’ve learned a lot about crypto commerce.
In 2017 PayPal froze our business account without explanation. Not only could we not accept (fiat) payment, but we had used PayPal to pay our suppliers and affiliates. This is where the power of crypto truly shined. Every supplier and affiliate we worked with agreed to receive payment in crypto instead of PayPal, and from that point forward our marketing engine and supply chain has been powered by Bitcoin.
Receiving crypto payments in $20 here and $100 there can really add up over 5 years. What I hadn’t realized when I started the business was that I was effectively micro dollar cost averaging into what would become a significant hodling. I never had to worry about trying to time the market or getting the best price. Since only a small percentage of our sales were in crypto, we didn’t need those funds to finance operations. I just hedl.
In Q4 2017 I found myself over 90%+ in crypto and it was (beyond) time to re-balance. I sold a large portion of the crypto we’d received as payment since 2013 (still keeping plenty for the apocalypse), the value of which now dwarfed all the fiat income the business had earned since its inception.
This decision to accept crypto as payment changed my life. I spent most of 2018 thinking about what’s next, and nothing sounds like more fun than working directly with other e-commerce entrepreneurs and playing a small role in the inevitable mainstream adoption of crypto. BitLift is the rocket ship I hope will make this a reality and I welcome anyone with a similar passion for crypto commerce to join us.
Greg @ BitLift
Co-Founder & CEO