As a means of payment, crypto is naturally still in the early days, only really rising to prominence within the past 10 years. So far, mainstream financial services have been hesitant to endorse it, barring some exceptions, which has meant that widespread adoption in shops and businesses has been slow.
However, this doesn’t mean that the outlets and exchanges for crypto haven’t been looking at some major growth now, and as of 2022 there are more places that will accept crypto than ever before. This article aims to highlight those businesses that are most tied to crypto usage, as well as a few that most people wouldn’t even consider using crypto coins for.
Bitcoin for Travel
To start off with something of an unusual choice, cryptocurrency, or more specifically Bitcoin, can be used for a number of travel options. While it’s not recommended to try paying directly at a hotel in coins, there are several prominent travel sites which will accept it.
First and foremost, the travel giant Expedia will let you pay for your hotels online straight through Bitcoin, or if that isn’t the particular currency that you use, then the crypto-focused site Travala accepts dozens of the most established currencies for similar services. Also, if you’re planning on travelling just a bit further, then Virgin Galactic are also accepting Bitcoin now for space travel.
While it’s difficult to nail down exactly how widely crypto is used by country, much of Europe at least accepts crypto in certain businesses, although it’s not wise to base your entire vacation around it.
Crypto for Casinos
Online casinos are something of a natural fit for crypto, with the extra security with large amounts of money being extremely attractive amongst their customers. More than in many other industries, crypto is becoming a standard, with many of the best payout online casinos now listing it as an option for deposits and withdrawals alongside their more traditional payment platforms.
More than that, many new casinos have appeared that almost exclusively use crypto as a payment method. These crypto casinos will even offer their player bonuses in crypto coins, usually Bitcoins, for the more universal uptake. This is an area where research is key, though; online casinos offer slightly different packages in different countries. A casino that accepts Bitcoin in one country may not be able to in another. If you’re playing from the U.S., make sure they’ll accept Bitcoin from the U.S. for instance.
Crypto in Online Retail
This is an area that has really taken off in terms of crypto usage, and while the big name Amazon still is yet to dip a toe into the crypto market, many other shopping platforms worldwide will now accept at least some kind of crypto.
Within the U.S., Overstock is your nearest equivalent to Amazon that will work with crypto. They haven’t got nearly the same range of products, mainly focusing on home and lifestyle items, however they can compete with them on prices as well as the free shipping options. For those looking for Asian products who have a good translator and a calculator handy, Rakuten from Japan does have a wider selection of products, although shipping is naturally a different issue.
For computer hardware and related products there is also the Newegg site, and if you’re looking at setting up an e-commerce site of your own, the industry leader Shopify also accept Bitcoin. This is a small selection, but more and more businesses are taking up crypto integration as a way of offering services that competitors either don’t or can’t.
Gaming with Crypto
Similar to online casinos, the digital nature of video gaming does lend itself to working with crypto, not to mention a usually tech-aware audience built in. You know that the practice of crypto payments has really gone mainstream in the video gaming industry when you see that Microsoft themselves will accept Bitcoin for payments on their Xbox Live platform. Add-ons, subscriptions and even full games fall under that.
The socially-aware Humble Bundle site has also started taking Bitcoin via PayPal, which gives you a way to get your new games while contributing to charity at the same time. They even now have bundles for books and software for some extra variety.
Speaking of contributions, the major streaming platform Twitch will now also accept crypto payments, either for their Twitch Prime subscription or just donations and support for your favorite streamers.
There are plenty of companies that don’t fit into the above, but may also surprise you. Phone and internet giant AT&T have added crypto to their payment options, and even iconic coffee chain Starbucks have started as well. Want a new website? NameCheap are also on this list.
The fact is though, if you’re using the correct tools, virtually anything can now be done via crypto. By using a card-issuing service such as CoinsBase or Uquid, you can get a card tied to your crypto wallet that still has the global acceptance of something such as Visa or Mastercard. They can even be used to withdraw cash at an ATM, and work for both online and offline payments, although keep in mind that this is based on the market value of the coin at time of purchase.
What Comes Next?
It’s hard to judge exactly what happens next with crypto, considering even entire countries are trying it out as legal tender. A number of the largest companies are still holding out against it, but given the rising competition, their hands may eventually be forced into accepting it.
The short version is, you should expect to see at least Bitcoin transactions happening on the vast majority of online-first business sites within the next decade, although the uptake from brick-and-mortar companies is likely to be a lot slower. With that said, the rapid rollout of contactless cards shows that the financial world can, on occasion, move faster than expected.