Baffled by Bitcoin? These Services are Clearing the Confusion

Utah Software Engineer Mints Physical BitcoinsIntuit is bringing Bitcoin one step closer to the mainstream with its new PayByCoin Service, but the financial management solution company isn’t the only group interested in adapting the new currency.

Bitcoin is the experimental currency brainchild of web developer Satoshi Nakamoto. It consists of a digital system of person-to-person payments governed by a public ledger system rather than a central bank. Bitcoins can be bought, exchanged for goods and services, traded for bank funds, or mined by savvy hackers, as long as the user has a bitcoin wallet.

Though the currency’s future is potentially volatile and uncertain, many companies are coming up with ways to bring it into common use, including Intuit.

PayByCoin is being launched in tandem with Bitcoin Wallet and Coinbase, a merchant processing provider. Coinbase processes bitcoin payments, and integrating Coinbase with Quickbooks allows companies to generate electronic customer invoices. They can then choose to receive the payments in bitcoins or US dollars. This service has no additional fee other than a small %1 transaction cost.

The goal of the system is to allow any Quickbooks online customers interested in Bitcoins to use them in a simple and practical way, and create opportunities for businesses that want to adapt Bitcoin into their payment options.

PayByCoin allows users to activate bitcoin payment invoices by connecting the Coinbase Wallet to Quickbooks Online. This means that customers of businesses that have adapted Coinbase will now see bitcoin as a payment option on their purchase invoices.

Intuit isn’t the only company looking to integrate bitcoins into point-of-sale. The Singapore-based system CoinPip is working to make digital currency easier to accept for clients and merchants in more than 122 countries.

With CoinPip, merchants can instantly convert bitcoin transactions into 70 regional currencies. CoinPip features both point-of-sale systems and online payment gateways to make it easier for consumers to pay in bitcoins. The funds are then exchanged for standard currency and deposited in the merchant’s CoinPip account, where they can use traditional wire transfers to withdraw it as needed.

Mastercard also recently filed a patent to incorporate bitcoin into its planned global online shopping cart. The proposed system would support a variety of non-traditional and digital payment methods online and at point-of-sale, including bitcoin.

Only time will tell if merchants and consumers invested in bitcoin are overeager or ahead of the pack. Have any businesses in your area adopted bitcoin? Let us know in the comments!

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