Bitcoin is the most widely recognised digital currency, and as it becomes more widely used, there is increasing interest in accepting it as payment worldwide.
Bitcoin’s inception paved the way for new and innovative payment methods. This came from the need for more decentralised financial systems since the traditional one has many mismatches. Satoshi Nakamoto worked to enable more secure peer-to-peer transactions and remove the need for any third-party implication. However, this isn’t the first trail; there were many cryptocurrency projects before Bitcoin, but they weren’t successful. However, they set the tone, so you can today buy Bitcoin with your credit card and use it in Mcdonald’s or get a gift card at Primark.
Laszlo Hanyecz had no idea how much the Bitcoin (BTC) he spent on two pizzas in 2010 would be worth today. At the time, 10,000 bitcoins were worth only $41, but today, they’re worth in the thousands. Despite this, he has no regrets, as he is known worldwide for being the first to make a purchase using crypto. Today, spending Bitcoins on products or services is not uncommon, so let’s find out what you can get for your virtual coins this year.
Tech and e-commerce products
Microsoft was among the first companies to accept cryptocurrencies in the technology industry in 2014. You can buy a wide range of Microsoft products with your Bitcoin today, but only at its online store, not on its Xbox gaming platform. The same year, Overstock announced it would accept BTC for its wide array of merchandise, as Patrick Byrne, its founder, was an early proponent.
AT&T, Newegg, Shopify, and Rakuten are other examples of tech and e-commerce companies willing to trade their products for BTC, among other small or big sites.
To date, notable holdouts include Amazon, the world’s largest online store, and eBay. Amazon stated in 2014 that it has no intentions to interact with bitcoin. This can be confusing since other platforms owned by the corporation, like Twitch, permit and even support the use of Bitcoin.
Following the spike in Bitcoin prices in 2017, eBay considered allowing crypto use and bought large banner ads at crypto conferences. Two years later, the California-based company, San Jose, wouldn’t commit to whether it would embrace crypto-based transactions. However, by 2021, the company had expressed its interest in all types of payment to Reuters, probably alluding to digital currency as well.
Meanwhile, large payment platforms like PayPal and Visa allow users to purchase, transfer, and sell BTC and other cryptocurrencies.
The first ever Bitcoin property sale occurred in 2017, when buying real estate with it or other cryptocurrencies was a rarity. Even though the number of institutions taking BTC is growing, not many real estate deals involving crypto are reported. Even so, it’s not impossible. Digital currency helps brokers, real estate sellers, and developers market and sell properties in or outside the country.
Here’s something interesting. One of the most expensive deals ever made with crypto occurred in June 2021, when a client bought a penthouse in Miami for $22.5 million in cryptocurrency. To no one’s surprise, the buyer’s identity remains unknown.
However, if your crypto investment comes to fruition, ensure you spend it wisely on something worthy in the future, too. If you’ve spent time with cryptocurrency, you know there are a lot of risks involved with all things crypto since their values are highly volatile.
Car dealerships and car marketplaces
Several car dealers, like Mecum Auctions, accept Bitcoin as payment. The list spans a wide range of cars and includes luxury dealers that offer Bitcoiners’ favourite – Lamborgini, but also ones that sell more utilitarian cars like Subarus. BMW, Ferrari, Maserati, and Mercedes are other noteworthy car dealers offering their vehicles.
BitCars and Car for Coin are online car marketplaces that enable you to exchange crypto (mainly BTC) for a vehicle.
Cryptocurrency values fluctuate more than car values, so stablecoins like USDC, BUSD, USDT, etc. can be safer alternatives if you’re not 100% confident about purchasing with cryptocurrency.
Jewellery and expensive watches
Bitcoin-based luxury watches are the new hype among the rich and famous. These high-end, must-have accessories are created by leading brands like Omega, Cartier, and Rolex and enable clients to store their wealth in a stylish and secure physical form. PrestigeTime also offers products in return for BTC and Bitcoin Cash, and the same goes for the online luxury retailer BitDials which sells Patek Philippe, Rolex, and other high-end watches. Luxury watchmaker Franck Muller created a gold and diamonds encrusted watch that contains a QR code from the Bitcoin genesis block.
Bitcoin-based timepieces come in a wide range of styles and price points and seem popular among those seeking to add luxury to their everyday lives but not the old way.
The insurance industry has been prudent regarding cryptocurrency payment adoption. While it moved cautiously, it wasn’t wholly resistant. One notable example is AXA, the Swiss insurer that announced in April 2021 that it would accept Bitcoin for its non-life products because life insurance faces regulatory issues. It’s also the first all-lines Swiss company to allow its clients to pay their bills this way.
Crypto media outlets typically accept BTC for services like subscriptions. One of the more well-known publications to accept Bitcoin payments on its platform was The Chicago Sun-Times, in 2014. Magazine publisher Time Inc. followed in the company’s footsteps and began accepting cryptocurrency for digital subscriptions.
Cryptocurrencies have been around for more than a decade, but it’s only today that efforts to regulate them have taken priority. This is partly because crypto assets have recently transitioned from being niche products searching for a purpose to having a more mainstream presence as potential payment tools, a hedge against weak currencies, etc. Creating regulatory frameworks for crypto assets or applying the existing ones is challenging, and they need one unifying framework before being recognised as legal tender.