Is cryptocurrency the wave of the future or just a dot-com bubble waiting to pop? Time will tell, but there is good evidence that cryptocurrency will only get more popular and widely used in the months and years to come. Citibank believes that Bitcoin’s numerous advantages are bringing it to a “tipping point” into the mainstream. It is undeniable that in spite of–or even because of–the issues of the last year, the list of who accepts cryptocurrency is expanding by leaps and bounds.
Bitcoin started creeping slowly but steadily into the mainstream since its debut in 2008. Once considered far too volatile an investment for traditional banks to take a risk on, JPMorgan took on cryptocurrency customers as of May 2020 and has been banking digital securities firm TokenSoft since 2017. It doesn’t hurt that several big names have endorsed or praised cryptocurrency, including Bill Gates of Microsoft, Elon Musk of Tesla and SpaceX, actress Gwyneth Paltrow, and rapper Snoop Dogg.
Who Accepts Cryptocurrency?
Businesses that accept cryptocurrency as a form of payment range from the predictable (Wikileaks, the Pirate Bay, 4Chan) to the unexpected (AT&T). Thanks to Coincards.com, a site that sells gift cards and vouchers for hundreds of different things, one can pay for almost anything now with cryptocurrency, albeit indirectly.
Thirty-six percent of small-medium businesses in the U.S. accept Bitcoin, according to a 2020 HSB survey. Paypal, Venmo, and Square’s Cash App all allow buying, selling, and holding of cryptocurrencies, and you can use Paypal to spend crypto at any of its twenty-six million merchants.
Nonprofits and Charity Organizations
Wikimedia, the non-profit group that runs Wikipedia and its sister wikis, began accepting donations via Bitcoin in 2014. Also, the American Cancer Society has a Cancer Crypto Fund to go to research efforts. In addition, the anti-secrecy group Wikileaks accepts Bitcoin donations.
Burger King locations in Venezuela and Germany accept cryptocurrency; in Venezuela, crypto will also get you a Pizza Hut pizza. KFC Canada, for a limited time, offered a Bitcoin Bucket of chicken for online order and delivery. You can even crypto-filter your Yelp search now.
ManageGo, a self-described “all-in-one tool for property managers” based in New York, started accepting Bitcoin, Etherium, and Litecoin across the U.S. in 2018. Tenants can pay their rent in cryptocurrency, which is instantly converted and transferred as cash into the landlord’s account.
CheapAir accepts Bitcoin to book your travel plans. So does Bitcoin.Travel. A range of cryptocurrencies is accepted to book flights with Alternative Airlines. Want to go to space? Virgin Galactic will take you there for Bitcoin.
Dallas Mavericks accept Bitcoin for game tickets and merchandise. The Miami Dolphins will take Litecoin or Bitcoin as payment for their charity raffle tickets. Plus, you can buy game tickets or merchandise from the popular Lisbon, Portugal sports club Benfica with Bitcoin.
Retail & Services
Microsoft, despite a brief interruption, now once again accepts Bitcoin to add money to your Microsoft account. AT&T is the first United States cellular provider to accept crypto for payment (via BitPay). Overstock.com has partnered with Coinbase to let customers pay with cryptocurrency.
You can order off Amazon.com with BitCoin using Purse.io, and (as of June 2019) Amazon’s streaming broadcast service, Twitch, is re-accepting cryptocurrency. You can even buy a Tesla with Bitcoin.
The Inevitability of Progress
The list above is impressive, and will only get longer. There is a snowball effect; as cryptocurrency is viewed as more legitimate, less “sketchy,” more companies will start taking it as payment. The more companies accept it, the greater the perception of legitimacy.
More reluctant outfits will be forced to reconsider or risk losing customers or clients to competition that will take their (digital) money. Companies, especially online ones, soon won’t be able to afford to not take cryptocurrency.
Cryptocurrency’s Advantages Are Uniquely Suited to Current Challenges
Governmental Instability Can Fuel Reliance on Cryptocurrency
It’s no coincidence that the countries that rank highest in online searches related to digital currency are also global conflict hotspots: Libya, Palestine, Syria, Ukraine, Venezuela, Cuba. Several African countries are also undergoing a cryptocurrency boom. In general, these locations have several things in common: a weak local currency, limited access to outside currency, cash stockpiles being crime targets, and bureaucratic hindrance of money transfers. Bitcoin sidesteps these issues with its global acceptance, decentralization, physical security (due to lack of physical presence), and detaching of currency from the government.
You can ignore both a devalued local currency and a lack of foreign money if you have access to something that supersedes both. You don’t have to worry about someone breaking into your home and stealing the shoebox under your bed with your life savings if your life savings is secure in the cloud. And if you traveled abroad to find work, you can reliably send money to your family back home, without having to worry about local governmental interference.
Digital Currency in the Age of the Coronavirus
The global COVID-19 pandemic and its associated world-wide recession have also made traditional banks less likely to lend, especially to young entrepreneurs. If you need capital, the digital currency market can be a viable alternative to risk-averse banking institutions.
Also, as COVID vaccines are developed and distributed, it is likely that an immunity tipping point will be reached comparatively suddenly, the global quarantine will break, society will reopen, and everyone will start spending again, en masse. Combine this with the stimulus money that governments around the world have been frantically pumping out to their people, and the stage is set for massive inflation in government-printed fiat currencies. Cryptocurrencies, however, are inherently deflationary and should be unaffected.
Cryptocurrency’s portability, security, and decentralization make it better able to weather a lot of the issues that people are facing around the globe. Minor fluctuations aside, there is no reason why crypto should lose any of its incredible momentum in the long term. In the not-too-distant future, the answer to the question, “Who accepts cryptocurrency?” could well be “everyone.” Visit ForumPay and join the cryptocurrency revolution today!