Bitcoin has evolved as a store of value over the last decade, including improvements to its transaction processing capabilities. Bitcoin (BTC) is currently accepted as a payment option by a variety of companies, both in-person and online.
Even though BTC has greater costs than many other cryptocurrencies, it may be useful for bigger transactions, particularly given its excellent security. The Bitcoin community has put a lot of confidence in the cryptocurrency being a viable alternative to many centralized payment methods on the market for a long time. On the other hand, BTC is now mainly utilized as a long-term investment, similar to gold or equities.
The primary issue is the network’s ability to execute transactions: Bitcoin’s absolute maximum capacity is just seven transactions per second. Visa, on the other hand, processed over 185 billion transactions in 2019.
It is important to remember that credit card transactions are not immediately cleared. In other instances, such transactions are delayed for days, while Bitcoin is chastised for delaying transactions for hours during periods of high congestion. People often confuse pending and finished transactions with Bitcoin, much as they do with credit cards.
The network gets bloated as more individuals begin to use Bitcoin and make transactions. During periods of network congestion, waiting times and, most crucially, transaction costs rise and decrease in tandem with the volume of transactions.
In 2017, when BTC’s transaction fees rose owing to increasing use and trade, the token’s price skyrocketed, this was a typical example. People began to doubt Bitcoin’s validity, and some large businesses stopped using it as a payment option as a result.
The Lightning Network, which utilizes state channels to execute transactions extremely quickly and with little cost, is a scaling solution for Bitcoin that seeks to alter that. After transactions are completed, this network changes the status of Bitcoin’s blockchain.
The Lightning Network’s adoption is hampered by its lack of user-friendliness. Before they may execute a transaction, users must first establish and deposit to their Lightning channels. They must also maintain the communication line open until the transaction is completed.
Taproot, a Bitcoin upgrade that enhances privacy by making Lightning transactions indistinguishable from traditional BTC transactions, will benefit the Lightning Network. There will also be wallets that seek to make it simpler for consumers to purchase goods with Bitcoin using Lightning, which is a bright possibility for the future of Bitcoin.
The most important issue that Lightning addresses are making BTC usable for small transactions like buying a cup of coffee. High Bitcoin fees may increase costs if Lightning is not utilized for these tiny, frequent transactions.
Transaction time at brick-and-mortar shops is the second most important problem. For example, standing in line behind a Bitcoin user and waiting over 10 minutes for a transaction to complete would be very inconvenient.
If Lightning becomes more user-friendly, it may be able to remove both of the aforementioned problems. Bitcoin advocates believe that if fully deployed, it will give Visa a run for its money.
On the other hand, online transactions are still simple to do with Bitcoin due to the absence of lines – particularly if you pay using a QR code from your mobile wallet. The rise of online purchasing may affect the sustainability of BTC payments, particularly if the number of brick-and-mortar shops continues to decrease.
Bitcoin-Accepting Online Shops
- Overstock, a well-known online store, accepts Bitcoin payments and actively supports them.
- Home Depot is the biggest home improvement retailer in the United States.
- Newegg is an electronic retail behemoth that accepts Bitcoin payments for the majority of its inventory.
- Shopify is an e-commerce platform comparable to Etsy and eBay that allows users to build their own online shops.
- Microsoft, one of the world’s most powerful corporations, now enables customers to deposit money into their accounts using Bitcoin.
Although most large online shops do not accept Bitcoin as a method of payment, there is a way to purchase goods from them using cryptocurrency: Gift cards may be used to buy using Bitcoin.
Gift card purchases account for a substantial percentage of Bitcoin transactions. Gift cards are the most straightforward method to use bitcoin to purchase goods from both large corporations and tiny local businesses, both online and offline.
Bitcoin-Accepting Service Providers
The adoption of Bitcoin as a payment method varies per business. As a result, there are no markets where Bitcoin is widely recognized. Instead, many businesses across a range of industries are seeking to increase their customer bases by offering digital currency as a new payment option:
- AT&T is a telecommunications company.
- Twitch is a live-streaming service.
- Dish Network is a direct-broadcast satellite service provider based in the United States.
- ExpressVPN is a fast and secure VPN service.
