Cyprus Mail

Cyprus business gets new access to Bitcoin

Cyprus-based businesses do a lot of trading with Eastern Europe, Africa and Asia, and businesses in these regions like to pay with Bitcoin.

The recently launched LegionPay makes it easy to do business with the no.1 cryptocurrency. LegionPay is a crypto payment gateway that provides merchants with the ability to offer their customers the opportunity to purchase goods and services with bitcoin instead of traditional (‘Fiat’) currencies.

“The volume of retail business done with Bitcoin today around the world is formidable,” explains Cypriot entrepreneur and LegionPay co-founder Andrew Anastasiou. “But relatively few merchants, particularly smaller ones, are able to accept Bitcoin as legal payment. LegionPay makes this accessible to almost any business, so long as compliance requirements are met.”

In fact, there were close to $1 billion transactions of this type in cryptocurrency in 2019, according to statistics from BitPay, and most of them were made with Bitcoin. The research firm Chainalysis finds that about $10 million worth of bitcoin retails transactions take place every week.

“But enabling clients, particularly in emerging markets like Eastern Europe, to make Bitcoin payments can be challenging. We’ve made it easy for businesses to generate Bitcoin-denominated invoices, to receive payments in real time, and the entire process remains completely transparent,” Anastasiou continues.

A study of 10,000 people across 10 European countries reveals that 66 per cent believe cryptocurrencies will still exist in ten years’ time based on the results of a March 2020 poll by Bitflyer. This is an increase of 3 per cent from March 2019, demonstrating that confidence continues to grow in cryptocurrencies even despite crippling effect of coronavirus on global economic landscape.

LegionPay is intended to build a crypto ecosystem and not overcharge for services, so the platform provides all set up and integration for free. Setting up an account is a matter of hours. Converting to fiat and or from fiat to Bitcoin is also cheap and easy. Ecommerce merchants can even connect the platform up to their Shopify accounts.

Cost is a major factor in favour of Bitcoin payments. The cost of retail payment systems is a major impost on all economies, running at estimated average 1.2 per cent of GDP. The EU estimates the range for retail payment systems in Europe is 0.6 per cent to 1.6 per cent of GDP.

A recent international payment by this writer through a bank cost about €10 and took three days to complete. The same payment, made using Bitcoin, cost less than €1 and took about an hour.

“But our platform speeds up the payment process,” explains Theo Antoniou, one of the executives at LegionPay. “LegionPay usually completes payments in 10 minutes. And, working on the blockchain, there is no bank, or third party involved to slow things down.”

The Bitcoin payment system is purely peer-to-peer, meaning that users are able to send and receive payments to or from anyone on the network around the world without requiring approval from any external source or authority.

“There are, in fact, countries in Africa and central Asia in which making ordinary wire transfer payments is practically impossible – they can take weeks or just not go through at all,” Anastasiou points out.






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