Decentralized, anonymous, and electronic, cryptocurrency has the power to change some of the most fundamental ways business is transacted. Cryptocurrencies may be regarded as either a digital currency, or as an asset. They can be used to transfer value over the internet, or to buy and sell things online.
Like traditional currencies, cryptocurrencies store value and can (but don’t have to) be exchanged for legal tender. Most of these alternative currencies have a fixed supply, so their value takes on some of the characteristics of other finite assets, like gold.
It’s early days yet, but cryptocurrencies offer possibilities to dramatically change the ways business is transacted. Some of these ways may eventually be incorporated into automated workflows, taking the efficiency and productivity gains of automated workflows to an entirely new level. Here are some of the ways businesses envision incorporating cryptocurrencies into their workflows.
1. For Improving Security
Fraud and credit card theft cost businesses billions of dollars per year, and cryptocurrency can help change that. The cryptography that undergirds cryptocurrencies makes them safe for stranger-to-stranger transactions. That alone makes cryptocurrencies less prone to fraud. The risk of identity theft is also lower with cryptocurrencies than with credit cards. And since, by design, there is no third-party intermediary (like a bank or credit card processing company), transactions can (but don’t have to) remain anonymous.
2. To Make Billing and Payments Faster
While there is no question that electronic funds transfer is fast, especially compared to older transaction vehicles (like checks), they are still complex and can take multiple business days to conclude. Small businesses that are most prone to cash flow issues, in particular, find this problematic. The blockchain transactions that power cryptocurrency exchanges are incredibly fast while being secure, and may help small startups cope better with cash flow in the early days of operation. Established businesses also appreciate smoother cash flow.
3. To Slash Processing Fees Significantly
With an intermediary (usually a bank) facilitating payments, there are fees associated with credit card payments. A business may be charged a two to three percent fee for each transaction, and it can seriously eat into profits for smaller businesses. With no intermediaries, cryptocurrencies don’t have such associated fees. While there is a “buy-sell spread” associated with changes in cryptocurrency value, these are usually minuscule due to the fast speed of transactions. Not only can automated payment workflows be speeded up appreciably, they cost less to businesses.
4. For Improving Ethical Business Practices
Blockchain transactions can be anonymous and secure, but they can also be more transparent than ordinary business transactions. Business-to-business companies may be able to use cryptocurrencies to ensure that they only work with partners that engage in ethically sound business processes. And if cryptocurrency exchanges are built with blockchain-based “smart contracts,” payment can be reserved until the smart contract offers proof that a party’s obligations have been carried out.
Automated workflows can be much more than simple procedures for, say, processing online forms. Workflows that today include contract fulfillment, billing, and payment, stand to be completely transformed by the use of cryptocurrencies as these instruments gain traction in the business world. Changing workflows to use cryptocurrencies rather than credit card payments (or as an additional payment option) will save businesses money and time, while also making them more secure.
The online forms and automated workflows you create with PerfectApps can be modified and edited with ease, with no programming required. PerfectApps offers users a user-friendly interface, allowing them to drag and drop elements of online forms or workflows into place. As cryptocurrencies become more usable and popular for business transactions, automated workflows can take advantage of the many benefits these new financial assets offer. We invite you to read through some of our many case studies to see how online forms and workflows created with PerfectApps make businesses faster, more accurate, and more profitable.