- NordVPN is a Malta-based no-log VPN service.
- ProtonMail is a secure email service that encrypts messages from beginning to finish.
- Vultr is a website hosting service.
- WordPress is a free and open-source content management system for building websites and blogs.
- With Bitcoin, you may purchase premium features on Reddit.
- Namecheap is a company that provides web hosting and domain names.
- Chicago-based Bloomberg Sun-Times – To subscribe to an online news source, utilize Bitcoin.
Using Bitcoin to Purchase Video Games
To buy a video game in the past, you had to go to a real shop. However, nowadays, the majority of gamers buy online. Video games, like digital currencies, are becoming digital possessions. As a result, it’s only logical that an increasing number of major game-selling sites accept Bitcoin.
- Xbox – pay for games, add-ons, and Xbox Live memberships using Bitcoin.
- Humble Bundle is a digital shop that donates a part of its profits to charitable organizations.
- Big Fish Games is a Seattle, Washington-based casual gaming business.
Bitcoin-Accepting Travel Agencies
There are several competing travel-related services, and most of them provide fairly comparable toolkits. Providing several payment options is an excellent approach to attract new clients. The following are some places where you may book your ideal vacation and pay using Bitcoin:
- Expedia, one of the world’s biggest online travel booking companies, already takes BTC for hotel reservations and plans to include it as a payment option for flights, activities, and other services.
- AirBaltic is the world’s first airline to accept Bitcoin for a range of flights.
- Virgin Galactic, the world’s first commercial spaceline, is now accepting Bitcoin. It is owned by billionaire business mogul Richard Branson.
Bitcoin-Accepting Non-Profit Groups
- Wikimedia Foundation is a non-profit devoted to the growth, production, and dissemination of free, multilingual educational material.
- Wikileaks is a non-profit organization based in the United Kingdom that distributes secret material, news leaks, and classified media obtained from anonymous sources.
- The Giving Block is a bitcoin contribution platform that makes it simple for non-profits and contributors to receive and send cryptocurrency gifts.
Often, donating money to charity comes with a hefty charge. Furthermore, for various reasons, some individuals may want to keep their contributions secret. Donating money using Bitcoin allows you to avoid both of these issues.
Bitcoin-Accepting Restaurants and Supermarkets
- Subway – at different places across the globe, you can purchase sandwiches using Bitcoin.
- Burger King is a global fast food company that offers burgers, fries, and other items.
- Whole Foods Market is a retail chain that specializes in organic foods.
Bitcoin is accepted as a payment option by many taxi dispatch and airport transportation providers across the globe.
- Treehouse is a Bitcoin-accepting interactive education company that offers a range of courses.
- Curtin University is a major Australian university that offers degrees in architecture, business, engineering, and information technology, among other subjects.
- The King’s Institution is a New York City-based Christian liberal arts college.
- ESMT (European School of Management and Technology) is a German institution with a large foreign student population.
The Institution of Nicosia, a private university in Cyprus, was the first to offer a Master’s degree in Blockchain and Digital Currency in 2013. Your tuition costs may, of course, be paid in Bitcoin.
Aggregators of Bitcoin Stores
- Where to Spend Bitcoins U.K. Is a list of Bitcoin-accepting businesses, bars, websites, and other locations in the United Kingdom.
- useBitcoins – a platform with over 5,000 BTC-accepting companies.
- Coinmap is a global map of companies that take Bitcoin.
- Spendabit is a search engine that can locate particular products that may be purchased with Bitcoin.
Bitcoin May Be Spent In a Variety of Opulent Ways
- BitCars is a Bitcoin-based online marketplace for vehicle sales.
- AutoCoinCars is a cryptocurrency and fiat currency-based online marketplace that sells vehicles and displays their pricing in BTC and other crypto and fiat currencies.
- Bithome is an online real estate marketplace located in Switzerland where you can buy and sell real estate using Bitcoin.
- Prestige Cars Kent is a dealership that accepts Bitcoin for vehicle purchases.
- Prestige Time is a Bitcoin-based shop where you can buy premium timepieces.
- Denison Yacht Sales is a business that lets you buy yachts using Bitcoin.