Since the inception of Bitcoin, many things have changed including the retail industry. It revolutionized the financial sector which in turn affected other industries. Many investors used it as a speculative currency since it is the main currency in the crypto-world. This created an interest to use the currency as a medium of exchange and as a result, many businesses have accepted Bitcoin as a payment method.
Some of the main advantages of accepting Bitcoin as a payment method includes:
Low transaction fees: The overhead costs are lower comparatively making transaction costs lower. For example, BitPay will only charge 1% while credit cards charge like 4%.
No chargebacks: With Bitcoins, the transactions are irreversible hence there are no chargebacks
Convenient international transfers: Cross border transactions are normally more expensive but Bitcoins enables easy fast and cheaper cross border payments.
Fraud prevention: Bitcoin transactions are in a way secure hence it ensures identity theft protection making it hard to dispute transactions.
Fast transactions: This is because there are no many intermediaries in the chain.
With the rise in competition in the marketplace and the need to increase ROI, there are many companies both big and small that are adopting the Bitcoin payment system.
Some of the industries that are accepting Bitcoin include:
Entertainment and Sports Industries
Entertainment is one of the first industries to adopt Bitcoin especially gaming because of casinos. The main reason gaming adopted Bitcoin might be because of the anonymity that comes with it. Serious gamers also spend a lot of money and maybe cumbersome to walk around with large loads of cash.
For those who are into sports, there are escape rooms and most of them accept Bitcoin as a form of payment.
Extreme sports club Benfica accepts Bitcoin for payment of game tickets and Merchandise.
Playboy TV accepts Bitcoin when you want to access adult content. Pirate Bay accepts Bitcoin donations.
Travel and Tour industry
Currently, there are many travel agencies accept Bitcoin as a form of payment with the pioneer being CheapAir which started accepting Bitcoin in 2013 when Bitcoin was still a new concept. Currently, there are more companies in the boat such as Norwegian Air which gives you the option of paying through Bitcoin. Expedia also accepts Bitcoin but only through Coinbase. Virgin Galactic which includes Virgin Mobile and Virgin Airline accepts travel payments with Bitcoin.
Some hotels accept Bitcoin such as a Canadian group of hotels, Sandman Hotels that started accepting Bitcoin in 2014. Currently, more hotels such as the Swiss Luxury Hotel and The Dolder Grand have accepted the cryptocurrency.
Since Bitcoin is a technological innovation, it is only normal that online stores are at the forefront in embracing the technology. Overstock was one of the stores that accept Bitcoin as a payment method. Wikipedia accepts Bitcoin donations through BitPay. Microsoft also accepts Bitcoin when you want to top up your account. There was a time that Microsoft had paused accepting the currency but resumed after some time. Namecheap which is a domain seller accepts Bitcoin from 2013. Gyft which allows companies to buy and sell gift cards online also accepts Bitcoin as a payment method. NewEgg which deals with electronics and computer hardware gives its customers the option of paying products with Bitcoin. ExpressVPN which is one of the largest VPN allows users to pay for a subscription with Bitcoin. AT&T used BitPay to enable customers to pay for the service through Bitcoin.
There are also online stores that accept Bitcoin but through a third party such as Amazon that accepts Bitcoins through Purse.io
The Food Industry
The food industry has not been very aggressive in adopting Bitcoin as a payment method but the scene is quickly changing. One of the first and famous transactions is when a man from Florida used Bitcoin to pay for Pizza. He paid 10,000 BTC in 2010 which is currently worth millions.
There are currently many fast-food chains, takeaways and major outlets worldwide that accept Bitcoin. An example is Amazon-owned Wholefoods. KFC also accepted Bitcoin for some time in exchange for the “Bitcoin Bucket”. The payment was processed through BitPay. There are more and more Subway stores that currently accept Bitcoin.
Currently, there has been an increase in the number of car dealers that accept Bitcoin, especially from the 2017 parabolic price boom.
As much as most of the examples of stores mentioned are webshops, it does not mean that they are the only ones accepting Bitcoin. There are plenty of physical shops both small and big that accept Bitcoin. Bitcoin ATMs have also increased in number and currently, there are over 6000 ATMs with a growing number of them finding their way in coffee houses, shopping malls, different shops, and other public locations. That makes shopping with Bitcoin even more convenient.
Accepting Bitcoin as a payment method
To accept Bitcoin as a payment method, there are rules and regulations that you have to follow depending on your location. There are also sites that you can get information on the legality of Bitcoin in your location such as Bitlegal.
To accept Bitcoin, you need to consider your business as there are several ways of accepting Bitcoin. Most of the time, payment processors such as BitPay are used. You can also opt to accept Bitcoin individually so long as you have a wallet though that is not advisable for big businesses due to high volatility.
While there are still many stores that do not accept Bitcoin, the scene is changing. Countries are becoming more lenient on cryptocurrency for example China means a lot and will change a lot of things. With technological advancement every day, there is hope that soon companies will be able to accept Bitcoin directly. There is a possibility of a win-win situation by traditional payment services in a plight to lower costs and beat the competition. The existence of a parallel, border-less economy that is not governed by a central body puts the traditional payment service at risk.
Image by annca from Pixabay.