Table of Contents
What Makes a Cryptocurrency a Great Payment Method?
When it comes to cryptocurrencies, one of the most significant use cases is their potential to be used as a payment method. However, not all cryptocurrencies are equal when it comes to their effectiveness as a payment option and some should be avoided at all cost. In this section, we will discuss the key characteristics that make a cryptocurrency a great payment method, including stable value, transaction fees, transaction speed and a large user base. By understanding these criteria, merchants can choose the right cryptocurrency to accept as a payment option for their business.
A stable value is a crucial characteristic for a cryptocurrency to be an effective payment method. While many cryptocurrencies are known for their price volatility, stablecoins provide a solution by pegging their value to a traditional currency or commodity. This stability is important for merchants as it can protect them from currency fluctuations and reduce the risk of losses due to price volatility. One sidenote, the best crypto payment gateways already protect the merchants for volatility by converting unstable cryptocurrencies automatically to a stable counterpart. Additionally, stablecoins are often preferred by users as a payment method compared to their less stable counterparts that are usually used as an investment rather than a wallet. For more in-depth information about stablecoins, check out our stablecoin blog post.
Transaction fees can quickly accumulate for merchants, which makes it essential to choose cryptocurrencies with low transaction fees. Lower transaction fees allow merchants to retain more of their profits and offer competitive pricing for their customers.
At the time of writing, Bitcoin transactions cost an average of $2.08 USD, and Ethereum transactions cost around $0.8373, which are relatively high fees. However, there are cryptocurrencies that offer little to no transaction fees, such as Stellar (XLM) and Nano. This makes them an attractive option for merchants who want to minimize transaction costs and maximize their profits.
Choosing a cryptocurrency with lower transaction fees can boost a merchant’s profit margin or can help them attract more customers by offering lower prices
Transaction speed is a crucial consideration for merchants looking for a suitable cryptocurrency payment method. Faster transaction speeds can help streamline payment processes and improve the overall customer experience.
To give an idea of transaction times, it’s worth noting that Bitcoin transactions take around 40 minutes to confirm on average, and sometimes more than an hour. This delay can cause inconvenience to both merchants and customers, especially during peak transaction times. Ethereum offers faster transaction times, typically taking between 15 seconds to 5 minutes to confirm, making it a more efficient option for merchants. However, some cryptocurrencies are almost instant, such as Ripple (XRP), which offers transactions that typically take only a few seconds to confirm, making it one of the fastest payment options available in the cryptocurrency world.
By choosing a cryptocurrency with faster transaction times, merchants can process payments more quickly and efficiently, which can ultimately lead to higher customer satisfaction and increased business growth.
Large user base
A crucial aspect that makes a cryptocurrency an optimal option for payments is having a considerable user base. The size of the user base increases the possibility of someone owning that particular cryptocurrency and being able to use it for checkout. In fact, a stable cryptocurrency with low transaction fees and fast transaction speeds is rendered useless without a substantial number of users. Therefore, the user base is an essential factor to consider when evaluating the suitability of a cryptocurrency for payments.
Top 5 crypto for payments
Based on the criteria of stable value, fast transaction speeds, and low transaction fees, here are the top 5 best cryptocurrencies for payments:
Tether is a stablecoin that is pegged to the US dollar, making it a reliable and stable payment option for merchants. Its value remains relatively constant, which means that merchants don’t need to worry about the volatility that comes with other cryptocurrencies. Tether also has a fast transaction speed and low transaction fees, making it an ideal payment method for merchants.
Ripple is a fast and efficient cryptocurrency that offers near-instant transaction times, typically taking only a few seconds to confirm. It has low transaction fees, making it a cost-effective payment option for merchants. Ripple is also well-suited for international transactions, as it is designed to facilitate cross-border payments.
3. Nano (NANO)
Nano is a fee-less and fast cryptocurrency that offers instantaneous transactions. It uses a unique consensus mechanism called the block-lattice, which allows for high scalability and fast transaction speeds. Nano is ideal for micropayments and is a great option for merchants looking for a cheap and efficient payment method.
4. Stellar (XLM)
Stellar is a fast and affordable cryptocurrency that offers low transaction fees and fast transaction speeds. It is designed to facilitate cross-border transactions, making it ideal for merchants looking to expand their customer base globally. Stellar also offers the ability to create custom tokens, which can be used for loyalty programs or other incentives.
5. Binance USD (BUSD)
BUSD is a stablecoin that is pegged to the US dollar, making it a reliable payment option for merchants. It has fast transaction speeds and low transaction fees, which makes it an efficient payment method for merchants. BUSD is issued by Binance, one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges, which adds to its credibility and popularity.
3 honorable mentions for payments
In addition to the top 5 cryptocurrencies for payments, there are also three honorable mentions worth considering. While they may not be the most optimal choices in terms of fees, speed, or complexity, they each offer unique benefits such as a large user base or strong privacy features.
Bitcoin Lightning Network
The Lightning Network is a layer-2 solution built on top of the Bitcoin blockchain. It enables fast and cheap payments, with transactions taking only seconds to complete and fees close to zero. This makes it a great option for merchants looking for a fast and efficient payment method, particularly for smaller transactions.
As the second largest cryptocurrency by market cap, Ethereum is widely accepted by merchants and offers a solid payment option. While it is not the fastest or cheapest option, it still provides relatively fast transaction speeds and reasonable transaction fees, making it a reliable choice for merchants.
Monero is a privacy-focused cryptocurrency that offers anonymity to its users. It uses advanced cryptographic techniques to keep transactions untraceable and anonymous. While it may not be the cheapest or fastest option, it is ideal for merchants who value privacy and security.
In conclusion, when it comes to cryptocurrencies, not all are created equal, and some are more suitable as payment methods than others. The key characteristics that make a cryptocurrency an ideal payment option include stable value, low transaction fees, fast transaction speeds, and a large user base. Merchants should carefully consider these criteria when choosing which cryptocurrencies to accept as payment options. Based on the mentioned criteria, Tether, Ripple, Nano, Stellar, and Binance USD are the top 5 best crypto for payments. However, there are also honorable mentions, such as Bitcoin Lightning Network, Ethereum and Monero, each with unique benefits that make them worth considering. Ultimately, the right cryptocurrency payment option for a business will depend on the specific needs and goals of the merchant.
Start accepting cryptocurrencies
Additionally, for merchants who are looking into accepting cryptocurrencies on their website, it may be helpful to consult our best rated crypto payment gateway reviews. These reviews can provide valuable insights and information on the top-rated payment gateways that support various cryptocurrencies, making it easier for merchants to choose the best option for their business. By doing so, merchants can ensure a smooth and secure payment process for their customers while expanding their payment options to include the increasingly popular world of cryptocurrencies.