Around a third of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) based in the USA now accept crypto currencies as a means of payment for goods and services, according to a study commissioned by the American insurer Hartford Steam Boiler (HSB), a subsidiary of the German Munich Re.
Younger companies are more crypto-friendly
The HSB survey also found that newer companies are twice as likely to accept payments in cryptographic currency and trade in digital credit.
For example, 47% of companies that accept cryptographic currency have been in business for five years or less – compared to 21% of companies that are more than two decades old.
In general, the study conducted by Zogby Analytics shows that 36% of SMEs are crypto-friendly, and 59% of these companies had previously purchased crypto currencies for their own use.
HSB Vice President Timothy Zeilman argues that companies enjoy the benefits of crypto currencies, including faster payments and lower fees. However, there are also several risks to consider, particularly in terms of cyber fraud and computer attacks.
HSB is at the forefront of these issues by providing cyber insurance and services. The executive notes in this regard:
“Cyber criminals follow money and fraud can be a serious problem. A number of currency exchanges have been hacked or embezzled and millions of dollars have been lost. Smaller companies, especially those that are newly established, cannot afford to be scammed.“
According to Zeilman, cybercriminals use various schemes to crack small businesses – including computer attacks, malware infections and phishing techniques.
Since crypto exchanges are poorly regulated, SMEs must therefore act independently in cases of fraud.
“Small businesses should learn all about the technology before accepting crypto currency. And make sure they have strong data security and insurance to protect themselves against cyber fraud and financial loss”.
About the study
The study was commissioned by HSB and conducted by Zogby Analytics in October last year. It covers 509 SMEs across the USA.
75% of the companies surveyed had annual sales of less than $5 million and fewer than 100 employees. The final sample included 41% of companies with fewer than 25 employees. Zogby gives a confidence level of 95% and an error margin of plus or minus 4.4%.
Interestingly, a survey conducted by analyst firm Harris Insights and crypto-startup Gem found that half of U.S. citizens are inclined to buy Bitcoin. This also shows that the crypto currency is becoming increasingly popular in the country.