Decentralized Bitcoin Payment Solution; Interview with Shiva S, CEO of Blockonomics
In addition, Shiva S is the founder and CEO of Blockonomics, a bootstrapped company that develops Bitcoin payment solutions for ecommerce platforms. Shiva has been in operation since 2015 and has seen significant growth in the Bitcoin ecommerce business.
What are the benefits of using Bitcoin for ecommerce merchants?
Shiva S: Thank you for your time. People’s first instincts when they hear about Bitcoin are either dread or the desire to downplay it, depending on their knowledge of the currency. When you think about it, this makes sense because Bitcoin has been used in certain scams and hacks, such as the latest Twitter incident, so it’s understandable why people would think this. However, this instinctual reaction is completely unwarranted. Bitcoin is trending in the direction of expansion. It is more than simply an asset; it is also a form of cash.
With the growth of everything online, more and more businesses, particularly small and medium-sized enterprises, are trying to transition to ecommerce. When it comes to sales, however, they encounter a variety of difficulties. Payment platforms for ecommerce are either prohibitively expensive or unsecure. They will keep your money in their possession. You’ll have to deal with a lot of fees and fluctuating exchange rates. Bitcoin can get around a lot of these restrictions. You can conduct business with anyone, anywhere in the globe, using a single currency. There are ways to stay away from banks and, worse, currency exchange shops.
Do ecommerce merchants actually perceive an increase in sales after implementing bitcoin?
Shiva S: Thank you for your time. Oh, absolutely, especially if they are involved in international sales. When it comes to supporting businesses that take Bitcoin payments, there is one thing that the Bitcoin community is very enthusiastic about. Look at the hashtag #bitcoin on Twitter; it is flooded with people announcing that they are “buying here!” People adore Bitcoin, as seen by the popularity of websites that advertise Bitcoin stores. We’ve had store owners tell us that adding Bitcoin to their inventory has increased their sales. While this has been notably true during the epidemic, we conducted a poll of our consumers, and they reported that sales had increased in certain industries.
A disproportionate number of payment processors are focused on the big players. What about the small company owners, the entrepreneurs, and the start-up companies? They require payment methods that are convenient for them and allow them to maintain some level of independence. Bitcoin is the solution to this problem. Bitcoin contributes to this independence. We have stores that sell our items in regions like Finland’s Lapland, and Bitcoin allows them to sell their products all over the world. We’re seeing websites from places such as Iran, where the government restricts economic activity, and Blockonomics and Bitcoin have enabled them to function in secret thanks to the technology. We have stores in Cuba that are attempting to sell their items in other countries, but they are restricted by international sanctions. They were able to sell their wares internationally thanks to Bitcoin. The reason I enjoy what I do is because it allows me to hear the stories of these store owners and see how we have played a role in allowing Bitcoin to assist them in realising their aspirations.
What do store owners do with the Bitcoin they have received?
Shiva S: Thank you for your time. Because one issue that is causing concern among store owners is what they will do with their Bitcoin, this is an excellent topic to pose. There are a variety of options available to you. You can convert it, for example, but doing so eliminates one of the primary benefits of Bitcoin: the ability to avoid paying large transaction fees. You can also keep on to it and treat it as an asset or investment, if you so want. The fact that Bitcoin’s price has risen in the past suggests that you may be able to receive more value for your money. However, because there are so many online services that accept Bitcoin these days, keeping Bitcoin on hand to pay for services is a good idea in most cases. One expense you can pay off with Bitcoin sales is server hosting, which is widely accepted by many companies who provide this service. There are other additional possibilities available, and the number of available options is increasing on a regular basis. Check out a website like as acceptedhere.io, where you can find thousands of websites that take Bitcoin as payment. There are thousands of websites where our consumers spend their Bitcoins on a regular basis.
Is Blockonomics exclusively used by Bitcoin aficionados or by everyone?
Shiva S: Thank you for your time. In no way, shape, or form! Our Blockonomics community is made up of a diverse group of people. In fact, I’d venture to say that many of our top clients had just a passing interest in Bitcoin until they came to us for help with their transactions. During discussions with several of our clients, they have stated that a friend, or even an employee, suggested that they accept Bitcoin, and that they then conducted some research and discovered us, which we believe is correct. Of course, there are many Bitcoin aficionados, and those who embrace Bitcoin as if it were a religion, but a significant portion of the population has little or no knowledge of the cryptocurrency. Of course, many of them will now vouch for the advantages Bitcoin provides them, whether it is the ability to avoid exchange fees or the ability to avoid greedy payment solutions. So it’s possible to characterise them as Bitcoin aficionados at this point.
What has been the impact of COVID-19 on the ecommerce market?
Shiva S: COVID-19 has an impact on almost everything these days, and ecommerce is no exception. I said above that we conducted a survey, and the results revealed that our clients were suffering in several areas, particularly in the beginning. Fortunately, for a large number of them, business has perked up recently. One area that performed particularly well was the hosting of server-related websites. Businesses and individuals were required to go online, which necessitated the need for servers to be hosted. This resulted in a significant increase in business for them, and now account for a significant portion of our customer base. Two more areas of interest were video games and cannabis, to name a few of examples. It’s possible that folks become bored.
