PinPoint Media, a content agency based in the UK, has announced it will accept cryptocurrency in return for its services, which include animation, video, content strategy and photography.
It is far from the first agency to do so – the trend began as far back as 2013 – but it marks renewed interest in the asset after a bust in recent years.
The agency will use the Bitpay platform, which currently works with the two main cryptocurrencies Bitcoin and Ethereum.
Clients who wish to pay with one of the new digital currencies will be quoted in crypto, but this will be caveated with a base GBP price, so the actual crypto cost could vary while the market fluctuates.
Once the transaction takes place, the agency will absorb the risk – and reward – of the value of the notoriously volatile cryptocurrency. PinPoint Media’s founder and managing director Oliver Bruce said: “It’s similar to international travel or overseas payments today – they ebb and flow depending on the date of the transaction.”
Bruce plans to keep the money in crypto rather than immediately transferring it to fiat (government-backed) currency: “I am forecasting a long-term upside to holding crypto, so we would not liquidate for at least 12-18 months. I look at this as an investment portfolio diversification rather than a short-term cash-flow solution.”
Although Bruce admits none of PinPoint Media’s clients are planning to pay him in cryptocurrency at the moment, he believes this is a way to future-proof the agency against inflation and attract new clients who wish to pay in this way. “I don’t envisage clients converting fiat money into crypto exclusively for our services. This transition will happen over time,” he says.
However, some of the agency’s freelance staff based in the US and Hong Kong have already said they would be happy to accept Bitcoin as payment. “This opens up the possibility of not only being able to accept Bitcoin, but transacting with our suppliers through crypto too,” said Bruce.
Cryptocurrencies have hit the news recently after electric car manufacturer Tesla invested $1.5 billion in Bitcoin in February, which pushed the value of the digital asset up by 14%. Shortly afterwards, the price rose to $58,000 – a 90% increase since the start of January, pushing its total market value above $1tn. The price has since dropped.
Tesla’s move sparked debate about whether crypto will have a long-term future either as a store of value like gold, or a method of payment, or whether it is a purely speculative asset whose bubble will eventually burst.
American bank BNY Mellon, one of PinPoint Media’s clients, announced it would start to hold Bitcoin and other crypto assets on their client’s behalf last month. PayPal has also announced it will allow users to buy and sell Bitcoin and other virtual currencies.
But cryptocurrencies are notoriously volatile. PinPoint Media has accepted the risks. “In the short-term, we may only have a few Bitcoin payments for our services, but I am convinced that over time people will not only work with us due to the acceptance of Bitcoin, but it will ensure a diversified investment portfolio for the business and a hedge against high street banks and ultimately inflation,” said Bruce.
He adds: “If there’s one thing I’ve learnt during the pandemic, it’s to ensure the business is future-proofed, and one’s eggs are spread across multiple baskets. This is fundamentally what we’re doing.”
He also believes that with the increased adoption of online transactions and the rise of the Internet of Things, “I am convinced this need for speed, ability to innovate and possibility to transact large sums in seconds will mean the acceptance of certain cryptos over the next few months and years will become ever more abundant.”