We recently announced that we’d integrated bitcoin into our monetization solution for online game and app publishers.
That means our publishers can now receive bitcoinb from their users looking to purchase virtual currency, and we’ll pay them out in US dollars.
“With the help of SuperRewards we have been able to maximize our revenue by ensuring our consumers always have access to the payment methods that are trending; the support of Bitcoin has been painless and has allowed us to continue to ride those leading trends,” said Mark Simmons, CEO Freejam Games, a SuperRewards customer.
Does Bitcoin Make Sense For You?
As a game or app developer, bitcoin as a payment method is new territory. It’s obviously a very buzzworthy space at the moment, as nearly every day a new retail, ecommerce, or platform is integrating the crypto-currency in one way or another.
That said, is it something you should consider?
There are a few reasons we think it can be a benefit for many developers going forward, and will only become more useful and relevant as time goes on.
Bitcoin For Apps And Games
Let’s discuss a few reasons that bitcoin (or cryptocurrencies in general) might offer you and your users an advantage over other digital payment methods.
Lower Fees In Emerging Markets
The primary advantage bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies offer us is their impressively low transaction costs.
Digital payments, especially those made in international markets and using mobile carriers, can involve incredibly high fees.
If you have users in emerging markets, the likelihood that they pay for most of their digital purchases using a mobile payment option is extremely high. In these markets, many consumers don’t have credit cards (or credit, for that matter) and facilitate transactions through their mobile phone provider. This segment of global payments is exploding – predicted to triple between 2012 and 2014 to ~$800 billion.*
It’s also very likely that the carriers in those markets keep anywhere from 20% to 60% to themselves.
Yes, more than half of a user payment may end up in the telecom’s pocket.
Cryptocurrencies present an alternative to the mobile and other credit/account-based payment options. Without a third-party approval process, any consumer is free to transact with bitcoin and consumers around the world are starting to take notice.
As a developer or publisher, this presents an opportunity to capture significant savings on your transaction costs. Already we’re seeing customers encourage their users to use bitcoin by increasing payouts and offering bonuses, while still netting more of the transaction proceeds than with other providers.
Nearly Zero Fraud
There’s an elegance to bitcoin and cryptocurrencies. They present the market with irreversible transactions, which is without question a double-edged sword.
No doubt everyone’s familiar with at least a few of the successful “bitcoin robberies” which have made headlines over the last few years, but if not they’re simple Google search away. The downfall of the largest bitcoin exchange to date, Mt. Gox, made international headlines and sparked a worldwide debate about the safety of these transactions and exchanges.
And we wouldn’t suggest that these challenges and risks are by any means sorted out. The future of bitcoin and cryptocurrency hinges on the success of efforts to increase security and reliability to a point at which mainstream consumers trust the payment methods enough to use them regularly. We aren’t quite there yet.
With that said, to a developer or publisher the prospect of nearly fraudless transactions is a very attractive prospect.
When we say “fraudless”, we mean that chargebacks essentially don’t exist with bitcoin. The “stolen bitcoin” issue resides largely at the wallet level; it’s akin to being pick-pocketed.
That’s unrelated to the transaction level, in which (to extend the analogy) pick-pocketed cash looks just like any other cash.
The Upside Of A Rising Tide
Depending on how you implement bitcoins, there’s another unique potential upside to adopting this payment method.
Now, most businesses will choose to immediately convert a bitcoin transaction to traditional currency. We pay our publishers in US Dollars at the day’s conversion rate due to this preference.
Bitcoin’s value against traditional currency fluctuates wildly at this point. It’s a new currency with an uncertain future.
As you can see, though, there are periods of rapid price increases in which holding bitcoin can be very profitable. You can also see that the trend has been towards stability, although it’s far too early to suggest that this trend would continue.
Bitcoin’s future as consumer’s preferred alternative currency is also uncertain. Will bitcoin be the predominant crypto-currency in ten years? That’s really hard to say, as hundreds of alternatives exist already.
With all this considered, only businesses with a healthy appetite for risk are likely to keep cryptocurrencies on their books.
How To Get Started
We incorporated bitcoin into our direct payment product so that developers wouldn’t have to worry about adding another integration into their payment solution. If you use SuperRewards, you’ve got the ability to accept bitcoin.
If you’re not using SuperRewards, our integration takes less than thirty minutes for most apps.
If you’re considering bitcoin for your users, let’s talk!