Over a third of UK small business owners expect cryptocurrency payments to become a reality on the high street within two years, according to a survey from card machine vendor Paymentsense.
Despite the hype, the popularity of cryptocurrencies has almost exclusively been based on their appeal as a (risky) investment, with volatility and high transaction costs hampering their take up as a payment method.
Yet, of 504 SME owners quizzed by Paymentsense, 35% expect people to be paying with the likes of Bitcoin in-store by 2020, with 21% thinking the move could come within a year.
In fact, 13% say that they already take cryptocurrency payments, although a bigger percentage - 18% - are investing in Bitcoin and its slew of imitators.
Overall, SMEs are open to various alternatives to the sterling, with over a quarter saying that they are involved in schemes such as the local Bristol, Liverpool, Brixton and Lewes pounds. A further 15% accept national bartering schemes such as Bartercard, with 11% taking regional gift vouchers.