HomeBlockchainDIGITAL CURRENCY COMING TO PAYMENTS

DIGITAL CURRENCY COMING TO PAYMENTS

Digital currencies were once only accepted as payment by
outlier businesses in the U.S. With the global rise in popularity of use
of digital currency as payment for goods and services, common
usage of digital currency for payments is becoming a reality.
Uncertain economic times and global turmoil are moving businesses
and consumers to use digital currency over fiat currencies because
of its flexibility, security and resistance to inflation.
Stripe, Inc. (“Stripe”), a global payment processing platform, is
leading the way in integrating digital currency as a common form of
payment. Stripe now provides point of sale software for businesses
to accept digital currencies as payment for goods and services that is
converted into fiat currency. Digital currency accepted using Stripe’s
software is immediately converted into fiat currency before being
provided to a business.

StellarVEND (“Stellar”) is another example of point of sale
software enabling businesses to accept digital currency. Stellar
provides point of sale software for businesses to accept certain
Stellar and Ripple tokens as payment for goods and services,
including the COFFEE Token and BEER Token.
GreenBox POS (“GreenBox”) also provides point of sale digital
currency payment software that enables businesses to accept digital
currency as payment. In addition to providing point of sale software,
GreenBox uniquely allows the transfer of USDC, Ethereum or Bitcoin
from an external digital currency wallet to a GreenBox digital
currency wallet that can be exchanged for supported coins. Digital
currency can then be transferred from a GreenBox digital currency
wallet to a debit card or numerous different types of gift cards.
GreenBox recently partnered with Cross River Bank to become a full
financial services provider for its customers.

PayRange, Inc. (“PayRange”) provides point of sale software for
automated retail machines, including vending machines. PayRange
announced that its point of sale software was updated to accept
certain digital currencies, through the use of a Coinbase account, at
over 500,000 automated retail machines in the U.S.
Governments are also integrating digital currency as a form of
payment. El Salvador discontinued its fiat currency and now only
accepts U.S. Dollars and Bitcoin. The El Salvadorian government
has purchased over 1,120 Bitcoins, or over $48,000,000, to replace
its money supply with Bitcoin. Amid the conflict in Ukraine, Russia
announced that it will accept Bitcoin for oil and natural gas from
friendly countries as the result of sanctions from western countries
affecting Russia’s banking system.

The U.S. federal government’s response to digital currency
becoming a more commonly used payment method has been limited.
However, the FDIC recently released a letter stating that all FDICsupervised institutions that intend to engage in, or that are currently
engaged in activities involving crypto assets, should notify the FDIC.
Notification of Engaging In Crypto-related Activities, FDIC FIL-16-22,
2022 WL 1057929, FDIC: FIL-16-2022: Notification of Engaging in
Crypto-Related Activities. By issuing this letter, the FDIC is
anticipating that supervised institutions will play a major role in digital
currency transactions in the future.

State governments have been more active in addressing digital
currency as a form of payment. Virginia recently enacted a law
allowing Virginia chartered banks to provide digital currency custody
services if the bank maintains proper risk management protocols.
The law also allows a bank to provide custody services in a non-fiduciary or fiduciary capacity.

These examples are only a few of the many examples of
businesses and governments accepting digital currency as payment
or facilitating digital currency payments. In the coming years, the use
of digital currency as payment will likely continue to increase as
transactional barriers are removed, and more businesses accept
digital currency payments.

 

Nathan D. Copeland is an associate with Dreher Tomkies LLP.  Nathan works on assignments in all areas of the Firm’s practice, specifically addressing federal and state regulatory compliance issues with respect to consumer and commercial lending.  Nathan is a Certified NFT Expert by the Blockchain Council.  Nathan received a J.D. from Capital University Law School and a B.A. from Ohio Christian University.  This Article represents the views of the author and not the firm with which the author is associated. 

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