When Bitcoin (BTC) was launched in 2009, the world sat back and watched the digital currency uphold its promise of revolutionizing finance. While it took a few years to soar to mainstream media, it exists and it keeps powering through amid the naysayers.
For consumers, it ushered in a digital economy wherein people don’t need to rely on traditional banks and other third-party intermediaries to transfer funds.
Fast forward to now where there are over 11,000 cryptocurrencies being bought, sold, and traded in over 400 exchanges. But we’ve yet to fully experience crypto’s widespread adoption as a method of payment for goods and services.
However, there have been important milestones in recent years. For example, El Salvador has made Bitcoin legal tender. More importantly, a growing number of companies have started embracing the more popular cryptocurrencies (i.e Bitcoin, Ether, etc.) as alternative payment options.
From big tech to retail, here are ten traditional companies that have made crypto an official mode of payment.
In 2021, Tesla started accepting Bitcoin as a means to purchase the automaker’s sought-after line of electric cars. But the company has since put this on hold and has vowed to resume it once 50 percent of the tokens are mined using renewable energy.
Starbucks has made a deal with a third-party payment app called Bakkt, making it possible for people to buy their morning coffee using crypto. The Bakkt App also has several partners in the restaurant and hospitality industries, including brands like Quiznos, Cantaloupe, and Wyndham Hotels & Resorts.
The drink giant, through its bottler and distributor in the Asia-Pacific region Amatil, has also enabled Bitcoin as a method of payment. Since teaming up with the Centrepay platform, it has launched over 2,000 vending machines spread across Australia and New Zealand ready to accept crypto as mode of payment for drinks.
Switzerland has since made Bitcoin legal currency in Lugano, the country’s thriving financial hub. AXA, an insurance broker behemoth, has followed suit and embraced Bitcoin as a payment option for insurance premiums.
AT&T is one of the first mobile carriers to adopt crypto as a payment method and it does so through a third-party payment processor called BitPay. Customers can select BitPay upon check-out using Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.
Along with Home Depot, Whole Foods uses the Flexa digital payment system to provide its customers with a seamless payment experience using Bitcoin. The platform instantly converts crypto to dollars without buying additional hardware.
Overstock.com, an online retail company, made a natural transition to accepting Bitcoin as a payment option. In fact, the company embraced Bitcoin as early as 2014. Through its partnership with Coinbase, a leading cryptocurrency exchange platform, the retail company processes BTC payments directly on its website.
Patrons of popular fast-food chain Burger King may use Bitcoin and various cryptocurrencies as a means of payment. Better yet, the burger giant also gives away Bitcoins, Ethereum, and DOGE through its loyalty program.
Expedia, a leading travel agency, has teamed up with Traval, a crypto-friendly travel booking platform. The partnership has allowed customers to book over 700,000 hotels in the website’s listings using 30 different cryptos, including Bitcoin.
You know crypto is here to stay when one of the largest software companies in the world embraces it. Microsoft exhibits its confidence in Bitcoin by allowing customers to top up user accounts with cryptos to pay for services like Skype and Xbox Live. More than that, the company has also launched ION, a two-layered authentication platform built on blockchain technology.
For traditional investors and consumers, cryptocurrencies are widely deemed as a means of speculation. But for some, they have the potential to scale into everyday retail environments. With these ten household brands and many other companies taking the lead, crypto is geared to become a ubiquitous and official mode of payment.