A common misnomer among Bitcoin critics and even parts of the crypto community is that Bitcoin has little or no use beyond speculation. Yes, Bitcoin is a speculative asset, but it is also much more. A growing number of vendors have begun accepting Bitcoin as payment to capitalize on the growing number of people who wish to use it as a medium of exchange. You may be surprised with how many of these household names you utilize on a daily basis. We’ve compiled for you the most relevant and inclusive list – check it out!
It would be remiss not to kick off this list with Overstock.com. After all, Overstock was the very first major retailer to accept Bitcoin and set that prime example for the world! There are no caveats, no middlemen, no complications at all; simply select “Pay with Bitcoin” at checkout to complete the transaction that way. According to Johnathan Johnson, the man responsible for integrating Bitcoin with Overstock.com, Bitcoin transactions have been increasing modestly since this option was made available. He argued further in favor of Bitcoin saying,
“It’s actually cheaper for us to complete a bitcoin transaction than it is to complete a credit card.”
He is right, but it is important to remember that the user does incur transaction fees on top of what the retailer must pay. Many retailers hesitate to accept Bitcoin claiming that holding the volatile currency opens them up to too much risk. Johnson strongly disagrees, stating “It is easy enough at the time of transaction to turn it into fiat currency.”
In 2014 when Overstock accepted its first transaction in Bitcoin, it retained 90% of those sales in the form of Bitcoin and converting the remainder. Clearly that paid off, as Bitcoin has appreciated well over 600% since then. My opinion: Johnson deserves a raise for that foresight! Company policy has changed, however, in the years since. Today it keeps 50% and converts the rest.
Are you reading this on a desktop, laptop, tablet or phone? Well, you could have purchased that system with Bitcoin! Newegg gives you access to over 80,000 items, and nearly all of them can be purchased using Bitcoin (gift cards, pre-orders and few others are exceptions). In fact, unlike many other merchants, Newegg allows you to purchase merchandise directly with Bitcoin. Instructions for doing this can be found here. This will save you the hassle of using workarounds such as Bitpay.
Microsoft has embraced Bitcoin since 2014, but it has taken its commitment much further. Through Microsoft’s Azure cloud computing platform it has introduced Blockchain as a Service (BaaS). In its own words,
“Blockchain as a Service (BaaS) provides a rapid, low-cost, low-risk, and fail-fast platform for organizations to collaborate together by experimenting with new business processes—backed by a cloud platform with the largest compliance portfolio in the industry.”
Simplified, it is a cryptographically secure, shared, distributed ledger that allows large-scale businesses to facilitate financial data settlement. As a bonus, rumor has it that Excel 2017 will be fitted with a special adaptation that will make it easy for users to import, organize and analyze their Bitcoin data.
Any of Microsoft’s products can be purchased with Bitcoin through its website or affiliates who accept Bitcoin. Purchases must, however, be supplemented by Bitpay or a similar service.
Do you ‘Eat Fresh’? Subway is well known for this catchy slogan, and lives up to it by producing wholesome, custom subs deliciously and affordably. It is the world’s largest fast food chain with 44,193 stores globally at last count. Subway operates a little differently in that each and every one of its stores are franchise owned. Accepted payment methods may vary by store, but many locations are known to accept Bitcoin!
Often, acceptable payment methods are posted at the entrance, so you can easily verify whether or not your home location accepts this method.
Although you cannot walk into your local Dominos and buy a pizza with Bitcoin directly, there are several methods to do it indirectly:
Now to expound on eGifter, which has made it possible to use Bitcoin at many major retailers by virtue of purchasing gift cards online. They partner with Coinbase to digitally connect consumers to over 200 businesses. Here are some worth mentioning:
- Best Buy
- Home Depot
- JC Penney
- Panera Bread
For those of you who don’t already know, the Humble Bundle offers video games, software, and book bundles at incredibly cheap prices. In fact, to a large extent you choose your own price! $1 will get you the semi-monthly bundle, while paying more than the “average donated price” will get you bonus games, and paying $10 entitles you to even more. Furthermore, you choose WHO receives the money that you pay! Subdivide between the game developers, Humble Bundle Inc. and charity at whatever ratio makes you feel happy.
*Currently, Humble Bundle has disabled Bitcoin for certain purchases.
Expedia also partners with Coinbase to allow Bitcoin transactions. Enough said on that point already.
Similar to eBay, Etsy allows people from around the world to market their items on its site. Vendors are able to set their own payment preferences, and many vendors accept Bitcoin.
Ah, yes. Arguably the most interesting and controversial vendor on this list is Euro Pacific Capital. This is because Chief Global Strategist and CEO Peter Schiff continues to be very vocal about Bitcoin, expressing his vitriol towards the cryptocurrency often and vehemently. Schiff reliably refers to Bitcoin as “fool’s gold”, contorting the common “Bitcoin is digital gold” metaphor. Yet in 2014 he began accepting Bitcoin for gold using Bitpay as the intermediary. In his defense, he never actually has any tangible Bitcoin position.
“By partnering up with BitPay, I’m not actually accepting bitcoins,” Schiff said. “It’s just that if you do have bitcoins, you can make the exchange using BitPay. You give BitPay your bitcoins, they’ll turn around and give me dollars, and then I’ll ship you your gold.”
As it stands, the crypto community has a pretty good selection of vendors to choose from. The community itself brings a great deal to the table. Many of its members prefer to transact in Bitcoin.