Since cryptocurrency gets built on peer-to-peer (P2P) technology, it is decentralised. It is neither regulated nor supported by any government or central bank. Without the assistance of a third-party payment processor, buyers send money directly to suppliers. As a payment method, Cryptocurrency is still a long way off. Veterinary practices may find cryptocurrency volatility a windfall or a flop compared to the good old penny.
One thing is certain: with changing customer expectations and the need for a more frictionless experience, which may get delivered through a crypto-based service, (e.g., QR code or NFC via their POS), you can no longer ignore it. Small companies may opt to take cryptocurrencies for various reasons, including being on the cutting edge of technology, recruiting crypto-savvy clients, and avoiding certain types of fraud. Is it, however, appropriate for your veterinary practice?
What is Bitcoin?
Cryptocurrency is one of the most important concerns that business owners will most likely face in the digital world this decade. It is impossible to say for sure what the right option is for small businesses and veterinary practices at this time. The only evidence we have is what has transpired with cryptocurrency thus far.
There were around 7,000 cryptocurrencies in October 2021. They are manufactured mathematically and have no underlying asset; their value gets established by market players’ willingness to pay for them. The creators of cryptocurrencies had the express purpose of avoiding central authority, and there is no regulation or consumer protection in place. One of these cryptocurrencies is Bitcoin.
What is a Blockchain?
Blockchain is an architectural theory that you may represent in software in various ways. The following are the primary characteristics:
- Only add to what you’ve already written.
- Secured with cryptography (but not by default encrypted).
- It gets fully or partially replicated, and it employs a consensus method.
- You can include a coin or token (but not required).
- You may support smart contract features to make business logic execution easier.
Blockchain gets divided into public/permissionless and private/permissioned. Anyone may join public blockchains like Bitcoin or Ethereum. And when we say anyone, we mean it.
Loyalty programs, assisting supply chain and logistical procedures, verifying provenance, and monitoring items are just a few of the numerous use cases for blockchain as a technology that retailers are using today.
The apparent effects of blockchain for monitoring where items originate from, whether they’re genuine, and in what condition they’re in are evident. Temperature data from perishable commodities, for example, can get recorded on a secure digital ledger using Internet of Things-enabled sensors. IBM has worked with Walmart on an initiative like this through the IBM Food Trust.
If a product is faulty, a blockchain history allows a company to trace the product back through the supply chain, identifying potentially tainted suppliers, manufacturers, and batches. Thanks to this technology, retailers can simply recall items and correct supply chain concerns.
Will Your Veterinary Practice Ever Accept Cryptocurrency?
Several organisations worldwide and more than 2,300 U.S. businesses are using Bitcoin and other digital assets for a range of investing, operational, and transactional objectives. As with every frontier, there are unknown dangers, but there are also significant rewards.
Small companies may opt to take cryptocurrencies for various reasons, including being on the cutting edge of technology, recruiting crypto-savvy clients, and avoiding certain types of fraud. Is it, however, appropriate for your veterinary practice?
Cryptocurrencies have several major advantages that small companies should consider:
- Consumer preferences get taken into consideration: Accepting Cryptocurrency has another benefit: it gives clients another method to pay while also adding an extra degree of security to their data.
- Sales would increase: The decentralised structure of Cryptocurrency allows small companies to grow and reach out to foreign consumers.
- Introducing cryptocurrency to your company may help it become more aware of this upcoming technology: It might also help the company position itself in this important emerging sector, eventually including central bank digital currencies.
- Cryptocurrency might be a useful supplement or balancing asset to traditional currencies, which can lose value over time due to inflation: Cryptocurrencies are a good investment choice, and some, like bitcoin, have outperformed the market in recent years. Of course, there are clear concerns about volatility that you must properly assess.
- Your company may need to get set up to accept and send cryptocurrency to ensure smooth transactions with important stakeholders: More businesses discover that critical clients and vendors want to work with them via cryptocurrency.
Along with its benefits, Cryptocurrency also has several risks:
- Volatility: Price volatility, which makes value exceedingly unpredictable, is the greatest danger associated with digital currencies. Crypto does not have a definite permanent value if one gets updated to current events.
- Technical Barriers: Accepting Cryptocurrency gives the need to create a digital wallet which could be difficult for veterinary practitioners that are not tech-savvy. Cryptocurrency is a very information-dense industry with a steep learning curve, which may be difficult to navigate while concurrently running a company.
- Security: Even though cryptocurrency transactions reduce cyber dangers such as stolen credit card details, the money is not completely secure. There is currently no method to prohibit fraudsters from accessing users’ money. Unlike fiat currencies like the US dollar and the Euro, Cryptocurrencies are neither backed nor guaranteed, making them extremely hazardous.
Blockchain’s uses in business are numerous, increasing consumer trust and loyalty or eliminating time-consuming administrative tasks. It allows for faster, more reliable, and consistent agreement between parties. Blockchain makes it easy to preserve correct records and manage inventories in an industry where these processes are critical. Businesses of all sizes may benefit from the trust, transparency, and transaction efficiency that blockchain provides to the retail sector as the technology evolves.
Any business owner that accepts cryptocurrencies must be willing to pivot and adapt to changes in the law as a consequence. As bitcoin acceptance grows and new challenges and difficulties occur, these adjustments will likely continue soon. This task can be difficult. So, before embarking on a full-fledged launch, some businesses opt to test the waters with crypto, just as they would with any new technology.
Veterinary IT is the United Kingdom’s first IT support company entirely dedicated to veterinary practices. Their services revolve around the technological systems that vets should have, network security, how to choose software, and some less technical company development and industry news.
Ultimately, many different apps provide opportunities for the veterinary industry to consider the care and conviction owners hold toward their pets. Using these apps to communicate with clients helps you engage with them completely differently and creates a bond of trust and authority that will serve your business well.