In addition, we discovered that over 70% of respondents are holding at least half of their Bitcoin. Some of them stated that they are doing this for a variety of reasons, such as keeping the money as an investment or paying for other services. It’s clear that people are still holding on to their Bitcoins.
I believe that as the epidemic progresses, we will see an increase in the amount of ecommerce. People have come to terms with the fact that we will no longer be doing as much in-person shopping. People prefer to shop online because of the convenience, safety, and security it provides. We will witness an increase in the number of local businesses that use ecommerce. This is beneficial to everyone because it provides clients with a sense of security while also opening up new markets for entrepreneurs. We want to be there to assist you through this change.
What is it about Blockonomics that makes it unique?
Shiva S: There are a plethora of rivals in the market. Not only do we compete with some of the biggest brands in “fiat” currency (USD, EUR, and so on), such as PayPal, but there are also some major names in the Bitcoin industry to contend with. Some of the most important ways in which we differ from the competition are as follows: we are here to help the little guy, as I indicated before in this article. Blockonomics exists to ensure that smaller businesses may sell whatever they want online, and that they can do it at a reasonable price and in a secure environment. A disproportionate number of those major players take advantage. They keep their sales for themselves, not allowing the entrepreneurs to see them until the fees have been paid. And the fees are significantly more! That can be a huge problem for someone who is running on a tight budget, and believe me, I understand!
Additionally, we are quite concerned about security, which is divided into two categories: information security and payment security. For the most part, we don’t ask for any more information from our consumers than is absolutely necessary. Our consumers will no longer have to be concerned about their personal information being compromised. As previously stated, we do not hold their money in trust for the second half of the transaction. Because any transactions are delivered directly to the customer, the Bitcoin is not visible to us.
“Direct to Wallet” is one of our slogans, and it perfectly captures the essence of our concept. Essentially, we aim to give entrepreneurs control over their sales and their payment processes. We accomplish this by not interacting with their Bitcoin. We want to feel safe, and that is provided there as well. And because we want competition and don’t want to be slowed down by industry titans, we provide a bypass. That encapsulates a great deal of our differences. We are a small company, so we understand the struggles of the regular entrepreneur.
What has been the most difficult challenge that Blockonomics has faced?
Shiva S: Thank you for your time. However, even after my earlier explanation regarding non-Bitcoin users using it, there are still a significant number of people who are cautious. Whatever their feelings about Bitcoin, whether it’s derision or terror, they’re still unfavourable against it. As a result, one of our most difficult issues is persuading those individuals that Bitcoin is the way to go. We’ve put in a lot of effort into publishing blog articles and other materials that underline how valuable Bitcoin is, especially for folks who aren’t familiar with the cryptocurrency. Our interviews have also aided in this endeavour, since hearing it from other entrepreneurs is beneficial. However, it continues to be a difficulty, one that we are putting in significant effort to overcome.
But, as part of that, we’ll have to assist merchants in making the transition away from traditional payment processors. We are not holding any of their funds, but they are accustomed to having a bank or PayPal hold their funds on their behalf. They have the upper hand. That implies that traders must adopt a new mentality, which may take some getting accustomed to. It also implies that they must be more vigilant in terms of security. They must keep a close eye on their wallets to ensure that no one else has access to their Bitcoin.
In addition, there are Bitcoin prices to consider. When Bitcoin has crashed in the past, we’ve experienced a slew of issues, such as the recent major crash in 2019. Yes, Bitcoin frequently recovers from its lows, but some businesses have been forced to close, and many are wary of storing their money in Bitcoin as a store of value. Fortunately, Bitcoin appears to be lot more stable now, and we’ve weathered a few storms in the process. However, Bitcoin’s stability is a significant factor, and it must become more reliable.
What does a typical day look like at Blockonomics look like? What is the personality of your team?
Shiva S: Thank you for your time. This is something we get a lot. We’re a rather dispersed team, with seven people located across four countries and divided into two groups. We have two divisions: the engineering division and the marketing division. It’s difficult to be involved in both, to put it mildly. Most of all, though, I like to emphasise the importance of independence. My staff can complete their responsibilities when they have the time; if there is something essential that needs to be done, I expect them to complete it; nevertheless, they also have lives to live. We communicate via Slack, but due to the difference in time zones, we are not always in touch. We only have one weekly meeting for the marketing team since I don’t believe in meetings in any form. Aside from that, I let them go about their business. They are able to do the task.
What is the best way for an ecommerce retailer to get engaged with Blockonomics?
Shiva S: Thank you for your time. That is an excellent question. A number of popular ecommerce platforms, such as WordPress and WHMCS, are supported by our plugins. The most convenient approach to learn more about us is to visit our website at www.blockonomics.co/merchants. You can reach out to me at email@example.com if you have any questions. Please feel free to contact me if you need assistance in determining how to implement Bitcoin in your store.
We also have Frederick, our Vice President of Business Development, on the ground there. We have an incredible amount of community out there, and he is putting in the effort to help us grow ours. We’ve tapped into the Bitcoin and ecommerce markets since there are a lot of people who enjoy learning and experimenting with new things. I want to be able to do it at the end of the day. I wish to empower people with tools that will assist them in realising their dreams. I want to make certain that they are able to launch their business.