Cryptocurrency's popularity is rising... but can you buy anything with Bitcoin?
In short, the answer is yes. Bitcoin payments are increasingly being accepted by some big brands — especially in online stores.
Many e-commerce sites manage to avoid volatility by instantly converting BTC into dollars, eliminating the risk of volatility.
But shoppers who use Bitcoin are taking a risk. Bitcoin's ever-changing value means 1 BTC could have bought you a $4,000 holiday in March, but a $10,500 car in June. (To better understand the perils of purchasing with digital currency, read our interview with Bitcoin pizza guy, who spent 10,000 BTC on two pizzas.)
Here, we're going to look at the top brands that allow Bitcoin as a payment method. From video games to precious metals, from gift cards to real estate, cryptocurrency is beginning to offer the same freedoms and flexibility as credit cards.
This travel giant was one of the first online retailers to get on board with blockchain in 2014. Although the site removed BTC as a form of payment four years later, Bitcoin made a triumphant return in 2020 thanks to a partnership with Travala. Now, crypto adopters can snap up flights and hotels using cryptocurrency through a trusted site. CheapAir.com is an alternative for also using Bitcoin to fulfill your travel needs.
The U.S. e-commerce retailer started accepting Bitcoin thanks to a partnership with Coinbase, and it also supports other cryptocurrencies. (Apparently, digital cameras, pots and pans and men's shirts are the most popular BTC purchases.)
The precious metals platform — which offers gold, silver, copper and platinum — teamed up with BitPay to offer Bitcoin payments. It offers a 3% discount on BTC purchases thanks to how the site saves on debit card processing fees.
If you want to buy games and accessories from the Xbox store, or purchase apps on Windows, you can redeem Bitcoin in your Microsoft account.
It's rumored that the payments giant will soon let its users set up a Bitcoin wallet, buy Bitcoin and sell Bitcoin through funds from their bank accounts.
Some sites also accept Ethereum, Litecoin and Bitcoin Cash as a payment method — and it's worth giving an honorable mention to the likes of Burger King, which enables fast food fans in some countries to snap up a Whopper using their satoshis. Even Etsy and Virgin Galactic have opened the door to Bitcoin payments.
Although the biggest e-commerce platform of them all — Amazon — is yet to accept Bitcoin directly, browser extensions mean that it is possible to make purchases on this site using cryptocurrency. CoinMarketCap’s blog has a list of ways that you can use third-party services to use your crypto on Amazon, here.
Tools such as Shopify are also making it easier for merchants to accept BTC, offering a transparent approach to transaction fees. Meanwhile, Visa is allowing select cryptocurrency companies to offer crypto debit cards that can be used around the world.
These developments, when combined with Bitcoin ATMs, mean buying Bitcoin for the first time has never been easier. Cryptocurrency is set to become an increasingly common form of payment in the years to come — especially as online retailers catch up.