Starter Guide for Merchants

Use case: you are a merchant, business, individual that want to start accepting BTC for your products and/or services. Depending of your business size and specific way of doing trades, you can use a simple or more advanced solution. We will analyze each one here and you can choose one that fits your profile.

SCENARIO A: A simple freelancer, offering webdesign, consulting, blogging or any other online service. Also could be used for individual professionals.

  • Your usual activity is online, in your office or at the client location.
  • You offer various services and at then end of the service or period you make an invoice to the client to be paid.
  • On your invoice or bill you put the regular value in the currency you want, but at the end as a footnote you can put one of your BTC address from any of your wallets.
  • Use a new BTC address for each new client invoice you make. You can re-use a BTC address for the same client, but is not recommended, privacy is more important. and also there’s no limit to create new adddresses. BTC addresses do not expire, remain always the same in your wallet.

REMINDER: LN invoices expire after a certain time, so is better to use LN invoices for quick and small payments, in person, not printed on your invoices. You can use LNUrl codes, but those can be generated only from specific type of wallets and also can be read on specific wallet apps.
As apps that uses LNUrl we mention: LNtxBot, CoinOS, Zeus, Bluewallet, Breez.
More info about LNUrl can find here.

  • For this scenario I would recommend to use:
    • Electrum app as desktop wallet and with advanced coin control for onchain transactions and also option to open channels on LN if is necessary. This app is for advanced control of your funds and invoices, where you can label and manage your funds.
    • BlueWallet mobile app as mobile wallet, that can link / use the same wallet from your Electrum and from there you can move to LN wallet funds. This app also can be used on desktop but only for MacOS users.
    • Phoenix mobile app as mobile LN wallet, that also can receive onchain txs, seamless interface for both onchain and LN, easy to use.

SCENARIO B: A freelance vendor, producer, selling your own produced vegetables from your garden in an open market or a producer of natural cosmetics.

  • Your usual activity is based on showing your products in an open market and clients buy directly from your, no invoice needed.
  • Usually you have small amount price for your products
  • A simple QR code from a static LNUrl printed on a paper can be re-used for all payments
  • Also can be used LN invoices for each client that pays using his LN wallet, so for each sale, you will open your LN mobile wallet and create a LN invoice putting the amount in your local currency and will generate a LN code with the amount of sats requested. Cleint scan the LN invoice and pay in an instant.
  • For this scenario I would recommend to use:
    • Bluewallet on your mobile or tablet. You can generate LN invoices from your BW LN wallet or using LNtxBot LN wallet imported into your BW. See more details about LNtxBot and how to generate/print your static LNUrl here. Reminder: LNtxBot is custodial, so at the end of day, you should move the funds from there into your own private LN wallet or onchain. To make swaps from LN to onchain you can use or
    • Breez on your mobile (only iOS). Easy to use, onchain and LN, and also can be used to swap from LN to onchain. Doesn’t create LNUrl but can read and pay to LNUrl, so can be good for your clients to use.
    • Phoenix on your mobile (only Android). Easy to use, onchain and LN, and also can be used to swap from LN to onchain. Doesn’t create LNUrl but can read and pay to LNUrl, so can be good for your clients to use.
    • CoinOS is a very interesting web wallet, multiplatform, no need to install anything. You have to setup your account and after that you can open it anywhere. It is custodial, so is strongly recommended to move the funds at the end of the working day to your own private wallets. This wallet is good in case you are using with different users and devices. Can create also static LNUrl so you can print it and receive all payments in there.

SCENARIO C: A small merchant shop (shoes, gifts, clothes, groceries, restaurants, coffee shops etc). With online selling (webshop) or not.

  • Your activity can have a large volume of payments, various, from large amounts or small amounts and also sometimes you need to create invoices to be paid later or at a certain period for certain clients.
  • You have already a software that manage your sales, stocks, process of payments. You just need an extension or way to receive BTC.
  • If you already have a website selling your products you can use this solution with a dedicated plugin for payment processing.
  • If you still do not have a website but want to create one, for online selling, you can use the same solution that already come with WordPress and Woocommerce solution, you just have to make the design and introduce the items.
  • The solution can be used as PoS on site but also online, for orders and payments as a normal webshop.
  • For this scenario I would recommend to use:
    • BTCPay Server solution. A simple small PC machine or RaspberryPi, configured as a BTC and LN node, with BTCPay merchant solution. You would have the POS screen from BTCPay, easy to use, put the amount in your local currency and client pays as his will, onchain or LN, from that same screen. Here you can consult more solutions for a BTCPay server machine. Is not so costly, it’s a small machine, but is very powerful tool for a merchant. BTCPay is a complex and powerful solution for a merchant, with many features for different situations.
    • LNBits solution. This software is still in beta version so consider it as optional, You can test it first, without install it on your own machine on and see what features and functionalities can fit to your activity. If you decide to use it, you can install it on your own node machine, with the code from or Umbrel node, that already have it integrated as additional app. It is a very promising solution.