Bitcoin has grown in leaps and bounds over the past few years. It has developed from an asset solely used for speculative purposes to one now being used to hedge against inflation and draconian monetary policies. However, a couple of companies are also using Bitcoin as a medium of exchange. We have compiled a list of businesses that accept Bitcoin.
Here’s what we’ll cover:
- Businesses that accept crypto
- Internet and Media
- Food and Drinks
- Transport and Aviation
The Top Companies that Accept Crypto
Internet and Media
Wikipedia is the world’s largest encyclopedia. The platform is the largest source of information online, and the first stop for anyone who goes on Google to get details on just about anything.
Wikipedia gets its funding primarily through donations from people looking to support its cause. One of its payment methods is Bitcoin. The encyclopedia partnered with crypto payment processor BitPay back in January 2019, and has been accepting the top cryptocurrency via its portal since then.
Twitch is the leading game-streaming platform in the world. Owned by Amazon, the platform provides payment options for Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash, and while it took the crypto payment option down in March 2019, it restored the portal in June- the same time the crypto market started to witness a resurgence.
AT&T is one of the largest media and telecommunications conglomerates in the world. In May 2019, the firm announced that it had teamed up with crypto payment processor BitPay to provide cryptocurrency payment support for people looking to pay their phone bills online.
The press release didn’t show the accepted assets, but there’s no doubt that Bitcoin makes that list.
Food and Drinks
Starbucks provides crypto payment options for its coffee through Flexa, an American payment startup that allows restaurants in the country to access crypto payment options. Flexa developed Spedn, an app that helps crypto holders to make purchases across various retailers- including Bucky’s.
Subway has been providing crypto support since 2013. Now, you can purchase a Subway sandwich at several restaurants for just a fraction of a Bitcoin. There’s also support for Gyft- a digital platform that allows people to purchase and spend gift cards. With the Gyft app, users can purchase gift cards from several retailers- including Subway, Starbucks, Amazon, and Burger King.
Transport and Aviation
7. Norwegian Air
The largest airline company in Scandinavia, Norwegian Air Shuttle, and its owners reportedly announced plans to create a Bitcoin exchange, called Norwegian Block Exchange (NBX), which would power Bitcoin payments for flight tickets.
8. Virgin Atlantic
The Virgin Group, which owns Virgin Atlantic and Virgin Media, offers tickets for Virgin Galactic in Bitcoin. The integration was made back in 2013. Astronauts working for the company were reportedly the first users of the new payment option when it was launched.
CheapAir is an American travel agency that has been in operation since 1989. CheapAir has been accepting Bitcoin payments since 2013, and last year, the firm announced a partnership with Bitcoin.com to provide payment options in Bitcoin Cash as well.
Currently, the platform also provides support for Ether, Litecoin, and DASH. All travelers who book tickets are also covered by Payback
Amazon is the biggest e-commerce platform in the world. The company has toyed with the idea of accepting cryptocurrencies in the past, but it hasn’t made much progress on its own. However, while Amazon might not accept Bitcoin directly, it’s still possible to make purchases on the platform. Purse.io, an Amazon payment portal, allows Bitcoin holders to connect to sellers who are willing to get crypto for their goods. For a fee, you can send money to Purse and get connected to an Earner, who receives your payment and order information. When your order gets delivered, the cryptocurrency is sent to the Earner.
Overstock is an American online retailer that provides discount prices on some premium items. Overstock partnered with Coinbase back in 2014, in a move that allowed Bitcoin to be added to the retailer’s list of payment options. At the time, the deal represented the largest Bitcoin merchant integration in history.
If you’re paying in Bitcoin, you’ll find a Bitcoin wallet address on Overstock where you can pay your invoice and proceed to the checkout.
Lolli allows users to get free Bitcoins as they shop online. The platform has a list of partnered stored where you can shop (it notifies you if you end up on one of them if you have its extension installed on your browser), and when you checkout via the platform, you get free Bitcoin.
Lolli has partnered with several top brands, including Overstock, Priceline, Groupon, GoDaddy, GAP, Macy’s, Hilton, and Bloomingdales.
