Should your small business accept digital currencies?

Love it, hate it or maybe you don't know anything about it, but crypto currencies are alive and well...and growing.  Even if you were one of those people yelling about nfts a few years ago, it may be time to learn about the basics in regards to your business.  With Bitcoin getting the green light for ETFs and Ethereum hot on it's trail, traditional finance is embracing it more and it may be time to learn more about it.  Even if you have no interest in any of this, learning about how it could impact your business or be implemented is never a bad idea.

As a small business owner, you should understand why it could matter and how accepting tokens like USDC (pegged to the US Dollar $1:1) could be a huge improvement to your bottom line as adoption increases.  You don’t need to be part of the casino or accept tokens that move +/- in the market.  You can if you choose to, but stablecoins like USDC will give you payments the same as US Dollars.

Blockchain technology has a lot of huge upside for small businesses.  A great book to check out (free if you have Spotify) is Chris Dixon’s Read Write Own, which talks about the importance and revolutionary aspects of using blockchains.  We are all being gate kept right now by all a small handful of big companies and blockchain and web3 may be our path to take back control.


Learning how to get a wallet address and properly execute receiving USDC will take deeper research on how to make accounts, but this article is intended to raise awareness and bring up the idea to consider for yourself.  At Alchemy, we have been accepting digital currencies on all orders for about 2 years, but I have been heavily involved in web3 for a few years and have done the research to see if it fits our brand and how to implement it safely.  

You know how you pay 2.5-3% on every transaction to Visa/Mastercard and another added 1% to AMEX when someone buys an item in your store?  That adds up to a lot of fees we pay as small business owners to corporations and there are other alternatives.  Current adoption for payment types like USDC are not as widespread currently, but you should be prepared and take the time to learn how to accept these types of payments.  The current fee taken for a payment from a customer in USDC is around 0.5%.  If you process $50,000 of orders a year and lose an average of 2.5% to credit card processing fees, that amounts to $1250 in fees per year.  If everyone paid in USDC, that would be $250.  If you are processing a few hundred thousand dollars a year, this number jumps up real quickly.

What can you do to accept USDC in your store?  If you use Shopify, there are some easy payment options to add such as Coinbase Commerce and SolanaPay.  

You will need to create an account with a Centralized Crypto Exchange like Coinbase, Kraken or Binance.  This can be your on/off ramp of converting USDC to US Dollars for your bank account.  I prefer Coinbase if you are US based because they are a publicly traded company, trusted by all of the Bitcoin ETFs and more heavily regulated and watched than other exchanges.  You can technically get around using a centralized exchange, but this would be for a more advanced user.  You do not need to put money into a Coinbase account, but they do KYC(know your customer) checks when you create an account and will have to link a checking account so that you could convert your USDC to cash and send it in fiat (USD) into your account.

Accepting USDC on ethereum based chains - You can add Coinbase Commerce as a checkout option via Shopify.   Settings > Payments > add payment method > search for Coinbase Commerce and go through the steps to set up an account.  You can turn off any options you do not want to accept and could choose only USDC if you prefer.  You can also choose for payments to be autoconverted to fiat money (USD or whatever your local currency is).  

In order to accept crypto, including USDC, you will need to have a wallet address.  If you sign up for coinbase, you can use your address for the specific tokens you want to accept.

SolanaPay ( uses the Solana network to accept USDC.  Solana is a high transaction, low cost network and perfect for people using it for online purchases.  You can add SolanaPay through your Shopify store under Settings > Payments > add payment method > search for SolanaPay.  Direct link to the shopify app store - 

In order to get payments in USDC, you need to have accounts to receive payments into and crypto wallet addresses.  They are direct payments, without intermediaries, which is why you need an address and it is specific to the chain.  If you are using Solana Pay, you need an address on Solana.  

I have some links below to help if you’d like to learn more.  You may not be ready to jump into it, but learning how to do it and being ahead of the game is important.  It’s such a massive shift for small businesses, but it’s not quite mainstream ready with users, but it may become that way.  It’s good to understand and get comfortable with how we can accept payments that benefit us and not big credit card companies.  The web will be moving into its “Own” phase with web3 and knowledge is power.  Don’t dismiss the idea if you don’t know about it or it’s new or confusing.  Learn about it and the “why” behind it and decide if it’s time for you or not.  It never hurts to learn more about something that could benefit your business.  

Securing your brand's address.

If you are using Ethereum, or Solana, you can purchase a domain name address for your receiving address to your wallet.  In reality, your website is a string of numbers for the address, but when you buy a domain, such as, it allows people to find you based off of your brand.  Similar things can be done, such as obtaining yourbrand.eth or yourbrand.sol for easier receiving.  It's not very expensive and if you want to add digital currency payments, is worth looking into.

Solana Name Service (secure your brandname.sol - costs about $20) to receive funds to vs a long string of letters and numbers as an address

Ethereum Name Service (secure your brandname.eth - costs vary)   to receive funds to vs a long string of letters and numbers as an address

Solana Links

Solana Pay Official Site -(integrates with Shopify)

Phantom Wallet - popular wallet for Solana - learning information

Solana Ecosystem - Official Solana website

Solana Name Service (secure your brandname.sol - costs about $20) to receive funds to vs a long string of letters and numbers as an address

Ethereum Links

Metamask Learn - Web3 101 Learning 

Ledger Academy - Web3 Learning (multiple chains)

Coinbase Commerce - integrates with Shopify (for accepting usdc on multiple chains/ ETH, BTC and others)

Coinbase Wallet (self custody) but can link to your main coinbase account.

Ethereum Name Service (secure your brandname.eth - costs vary)  to receive funds to vs a long string of letters and numbers as an address

Circle - Creator of USDC - learn more about stable coins


Back to blog