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Yes. For the consumer, it has more down- than upsides (assuming a consumer in a western country with access to regular banking):

• no consumer protection, transactions are irreversible

• can be cheaper for foreign currency transactions (paypal charges 2.5% over the mid-market rate), but consumer pays transaction and currency conversion fees (remember to also count fiat->bitcoin unless your employer directly pays you in bitcoin)

bitcoin payments

• some anonymity vs. Goverment/payment companies, but possibly less anonymity towards the public (due to public blockchain)

• you need to convert your fiat into bitcoin beforehand and hold bitcoin

• consumer is responsible for the security of their funds

• less convenient than a paypal account with password saved in the password manager even if you already hold coins

• depending on security used, comparable in convenience to credit cards if you already hold coins

Compare it with paypal, especially for small payments. I’m assuming the user is already signed up with paypal and a bitcoin exchange (sign-up is easier with paypal, AFAIK) and using the barely reasonable minimum of security (paypal password in browser password manager, bitcoins in mycelium without PIN – bitcoin suffers worse if we increase the security level):

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• I click a paypal button on the humblebundle checkout page where I want to buy the bundle for $10.

• I click the login button (password manager)

• I confirm

• done. My account is not in USD, so I pay $10.25. PayPal takes the money from my bank account. If they take more than I agreed to – or really if I feel like it – I can tell my bank to return the money and paypal will have to sue me. If my account were in USD, I’d pay $10 – less than with bitcoin!

• if something goes wrong, paypal consumer protection may help me or tell me to get screwed, but it provides some leverage in any case and tends to side with the buyer.


• I click the bitcoin button

• I take out my phone

• I scan the QR code

• I confirm

• done. Ignoring volatility, I have paid ~$10.05 including the exchange fee and the tx fee, assuming noone tacked some currency fee on top of it.Bitcoin payments but now I also have to replenish my bitcoin wallet manually at some point.

• if something goes wrong, I’m fucked – there is no consumer protection and I have zero leverage against the merchant.

Also compare with SEPA direct debit:

• I enter my address (this is usually offered by shops that ship physical goods, i.E. It’s not really an extra step)

• I trigger the shortcut that pastes my IBAN

• done. I’ve paid the exact amount with no fees.

• if something goes wrong, I can tell my bank within 8 weeks to reverse it, no questions asked (merchant has to sue me if they want their money).

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