Cryptocurrencies are rapidly becoming mainstream.
Despite being treated with the utmost suspicion by some institutions and traditional investors, like Warren Buffet, more and more companies are now accepting them as a method of payment.
The volatility of bitcoin, the cryptocurrency “flagship” continues to attract headlines, but the decision of Egon Musk’s’ Tesla Corporation to acquire US $1.5 billion of the alt-currency has helped legitimise it in the eyes of many.
Tesla may have made the news, but there are hundreds of other companies across various industries that now offer them as a valid means of payment.
One example of an industry which is in the vanguard is the online casino business.
Canny operators, such those who run new online casinos in Ireland – see here for more details, – have realised their appeal to a new market of tech-savvy consumers. And, unlike credit card systems that take a few days to process, a transaction in a cryptocurrency occurs virtually immediately. This is extremely helpful for cash flow purposes.
In addition, they offer greater security which is beneficial in an industry which is subject to e-commerce fraud. Once a transaction has been completed with a cryptocurrency it is virtually impossible to reverse, as opposed to a traditional transaction which may involve a bank or payment processor who can reverse funds from an account without the consent of the owner.
Meanwhile, PayPal announced last October that users can buy, sell, and hold a range of virtual currencies through their Cash or Cash Plus Accounts, and whilst Amazon does not yet accept bitcoin. Its vouchers and fit cards can be bought through Bit refill.
This is a subscription-based service which uses only crypto, and allows users to top up funds which can then be spent on Amazon goods and services.
eBay has also announced that it is looking into accepting cryptocurrencies in the near future.
Meanwhile, Coca-Cola Amatil one of the world’s largest bottlers and distributor of non-alcoholic drinks in the Asia-Pacific region has entered into a partnership with Centrapay, an online currency trading platform. As a result, there are now 2,000 vending machines in Australia and New Zealand that accept cryptocurrency.
Starbuck, meanwhile, have begun testing bitcoin payments through an app.
And Yum Brands, which operates the brands KFC, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, and Wing Street worldwide (except in China) is also experimenting.
Last year, Pizza Hut in Venezuela began to accept crypto as a valid payment means, and, for a brief while, KFC in Canada offered products like the Bitcoin Bucket.
Meanwhile, Yum Brands has entered into a strategic partnership with Crypto Buyer to support the launch of new payment methods using crypto.
Even the art world is moving with the times, with world famous auction house Sotheby’s accepting bitcoin or ether as a payment option.
When Banksy’s piece “Love is in the Air” comes up for auction in New York, buyers for the first time will be able to pay with cryptocurrency.
The trend is clear, and what is still just a trickle will soon become a torrent. And, as more companies accept cryptocurrencies as a method of payment, one of the remaining barriers to their widespread acceptance will disappear.