A. The acceptance by investors of Bitcoin (and digital/crypto currencies in general) may not be the same thing as its acceptance by consumers and retailers. Try to think about the specific conditions that would need to be in place for adoption of a cryptocurrency to make sense for an online retailer... as opposed to for its use as a class of investment assets.
B. The world of bitcoin and cryptocurrencies seems a bit "wild west" at times, with lots of hype and minimal fact-checking. Be careful of unsubstantiated claims and forecasts, watch for bias, and read critically! Look for hard facts and experts with lots of authority. Give more weight to actions that have already happened than to forecasts about what might happen.
- For an example, read this 2021 Financial Times article about rumours regarding Amazon and bitcoin: About that Amazon-to-accept-bitcoin story. (Check out this blog post for more about the special way to login to read FT news articles.)
- Hmmm... another critical FT story from 2021: Oh no, now Deloitte with the crypto nonsense.
A. Articles in journals & magazines
1. Explore Business Source Complete for articles in business publications.
- Here's my initial search to get you going. Add or remove terms from that search to refine your results.
2. There seems to be a consumer psychology aspect to this topic. Business Source Complete (above) covers major consumer behaviour journals, but you should also try our main psychology database, PsycInfo, since it covers those same consumer behaviour titles as well as many applied psychology journals.
3. There is also a sustainability/environmental aspect to the topic given the many reports about the environmental cost of "mining" cryptocurrencies. As we all try to move toward a Net Zero world to reduce climate change, major retailers may want to consider such aspects when deciding whether to accept bitcoin.
- Our Environment Complete database is a good place to start such searches.
- The Open Access journal, Sustainability seems to come up often in my searches. See this rough search of the journal to find article such as Investigating e-Retailers’ Intentions to Adopt Cryptocurrency Considering the Mediation of Technostress and Technology Involvement.
4. As you san your initial search results lists from any database, try to watch for articles that, though not perfect, may at least lead you to additional articles on the topic.
- For instance, this 2021 research article -- Do consumers really trust cryptocurrencies? -- has 87 references, many of which might be useful. In addition, according to Google Scholar, it's been cited by at least 20 newer articles and chapters, some of which might also be relevant (and even more recent!). Here are a couple of those ~20 citing articles that caught my eye:
- Blockchain: the Paradox of Consumer Trust in a Trustless System - a Systematic Review
- Motivations of Retailers Accepting Cryptocurrency Payments and Their Implications on Retail Customer Experience...
B. News articles
This is a quickly changing topic, so scanning news sources for mentions of recent research, expert opinions, and examples of firms who have implemented cryptocurrency payments.
Start with Factiva for global coverage of thousands of general, business, and industry news publications. Try a search for (retailers) w/5 (bitcoin or cryptocurrency).
Also check Canadian Newsstream for Canadian publications such as the Vancouver Sun and the Globe & Mail.
See, for instance, the following news articles from the last 8 years. Even the older articles might give you a sense of the barriers and benefits other retailers have experienced... all of which you could research deeper in other sources.
- Here's an alternate version if you hit a paywall with that link.
- Again, here's an alternate link if that one doesn't work.
- Bitcoin struggles to gain traction with Vancouver businesses
- Bitcoin struggles to connect with consumers, retailers
- Retail acceptance of Bitcoin is low and getting lower
C. Try Statista for a wealth (excuse the pun!) of statistics on bitcoin and blockchain." Always check the Source note next to Statista's barcharts to see if there is a link to an external source that you could explore for further information.
- Sample: Global consumer and merchant acceptance of crypto payments 2021, by industry (If you don't see Simon Fraser University at the top of the page after clicking on that link, return to this page and try the link again)
D. Major consulting firms might have reports on this topic. Start with the links below:
- McKinsey (See also the McKinsey Quarterly via the SFU Library.)
- PwC: Research & Insights
- Ernst & Young (E&Y) - samples
- Deloitte: Insights - sample
- KPMG: Insights - sample
E. Our Canadian Points of View Reference Centre provide both a Point and a Counterpoint on the adoption of bitcoin as a currency, as well as a brief Guide to Critical Analysis on this topic. Fairly basic level, but possibly helpful...?
F. CQ Researcher includes a report that might help you explore pro/con aspects to the topic: Digital Currency: Are bitcoin and other new money systems safe?.
G. The [US] Congressional Research Service prepares reports on issues that are of interest to lawmakers in Washington DC, and they've created several reports that touch on bitcoin and other digital/crypto currencies
H. Industry associations and industry news sources may have articles or blog posts on the impacts of bitcoin and other digital currencies for their members. For example...
- Cryptocurrency and its role in retail ((US) National Retail Foundation blog post)
- Bitcoin's Big Moment & Uncommon Commerce (also from the NRF)
- Is Bitcoin A Retail Sheep In Wolf’s Clothing?
- What can Bitcoin tell us about the future of retail payments with digital currencies? Insights from merchant use and perceptions (from Payments Canada - the organisation that runs Canada's payment settlement infrastructure)
- Be sure to explore the links to related reports, news, and research in this article!
I. Our Frost & Sullivan database includes some interesting analysis on bitcoin and other such digital currencies. Try searches for bitcoin or payments or cryptocurrencies or blockchain first, then adjust the date and other limits to focus your results on reports such as "Global Cashless Society Growth Opportunities."
J. Books and ebooks on this topic will give you a more comprehensive overview than you are likely to get from shorter articles. Search the SFU Library catalogue using terms such as bitcoin* OR "digital currenc*" OR cryptocurrenc* to find such resources as:
K. Bitcoin and virtual currencies: Background information and key technical and legal issues by Harvard's Journalists' Resource is a great research-based introduction to the topic.
- This same source offers a bitcoin explainer, complete with links to relevant research: Bitcoin, blockchain and ICOs: Confused? We explain.
- Another "explainer" article that might help you understand the background of bitcoin and digital currencies in general: BBC -- Does bitcoin still matter?
<No further suggestions yet - but keep checking. Also, don't forget that this is your wiki: you are welcome to add any tips here whenever you'd like. --- MB>