Bitcoin has been around since 2009. While a lot has changed since then, cryptocurrencies still have miles to go before achieving global acceptance. Even so, there have been merchants over the past decade that were open-minded enough to accept cryptocurrency payments. Take for example the one bizarre instance in 2010, when a fellow named Laszlo Hanyecz bought two pizzas for 10,000 BTC. Back then, this astounding amount was equivalent to just 41 USD. Oh, how times have changed.
All in all, 2017 was a fantastic year for Bitcoin, which shot up in value and in headlines throughout the year — its December meltdown notwithstanding. Because of its crazy journey throughout last year’s run, the media, the government and the public in general now take Bitcoin more seriously. Perhaps half of all the exposure may be bad press, especially with certain authorities highlighting Bitcoin’s unreliable nature, but it nonetheless drew attention to the exciting potentials of cryptocurrency.
Because of all this, the number of retailers accepting Bitcoin has increased tremendously. According to BitPay, there are now around 100,000 merchants worldwide accepting Bitcoin payments for their products and services. Hence, people now have more reasons to invest in the cryptocurrency. The question now, then, is: in which sectors can crypto users spend their Bitcoin savings? Here’s a quick overview of these merchants, including those that are as random and unusual as that pizza vendor from 2010.
Spend Bitcoins in E-Commerce Stores
It makes sense for online businesses to lead the pack, considering that cryptocurrencies exist on the digital space. Overstock was the first major retailer to accept cryptocurrency payments back in 2014. Several other e-commerce sites have jumped on the bandwagon ever since, such as Expedia, Newegg, and Shopify. Tech giant Microsoft has also entered the market, allowing its users to spend Bitcoins by deposit into a Microsoft account, which can then be used for purchasing games, movies, and apps on the Windows and Xbox stores.
In addition, here’s a fun fact: today’s crypto enthusiasts can still buy pizza with Bitcoin, thanks to Pizza For Coins. The service first verifies if there is a pizza establishment near your location. Then, it allows you to order through them with your digital currency.
Sweden is fast becoming a cashless society, with numerous establishments not even accepting cash as payment anymore. Of course, the government is in on this trend, too. For instance, the Swedish Enforcement Agency even auctioned out 0.6 Bitcoin on 12 October 2017, that had been seized as compensation for someone’s tax debts.
Of course, Sweden is already miles ahead when it comes to the cryptocurrency revolution. Elsewhere in the world, government institutions are still debating whether or not to open their doors to cryptocurrencies. They are also debating how to do it (if at all). In the US for example, Arizona’s government recently drafted a bill that would allow residents to pay taxes in Bitcoin. If passed into law, the government will convert cryptopayments to USD within 24 hours of receipt.
Cryptocurrency and online casinos seem to be a match made in heaven. Coinwire’s overview of the cryptocurrency casino scene pointed out the benefits gamers can enjoy with crypto options. Obviously, the main one is security, given the decentralised and transparent nature of cryptocurrency. Then, there is the anonymity aspect, as cryptocurrency casinos normally do not require the users to input any personal information or sensitive data in order to complete a transaction.
Records of each transaction are spread throughout a network of computers, which means people are also guaranteed accountability. With so many databases keeping your transaction on record, there’s seemingly no way to dispute a purchase. It’s a useful feature for anyone who is nervous about dealing with online casino sites in general.
Spend Bitcoins in Cafes and Restaurants
If you thought you could only spend Bitcoins on pizza, think again. You can spend Bitcoins on a sandwich, too! Bits Finance News reports that some Subway stores in countries like Slovakia and Argentina are now accepting Bitcoin payments. Moreover, there was also a time when you could buy chicken with Bitcoin! Earlier this year, KFC Canada allowed a Bitcoin payment option for a limited time as part of a marketing stunt called “The Bitcoin Bucket.” You had to order online though if you wanted the bucket of chicken delivered to your doorstep.
Apparently, you can now use Bitcoin to purchase coffee, too. In Israel, people can enjoy their cup of joe at any Cafe Joe outlets with Bitcoin payments. Rumours abound that Starbucks is already close to accepting cryptocurrencies as well. The chairman of the popular coffee chain did indicate how they could incorporate blockchain technology in the Starbucks app. We’ll have to wait and see.
In conclusion, there’s no telling when exactly Bitcoin will stabilise and perhaps become a globally accepted currency. However, many experts believe it will happen soon. You can spend Bitcoins today in a wide variety of places, but not exactly everywhere. In the meantime, it might be wise to continue to hodl your crypto — and your breaths — over Bitcoin’s price volatility.