A friend recently reached out with a question: “how do I get set up to be paid with bitcoin these days?” Once upon a time, this would be considered a simple question with a simple answer. That’s not the case here in June 2023.
The reasons this became complicated are many but all of the uncertainty around exchanges, payment gateways, regulatory concerns, fraud, and the like can be boiled down to one thing: there are very few crypto companies with real clarity around purpose and mission. Many would-be solutions seem to have been knocked off-course thanks to the convoluted crypto-discourse and issues with the American government’s guidance (or lackthereof).
The friend had a simple set of parameters. He’s a web designer who offers two services, one a subscription service and the other a flat-fee item. He’d like to make checkout as simple as possible, with a link he can copy-and-paste (rather than sending people to a website). Importantly, he was someone who lost money in the FTX situation so he’s concerned about custody — he wanted to, if possible, have payments sent straight to a wallet where he owned the private key.
I told the friend I wasn’t completely sure but that I’d get back to him — and I dove right in.
And the search was fruitful: I found my new favorite crypto thing.
I started by searching for the easiest crypto payment solution. A quick run-through:
- MoonPay promised to be the easiest way to buy bitcoin which appears that it may be true (and like a promising alternative to Coinbase), but would not allow my friend to generate payment links to send to his wallet, nor would it allow him to maintain custody of his coins.
- CashApp appears to have spent some serious money on SEO — it’s #1 for “get paid with bitcoin” on Google — but custody is an issue here especially with many reports of users having accounts closed despite successful completion of their KYC/AML procedures. They can be picky about who they deal with.
- Juno’s solution ranks well on Google but again, this isn’t quite right — their focus is on getting your salary in bitcoin, not getting paid for contract work like my friend.
My journey ended at NOWPayments, which was a little difficult to find but well-worth the hunt. (So much so that it inspired me to write about them here and elsewhere — this is a company with a really good solution that more people should know about.)
NOWPayments has an extremely simple setup to do exactly what I sought out: the ability to generate a link (both for single-time purchases and recurring subscriptions), get paid, and have it passed through to his own wallet.
- Register. Navigate to the NOWPayments website and set up an account.
- Set Your Payout Wallets to Remain in Control of Your Coins. While you can have your coins stay on NOWPayments, it is best practice to take ownership or your digital assets. From the account Dashboard, navigate to Settings, then Payment settings. Define your desired target wallets. This will send captured crypto assets straight through to accounts at your wallet of choice. If you prefer NOWPayments maintains custody, you can do that by navigating to “Custody” in the main menu and activating — this allows saving on network fees.
- Create a Payments Link. Now that you’ve established where received payments should go, you’re ready to create a payments link. In the sidebar, click into Payment Tools, then Payment Link for a one-time payment or Subscriptions for a recurring payment. The Dashboard also allows Donations or for access to a point of sales terminal, if those better-suit your use-case.
That’s it. It’s no more complicated than that. This worked for my friend, will be my preferred choice when I’m looking for such a method, and it should be the choice of many more.