For years, the word “cryptocurrency” has seemed like something of a misnomer for Bitcoin and altcoins. While the “crypto” part makes sense, there are those who argue that a currency is a medium that can be exchanged for goods and services. The famous Bitcoin pizza demonstrates the difficulties it presents, and while business or service providers that accept crypto exist, they are seen as novelties, and an exception to the general rule.
That, however, is something that is changing as crypto adoption increases and the market gradually stabilizes and matures. Sure, right now, you’ll still not be using crypto to fill your car with gas or buy a round of drinks at your local bar, with a few notable exceptions. However, times are most definitely changing. Here are some businesses that are happy to take your digital currency right now.
If you were expecting a list of obscure digital providers, think again. Microsoft initially started to welcome Bitcoin payments back in 2014, but when they stopped doing so at the beginning of last year due to price volatility it was a blow to crypto’s attempts to be recognized as a serious currency.
However, the measure was short-lived, and now, Microsoft is accepting Bitcoin payments once again. Bitcoin funds deposited into your Microsoft account can be used to purchase movies, games, and apps from the Windows and Xbox stores. Note that once deposited, you can take as long as you like to spend them, but they are non-refundable.
Online gaming sites and casinos have been among the early adopters where Bitcoin is concerned. Speed, security, anonymity and (in most cases) zero transaction fees all combine to make digital currency a compelling choice for digital gaming. There is a growing number of sites that now offer Bitcoin and others as a payment option, but one, in particular, stands out from the crowd.
Bitcasino was the first platform of its kind, set up specifically as a Bitcoin-based gaming site. As well as providing all the usual games, Bitcasino’s blog has also become a popular resource for those who discover Bitcoin through gaming and are inspired to learn about cryptocurrencies in general. The games available are similar to those found on other sites, but the difference here is that the platform operates in a crypto environment. This means there is no need to transfer to or from other currencies in order to play. It’s an elegant way of negating all those volatility concerns.
So far so good, but you might be thinking that there is a difference between spending crypto on games or gaming and using your Bitcoin to buy a tangible product in the real world. Is a diamond ring tangible enough?
Reeds Jewelers Inc has 13 stores around the United States, as well as an e-commerce presence. All these outlets, both physical and virtual, welcome Bitcoin as a payment option. The retailer has a wide range of fine jewelry and watches. They also sell loose diamonds – buy more than $25,000 worth and they will deliver them to your home by an armored vehicle.
When you think about the sort of sectors that might get involved in digital transactions, you could be forgiven for not having home removals near the top of the list. This is typically an old fashioned industry, with long-established, traditional players.
Roadway Moving might just change your mind on that. They became the first removals business in the USA, and probably the world, to accept Bitcoin for their services, provided you have a hot wallet set up.
Low-cost air travel arrived in our consciousnesses at about the same time as cryptocurrency, so in some respects, it is surprising that we have not seen more travel companies jumping on the Bitcoin bandwagon. Most are still steering clear, perhaps due to those familiar volatility concerns. However, Cheapair is the exception, accepting BTC for both domestic and international flights, using a range of carriers.
Cheapair has a reputation for innovation, having been one of the first companies in its sector to introduce flight booking by mobile app and voice control. So it is little surprise that this early adopter is also proving to be a trailblazer with crypto.
Perhaps the biggest name, and the company that could play the greatest role in bringing Bitcoin into the mainstream, is Shopify. The e-commerce platform achieved incredible growth in its first three years and is the tool of choice for anyone who wants to create an online shop.
There are more than half a million Shopify stores, and every single one of them can accept Bitcoin, using the BitPay facility. With more and more choosing to do so, it seems only a matter of time before other platforms, such as eBay or Etsy will follow suit.