14. Sacramento Kings
The Sacramento Kings were the first team in the NBA to accept Bitcoin payments, and they remain one of just two teams out of 30 to do so. The Kings started to accept Bitcoin back in 2014 for purchases of team merchandise, game tickets, and much more.
The firm is also working on developing its larger cryptocurrency infrastructure, as it expands into other assets. Last year, it partnered with CryptoKaiju – the creators of Ethereum-based Kaiju toys- to launch a crypto-collectables program. Both companies confirmed that they’d be giving away 100 collectable toys throughout the 2019/20 season. A non-fungible token will back each. Fifteen of those will come with specific gifts- including VIP tours, courtside seats to team games, and signed team merchandise.
15. Dallas Mavericks
The Dallas Mavericks are the second team in the NBA to accept Bitcoin for payments. Despite being owned by notable crypto critic Mark Cuban, the team announced in August 2019 that it would be accepting Bitcoin as payment for game tickets and merchandise.
15. Miami Dolphins
The Miami Dolphins, a popular National Football League team, announced a partnership with the Litecoin Foundation and Aliant Payments in June 2019. The partnership would allow Dolphins fans to use assets like Litecoin and Bitcoin when purchasing tickets for the team’s 50/50 raffle. Tickets can be purchased either online or at dedicated kiosks around the team’s Hard Rock Stadium.
16. SL Benfica
Sport Lisboa, Benfica, is one of the most popular pro soccer clubs in Portugal. Last June, the club partnered with crypto solutions provider UTRUST to enable tickets and merchandise purchases using Bitcoin payments.
Cryptocurrency and the Push for Regulation
Ever since Bitcoin became mainstream, proponents and developers have pushed for them to be accepted as a medium of exchange. The arguments have centered around the benefits that they provide over fiat money and its ability to free one’s wealth from the clutches of government structures.
However, legalization has varied greatly across countries. While some nations have been welcoming towards the assets or created an enabling environment for cryptocurrencies to thrive at least, others have been strict in their disapproval of the assets and have cracked down hard on it.
Switzerland leads the charge for countries where cryptocurrencies are encouraged. The financial hub has proven to be accommodative towards the emerging technology, providing meaningful rules to guide companies to operate. The country’s crypto space is so stable that Facebook chose to establish the headquarters of its Libra Association there.
As for countries where Bitcoin is still illegal, perhaps the most prominent is China. The Asian economic giant announced a ban on cryptocurrency exchanges and Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) as far back as 2017 and has stuck to that stance ever since. But, a lot of countries still exist in the middle. Major world powers like the United Kingdom, Canada, Germany, and even the United States all have some sort of law governing Bitcoin. Some countries have regulations focused on cryptocurrency taxation, usage for payments, and remittance.
However, when it comes to drafting laws that bring Bitcoin into the forefront of the financial ecosystem, progress hasn’t been as quick as expected.
Challenges Facing Bitcoin Adoption
Despite the progress made with crypto-enabled payments, it’s obvious that a lot of businesses that could benefit from their use have stayed away for numerous reasons. These include:
1. Lack of Stability
Volatility has been one of the major challenges for Bitcoin, and it has also affected their application as a medium of exchange. Turnover is one of the most important aspects of a business. It’s important for entrepreneurs and business owners to have control over the money flowing in and out, and transactions themselves need to be completed quickly. The problem with Bitcoin is that transaction confirmation could take an unpredictable amount of time.
When the network is congested, it’s not unusual to wait hours for confirmation. During that period, the price of the asset could have changed, and the business is left having to find a way to make up the difference. Several firms have exited the crypto payment space due to this. Reddit, Microsoft (for a while), and Steam discontinued Bitcoin payments.
2. Reputational risks
For many, Bitcoin is still associated with illegal activities such as money laundering. Different reports have disproved its use for illicit purposes, but first impressions are often hard to change. With several governments and financial regulators pointing to criminal use regularly, a lot of businesses have chosen to play safe and stay away from the asset.