This year has been huge in terms of cryptocurrency — the price of bitcoin has increased exponentially, and millions are now interested in and have already decided to invest in bitcoin by purchasing and filling their personal e-wallets. For a long time, that is all that bitcoin was: an investment, a more secure way to hold and invest money when compared to the traditional stock exchange.
However, cryptocurrencies have gained quite the amount of traction and support across the globe, and now more and more merchants, the majority of which are online e-commerce-type sites, are accepting bitcoin as a valid form of payment for the exchange of goods and services.
So.. what can you buy with bitcoin?
To starts, let’s mention a few popular online platforms that allows customers to check out by paying via bitcoin.
Big names like Microsoft and Dell have embraced the shift towards crypto payments. Since the end of 2014, Microsoft customers have had the option to use bitcoin in order to add money to their personal accounts, which can then be used to purchase apps, games and videos from Windows, Windows Phone and Xbox platforms.
Dell also jumped on the bandwagon in July of this year after partnering with Coinbase. Customers purchasing with bitcoin will get a discount when the purchase any of Dell’s Alienware PCs.
Bitcoin is also being accepted within the travel industry — some airlines, including AirBaltic and Air Lituanica, are now accepting bitcoin for customers that book their flights online. Additionally, the firm BTCTrip opened as an online flight and hotel booking platform to assist bitcoin enthusiasts looking to travel. In 2014, they announced that customers can also pay with litecoin as well as dogecoin when they book.
Moving away from e-commerce and the internet markets, some real-world stores around the world are starting to accept bitcoin as well. Resources like Bitcoin.Travel and Coinmap work hard to maintain a public database of these types of establishments that is easily accessible to anyone.
Looking for bars and restaurants that accept bitcoin, or maybe even just general electronics stores? The Pembury Tavern in London, UK, The Pink Cow in Tokyo, Japan and the Old Fitzroy Pub in Sydney, Australia are a few examples where you can grab a nice drink and/or bite to eat, and of course, pay with bitcoin.
CeX, is a recycled technology exchange and retailer, with physical store locations in many EU countries. This May, this UK chain launched a bitcoin-only payment location in Glasgow.
There are several options now for people that hold bitcoin. It is no longer necessary to hold bitcoin as only an investment. With this global shift towards a crypto-economy, many more retailers and merchants will start opening their platforms and stores to accept bitcoin. It is only a matter of time..