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I'm curious about offering Bitcoin payment instead of PayPal (for all the usual reasons for disliking PayPal). Is this realistic, or is my understanding of how bitcoins can be used off?

My customers are mostly nerds or at least tech-savvy people, so they are somewhat likely to be familiar with Bitcoin, and equally likely to be sceptical towards PayPal.

Are there any decent guides on how the whole thing ties together, and which merchant actors are considered serious or "big players"? I'll be looking at getting the bitcoins through whichever funnel is required and transferred to my "real cash" bank account (in any currency, really) as quickly as possible.

Of course, it wouldn't hurt if I could get the coins all the way to my bank account for a <2% commission, but I'll take reliability over price any day of the week.


Clarification: I sell a commercial software license to an open source product (free for personal, non-profit etc use), so there's nothing to be delivered upon purchase. Current options are hand-rolled integration to credit card and PayPal providers.

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    When the day comes that some of your supply chain accepts bitcoin you'll be less anxious to convert your revenues to fiat, as you could save that 2% by paying in bitcoins instead. For now, it is understandable that you wouldn't plan to hold bitcoins -- especially with the recent volatility. – Stephen Gornick Feb 13 '13 at 0:31
  • tbone, you should look at bitcoin.stackexchange.com/questions/3093/… – Nick ODell Feb 13 '13 at 0:44
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There are a number of approaches, and the best method for you will vary on a number of factors.

For instance, if you sell a digital good it might be easier to simply sell the item through an online store like CoinDL, where you simply direct your customers there.

Similarly, if you sell a couple of items at a fixed rate, you could sell it on BitMit.net, again -- your e-commerce site simply directs your site visitors looking to pay with bitcoins there. A blog post on Coinbase describes a "Buy Now" button modeled after another leading e-commerce payment solution.

If you already use an e-commerce shopping cart you might have an easy way to start accepting bitcoin if there is a module for that cart interface software that accepts bitcoin.

When following the DIY route, you can have the proceeds of your sales converted to fiat upon receipt. Some exchanges (like Mt. Gox) offer "autosell" for shopping cart tools so that proceeds convert to USDs (or other currency) upon receipt.

The easiest way, however, is to use a payment processor like BitPay, WalletBit, Paysius, and ZipBit. These are used in a similar way that a site uses PayPal to accept payment online. The payment processor will provide all that is needed for your e-commerce site, and will provide a method to receive cash via a bank transfer.

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    BitPay (or other option) seems to be exactly what I need to replace my PayPal flow. – tbone Feb 13 '13 at 11:54

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