Shortly after I started Wires Law I was introduced to Ryan Lazanis, a CPA from Montreal. All the way back in November 2013 Ryan announced his accounting firm, Xen Accounting, would accept Bitcoin. Here is the original press release. He was (and still is) ahead of his time.
— Wires Law (@WiresLaw) February 14, 2018
I considered doing the same for Wires Law, but was hesitant. I wasn’t sure that accepting cryptocurrency was a good financial decision (in hindsight, I was wrong). Even worse, I feared the impact it would have on a law firm’s brand. Although I push to be a forward thinking lawyer, 2013 was the same year Ross Ulbricht was arrested in connection with the Silk Road marketplace. If you are familiar with the story, you may understand my hesitation. If you are not, watch the “Deep Web“. There was just too strong of a connection between Bitcoin and illegal trade.
However, Bitcoin and many other cryptocurrencies have come a long way. From being proposed for use to pay city taxes to paying Olympic athletes, the stigma is gone. With cryptocurrencies like Ethereum forming the basis for decentralize apps and ‘smart contracts’, they are positioned to have a big impact on my profession. Even the Ontario Securities Commission is working with companies like TokenFunder to permit an Ethereum based investment platform.
In 2016, a client who mines Bitcoin offered to pay an invoice with the cryptocurrency. I gladly accepted, however, I quickly realized that the logistics of accepting Bitcoin as a business owner can be problematic. From finding a crypto wallet you can register using a business name to the tax and accounting considerations, there were (and still are) hurdles to overcome. In particular, there wasn’t a solid payment solution for businesses to accept cryptocurrencies. With the launch of Coinbase Commerce, I am hoping that has now changed.
For Wires Law, cryptocurrencies present an opportunity to cut credit card and PayPal fees out of the picture. The problem has been that with Bitcoin’s network so overloaded in 2017, transaction processing fees rose to as much as $30. While fees have somewhat stabilized, alternative cryptocurrencies like LiteCoin (LTC) and Ripple (XRP) may offer a better solution.
To see our payment setup, visit our Coinbase Commerce page.
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- The Decision to Accept Cryptocurrencies - February 14, 2018
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