Coinbase wants to make it easy for you to buy shoes or insurance online with cryptocurrency. The largest U.S.-based cryptocurrency exchange now gives online retailers a way to add a PayPal-like button to their checkout screens that enables payment in cryptocurrency.
Coinbase is rolling out "Coinbase Commerce" for Ethereum, Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, and Litecoin. Coinbase Commerce simplifies the acceptance of cryptocurrencies as payment for goods and services by enabling online merchants to accept Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum and Litecoin payments directly into their digital wallets.
Coinbase Commerce integrates seamlessly into an online store's shopping cart checkout flow as an added payment option. It allows the purchaser pick a cryptocurrency to pay with at checkout, and then offers the merchant's destination wallet into which the purchaser then makes a payment.
Cryptocurrency held in a merchants Coinbase Commerce account is completely separate from their Coinbase account. Coinbase Commerce does not hold any cryptocurrency on the merchant's behalf. It simply provides a mechanism by which it is easy for the merchant to accept cryptocurrency into their own wallet.
Shopify, which was already accepting Bitcoin payments, is now using Coinbase Commerce to enable merchants on its platform to also accept Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, and Litecoin. The Shopify integration gives cryptocurrency-holding consumers access to over 500,000 merchants worldwide.
Most online merchants are still wary of adding cryptocurrency as a payment option on their ecommerce platforms. Cryptocurrency values are highly volatile and transaction times are slow. But Coinbase Commerce may win over ecommerce merchants with its low service fees totaling around 1% of each transaction. PayPal charges between 2% and 3% on each transaction.
In addition to merchant resistance to cryptocurrency payment acceptance, cryptocurrency owners themselves are reticent about spending any cryptocurrency they are holding at online stores, hanging on to their cryptocoins in hopes that their value might increase. Stripe stopped accepting bitcoin in January, saying that "Bitcoin has evolved to become better-suited to being an asset than being a means of exchange. This has led to Bitcoin becoming less useful for payments."
Even so, Coinbase is confident that Coinbase Commerce will be popular. Coinbase announced on its blog that "With just an email address and a phone, merchants can sign up and begin accepting payments in Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum and Litecoin. We’ve already integrated with Shopify, one of the largest multi-channel commerce platforms, and are actively adding more integrations to make accepting cryptocurrency as easy as possible." Other online merchants reported to be testing Coinbase Commerce include Dell, Expedia, Dish, the Wikimedia Foundation, and Overstock.com.
By: BGN Editorial Staff