The rise of cryptocurrencies as an acceptable means of payment; Companies promoting its use

Amidst the criticism towards cryptocurrencies by some major investors, banks, financial institutions and business leaders; and regulation introduced or proposed by many countries, many people and many companies see the potential of digital currencies. They think that the blockchain based coins are futuristic. Furthermore, many have constantly supported and promoted the use of cryptos.

While there are many questions still arising regarding the security concerns associated with cryptocurrencies, these companies have embraced the blockchain technology and accept cryptos as an alternative payment option –

  • Microsoft

Microsoft is one of the initial adopters of cryptocurrencies amongst big players. The ride has been bumpy. Microsoft first began accepting Bitcoin as a form of payment in 2014. Though it dropped the option several times, it again adopted the alternative as a payment option. At the beginning of Jan 2018, Microsoft while removing the Bitcoin as a payment option said that they did it due to the volatility of the currency. However, currently, it is accepting the crypto again.

  • PayPal

It makes sense that PayPal, a purely digital bank, would be happy with the digital currency. Indeed, they were one of the first major companies to start accepting Bitcoin. They are looking to expand upon this and include Ethereum in their lists of accepted currencies.

  • Subway

A Subway franchise, in Buenos Aires currently accepts Bitcoin as a method of payment. Buenos Aires is thus the first city in Latin America to do so. Only Moscow and Allentown, Pennsylvania have a Subway franchise that accepts Bitcoin.

  • Pizzaforcoin

The concept is simple: the ability to order a pizza, pay in bitcoins or other cryptocurrencies and have delivered to your door quickly and efficiently. Pizzaforcoin accepts over cryptocurrencies as a payment alternative.

  • KFC

Quick Service Restaurant chain Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) Canada is giving customers in Canada the option of paying for their chicken in bitcoin. KFC Canada announced ‘The Bitcoin Bucket’ earlier today, priced at $20. Currently, this option is only available in Canada.

  • Shopify

Shopify’s online-only presence is ideal for digital currencies. They are now accepting Bitcoin, but haven’t ruled out other digital coins for the future.

  • Overstock

In August 2017, Overstock.com announced their acceptance of cryptocurrencies as a form of payment for goods they sell. They accept not only Bitcoin, but Ethereum, Litecoin, Dash, and Monero as well. They utilise a digital asset exchange company called ShapeShift to complete transactions. It converts currencies through blockchain in seconds without the need to set up an account.

  • Expedia

Expedia has teamed up with Coinbase to implement the world’s largest travel booking agency found online. Since mid-2014, consumers have been able to make hotel bookings using the Bitcoin payment option. Currently, Expedia accepts Bitcoins for hotel bookings only. However, this is likely to extend out to flight bookings and other activities.

  • Zynga

Zynga partners with BitPay for their Bitcoin payments. Players can use Bitcoins for in-app purchases. In 2014, gaming giant started to accept the cryptocurrency as a payment option for those buying tokens for virtual goods on the web versions of FarmVille 2, CastleVille, ChefVille, CoasterVille, Hidden Chronicles, Hidden Shadows and CityVille. It makes Zynga the first major gaming company to accept Bitcoin.

  • Brisbane Airport

The main air transportation hub of southeastern Queensland is preparing to launch the “decentralised blockchain enabled payments” in partnership with many retailers and a local crypto payment system provider. Travelers will take advantage of Travelbybit’s platform, which supports Bitcoin, Ethereum, Dash and other cryptocurrencies.

  • eGifter

eGifter is a popular gift card mobile app, which allows users to buy gift cards for different places, such as Amazon, Sephora, Home Depot and Kohls. eGifter works with Coinbase as their Bitcoin partner. Also, bitcoins are accepted for purchasing gift cards for places that do not directly accept Bitcoins.

These are just a minimal number examples. The Bitcoin revolution has taken South Africa and several other African countries by storm with over 500 companies accepting the cryptocurrency as a form of payment. Schools and Education Institutes also showed their interest in the cryptos. Business school, Red & Yellow said from this year it would accept the “next wave of financial currency” because it is the “obvious route”.

Insurance companies are clamouring to lead the charge in insuring a largely uninsured market. They are willing to bet big on the unregulated market’s future growth. Various other insurance companies have expressed interest in safeguarding digital currencies.

While some big names are criticising the cryptos owing to uncertainty and volatility, some other people hold their hopes high. At present, it cannot be said with confidence whether this technology will thrive or fall. However, craze amongst their customer has made certain companies look at the option positively.

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