With the increasing number of people buying and holding bitcoin, the digital currency is moving towards a more mainstream adoption globally. More and more retailers accept bitcoin as a form of payment for their products. This is especially appealing to the people interested in using their bitcoin. A growing number of major companies, such as Tesla, accept payments in bitcoin. Bitcoin made headlines when the government of El Salvador announced it as a legal tender in the country. Bitcoin transactions provide unique advantages to merchants, so their adoption is increasing day by day. With greater payment security, irreversible transactions, and lower transaction fee, bitcoin is revolutionizing the financial ecosystem. On the other hand, it also provides cryptocurrency owners greater autonomy over their crypto holdings. In this article, we will be discussing how and where crypto owners can spend their bitcoin.
Several car dealers are already accepting bitcoin as a form of payment. This includes luxury car dealers that sell Lamborghinis or some utilitarian car dealers selling vehicles like Subarus. Recently, Tesla announced that it would be accepting bitcoin as a form of payment for its cars. Elon Musk, Tesla’s founder, is one of the significant proponents of cryptocurrencies. His company invested $1.5 billion in bitcoin earlier this year. Musk is a crypto enthusiast, and he is constantly tweeting about his interest in various cryptocurrencies, even encouraging people to invest in some. However, he announced that bitcoin transactions would be put on hold until cryptocurrencies are mined in a greener, more environmentally friendly way. But it will likely start accepting bitcoin again soon.
Being one of the largest software companies globally, Microsoft accepts bitcoin as a form of payment in its online store. At Microsoft, you can use your bitcoin to buy apps, games, and other digital content from Windows, Windows Phone, Xbox Games, Xbox Music, or Xbox Video Stores. Microsoft also launched ION using blockchain technology. It is a double-layer authentication program on the bitcoin network that creates digital IDs to authenticate online identities.
Luxury Jewelry and Watches
Several luxury products creators and retailers have started accepting digital currencies, especially Bitcoin, as payment for their products. The online-based luxury retailer BitDials partners with brands like Rolex, Patek Philippe to allow people to buy quality watches for bitcoin. Franck Muller, a luxury watchmaker, even delivered a watch embellished with gold and jewels containing a QR code from the bitcoin genesis block. Besides these big watch brands, some jewelry stores have collaborated with specific crypto payment processors to allow people to buy products in their stores to use their cryptocurrencies.
Generally, the insurance business has been relatively slow in accepting digital currencies. But it seems like things are starting to change now. While you cannot buy life insurance with cryptocurrencies, insurance companies have started accepting Bitcoin payments for other items in their portfolios.
Swiss insurance provider net AXA in April 2021, declared that it would start accepting bitcoin as a payment method for all its insurance products except life insurance (due to regulatory and compliance reasons). Premier Shield Insurance, an agency selling home and accident coverage in the New England states, accepts bitcoin to pay its products.
In November, Mastercard said it would allow partners on its network to enable their customers to purchase, sell and hold cryptocurrencies using a digital wallet. It will also reward those customers with digital currencies under its loyalty programs. The move would allow customers to acquire and spend their rewards in digital currencies rather than loyalty points.
Mastercard will partner up with Bakkt Holdings Inc, the advanced digital asset platform established in 2018 by NYSE-proprietor Intercontinental Exchange, to provide these new crypto services to its clients. Other payment giants like Visa and PayPal have also started offering several cryptocurrency based services to their customers. PayPal allows its users to hold, buy, sell and use cryptocurrencies to pay for goods. And Visa is allowing its users to make crypto payments without converting crypto to cash first.
In 2014, Latvian airlines airBaltic became the first aviation company in the world to accept Bitcoin as a form of payment for its fares. The airline indicated that it has handled over 1,000 Bitcoin transactions since it made Bitcoin a payment option eight years ago. Its choice to do so encouraged another eastern European airline, LOT Polish Airlines, to adopt the same pattern the next year. These days, several airlines accept bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies as a form of payment. This includes Air Canada, Air China, Malaysia Airlines, Japan Airlines, and the list goes on and on.
With major giants embracing digital currencies, it was expected that Amazon might also do the same. However, Amazon still considers cryptocurrencies volatile assets, therefore not suitable as a form of payment. You can, in any case, purchase Amazon vouchers through crypto-only company Bitrefill, an online platform that makes a living on digital currencies easier by exchanging Bitcoin into gift vouchers, top-off telephones, etc.
Several primary food and beverage outlets have started accepting bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies as payment. For example, KFC in Canada announced a bitcoin bucket that crypto enthusiasts can buy using their bitcoin. It partnered with BitPay to facilitate online transactions in bitcoin. The German part of Burger King also started accepting Bitcoin on its mobile application and website on September 3, 2019. You can just pay with Bitcoins and Bitcoin Cash by ordering online through the Lieferservice delivery service, which works with restaurants all through the country.
Similarly, in November 2020, the pizza franchise Pizza Hut in Venezuela allowed its customers to pay in bitcoin. Even at Starbucks, customers can use the Bakkt app to pay for their coffee in bitcoin. Adopting cryptocurrencies by these food and coffee chains makes it much easier for crypto owners to spend their digital currencies quickly. With major players embracing bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies as a form of payment, cryptocurrencies are becoming more widely accepted and adopted by ordinary people. It is no longer limited to a few wealthy individuals; instead, we see people in their twenties holding and investing in cryptocurrencies. At Unbanked, we believe that cryptocurrencies are the future of money and payment systems. To know more about using your cryptocurrencies, read our blog.