Over a third (35%) of SME owners expect cryptocurrency payments to become a reality on the high street within two years.
Paymentsense carried out the research in January this year and used a sample of over 500 small business owners.
Some of those asked were even more optimistic about its potential, with over a fifth (21%) predicting that cryptocurrency will start appearing within one year.
Cryptocurrency is a form of digital money that is mainly associated with online transactions and designed to be secure and in most cases anonymous.
The study revealed hesitation amongst SMEs to take the plunge and start accepting the payment method. Only one-in-ten small business owners said they already take cryptocurrency payments (13%).
The study also revealed that other ways of paying have established a foothold amongst UK small businesses.
Almost half (46%) of SME owners said they accept alternative currencies, with over a quarter (27%) involved in schemes such as the Bristol, Liverpool, Brixton and Lewes pound to encourage local spending. A further 15 per cent said they accept national bartering schemes such as Bartercard, with 11 per cent taking regional gift vouchers.
Guy Moreve, head of marketing at Paymentsense said:
“It’s clear that cryptocurrencies are moving swiftly towards the mainstream. However, small business owners considering cryptocurrency as a payment option should be clear about how they can integrate it with their existing financial arrangements. Will suppliers or staff accept it? Can they pay local and national government agencies with it?
“Also, the value of unregulated cryptocurrency changes fast. This has significant implications for an SME’s revenue security. Using a trusted payment processor or merchant service provider can help guard against this by allowing a swift currency exchange, and improve security processes. For entrepreneurs in emerging sectors it might be worth the risks involved, but for others in more established or slower-moving areas it could be wiser to wait and see how things evolve over the next six to 12 months.”