Apart from being an investment asset and revolutionary technology, bitcoin at its core is a digital currency, which can be used to purchase goods and services without the interference of banks.
Although bitcoin has yet not scaled to a level where it can be used for making everyday purchases such as groceries or a cup of coffee, the future of bitcoin holds immense potential to enable such transactions.
Tim Draper, a technology investor, and Venture Capitalist is a renowned personality when it comes to cryptocurrencies. In an interview with Forbes Magazine, he said “I think people are going to be able to spend cryptocurrencies, like Bitcoin, in mainstream situations. Cryptocurrencies will eventually replace credit cards and will be something you can access on your phone. I think cryptocurrency will replace fiat currencies entirely.”
Despite its low penetration in the marketplace as a means of payment, bitcoin can be used to make purchases at a variety of places (most of them are online);
Technology behemoth, Microsoft started accepting bitcoin as a payment method back in 2014, allowing its US customers to purchase apps, games, and videos from its Windows and Xbox platforms using this digital currency. Due to the volatility in the bitcoin price, the company halted accepting bitcoins in 2016 but resumed the operation once again in January 2018.
In January 2018, KFC Canada came out with its special ‘Bitcoin Bucket’ for $20 worth of bitcoin. However, due to the massive demand for the combo offer, it was quickly sold out and taken off the shelf.
If it is retail goods, which you are looking for, Overstock is the best place to shop. Being a proponent of Bitcoin, Overstock has built its blockchain allowing its customers to purchase basic retail items such as furniture, apparel, home decor, etc. using bitcoin.
Gyft and eGifter provide its customers with the option to create and pay for gift cards using bitcoins. These include gift cards form notable retailers such as Dunkin Donuts, Home Depot, Best Buy, and Target.
If it is electronics, which interests you then Newegg is the place where you can use your bitcoins to purchase televisions, computers, gaming consoles and much more.
The travel booking giant, Expedia, accepts bitcoin payments for its hotel bookings. Expedia has entered into a partnership with Coinbase to enable such transactions. Mobile payments app like Cash App and Square also allow for bitcoin payments to get a slice of the crypto game.
There are a handful of other entities such as Zynga (Mobile app/games), OKCupid (online dating), CheapAir (hotel/air booking), etc. where you can get your hands dirty with bitcoin. For a full list of companies accepting bitcoin payments, you can click here.
Since the crypto market is volatile and largely unregulated, a large number of enterprises are reluctant to accept it as a mode of payment. However, as the market matures and bitcoin scales for mass adoption, firms will emerge to accept it as a mode of payment. Until then you can just hold and see the cryptocurrency rise ‘to the moon’.