When I got into bitcoin just a few months ago, one of the many questions that I needed to answer was, just who are these people? At the same time, I wanted to know more about how people are making money with bitcoin as part of the actual economy.

So I got some help and started calling people in the bitcoin business. Below is the first part of a short series I will be doing giving excerpts of the conversations we had. When asked why they started accepting bitcoin in their businesses, most of them responded “why not?” Most of them, as you might expect, had some other interest in bitcoin: they mined, sold, or bought them. So making the transition to using bitcoin in the other areas of their lives was not such a big one.

Leah Caldwell of Mixed Mangos (https://www.etsy.com/shop/MixedMangos)

My husband has been an avid Bitcoin enthusiast for quite some time now. He does whatever he can to promote it. You’ve probably seen his coins, if you haven’t heard of him. He is Mike Caldwell, better known as Casacious. So, he was suggesting for quite some time that I start accepting BTCs in my shop. I started in October of 2012 I believe. My reasoning was something along the lines of “Why not?” I figured people looking to spend BTCs for Holiday gifts would be searching for sellers accepting them, and I was right. It’s been an easy process. I like the idea of Bitcoin, and don’t agree with how our government handles our money. They’ve become a part of our daily conversation and life in our house. Even our youngest who isn’t quite two recognizes the Bitcoin B and yells out “Bitcoin!” whenever she sees one!

Emory Dunn of Emory Dunn Photography ()

I’ve been offering Bitcoin as an option for probably about two months in some capacity, although I moved primarily to my own site away from Esty and am using a BitPay plugin to handle the transactions. My primary interest in Bitcoin isn’t just as a payment method for my own prints but more as a concept. To me it’s a very “sci-fi” kind of thing and it intrigues me. I’m more interested in seeing how it evolves than anything else.

I think “sci-fi” is probably the best way to describe Bitcoin, especially to someone who doesn’t know about the actual basis of them. My interest in Bitcoin isn’t political in any way, nor does it have to do with the state of the economy at the moment. For me, practically speaking, it’s just another payment method and should be treated as such when using it to do business. Taxes still need to be paid and everything needs to be done “by the books.” The success of Bitcoin will depend on governments not viewing it as a way to conduct business behind their backs.

I can say that I do notice a fair amount of traffic from Bitcoin related websites that link to mine, though.

Bandung Restaurant (http://bandungrestaurant.com/)

NO. [They didn't have a personal interest in Bitcoin] Initially I saw bitcoin as just another way to market my restaurant. Currently my restaurant is a part of bartering system with www.badgerbarter.com. I saw bitcoin as the same bartering tool as badgerbucks. I’m still learning about bitcoin but I think the investment potential of it is great.

Terry of Akita Wood Works  https://www.etsy.com/shop/AkitaWoodWorks

I have been taking Bitcoin for about a month now. I read about it online and figured -why not? I am curious to see what it does.  My motivation was to make sales basically. I accept PayPal and Direct Checkout here on Etsy. I will also accept other payment forms when appropriate, so this just adds to my many ways to accept payments from my customers. Time will tell if it is going to be a long term venture but for the time being I will continue to offer it.  I don’t have an opinion about it; I have more of a curiosity about its future.

Michael of Weirdsville (https://www.etsy.com/shop/Weirdsville)

I started letting people know that I’d take BitCoin about 2 months ago. (I also accept other crypto-currencies such as LTC, FTC, NMC, PPC, etc.)

Here are my reasons for taking BitCoin or other digital currencies; I like the idea that people have an alternative way to pay besides cash. The fees are very low relative to PayPal and other methods. I like the fact that there is no problem with international orders. It seems as if some other countries might even prefer it, though this has not actually been something I’ve noticed. I like that it is not part of any government or central bank. There is a freedom in this that appeals to me. Trading here at Etsy is obviously going to be logged somewhere and bills will be generated and everyone can see what things have sold for…etc. So, it isn’t as if I am trying to avoid the government or taxes. I am not. But, I like the idea that we could move away from fees, banks, etc.