Most of us hitherto have only been thinking of Bitcoins as a means of investment, or as stocks to trade, or better still, in terms of the blockchain technology that can shape future of industries. But we forget that the Bitcoin is also a “coin” and this makes it equivalent to a currency, albeit one that is not controlled by any bank or financial institution. It was designed to topple the fiat currencies and emerge as a leading global currency.
The truth is that while the Bitcoin is not likely to overturn the dollar right away, it has made a place for itself through mining and trading, and today, there are many products that you can buy online using Bitcoin for payments. The usage of automated software applications like bitcoin era is also on the rise. Many websites have started to accept Bitcoin payments and the numbers are expected to grow.
While most stores accepting Bitcoins are online, you could very well find a Bitcoin-accepting store locally. The number of stores taking Bitcoin payments is not going to skyrocket anytime soon, because price volatility and long transaction times continue to be big hurdles for the Bitcoin. This is why buyers are hesitant to spend it for buying anything; they would rather hold onto their Bitcoins as investments in the hope that it will yield better returns later.
When you wish to spend the Bitcoin to buy something instead of trading it, there are many products and services that you can choose from. Incidentally, there are websites which have been specifically developed for accommodating the Bitcoin.
- It is possible to buy gift cards using the Bitcoin; for instance, sites like eGifter and Gyft give you the option to pay for their gift cards via Bitcoins. You can get cards from reputed retailers like Target, Home Depot, Best Buy, and Dunkin Donuts.
- There are some desktop sites that provide you with wallet address so that you can send your Bitcoins to these addresses. Intuit has come up with a PayByCoin system whereby businesses can easily accept Bitcoin payments.
- Those searching for retail goods like furniture, apparels, home décor items, etc. can easily pay their Bitcoins at Overstock.com
- The electronics retail giant Newegg is a big supporter of Bitcoin and you can buy computers, gaming consoles and TVs from their stores using Bitcoins.
- Even Microsoft has incorporated the option of paying using the Bitcoin; Microsoft users have the option to add Bitcoins to their account at Microsoft but these will be valid for use only in the Xbox and Windows stores.
- Expedia is expected to allow you to pay using Bitcoins for booking hotels, cruises, vacation rentals and flights; currently however, you can only use this for reserving your hotel accommodations. Expedia has entered into partnership with Coinbase, a reputed Bitcoin exchange, and there are transaction fees involved.
- Dish Network has been a Bitcoin supporter for many years and allowed transactions since 2014.
- You can even pay in Bitcoins to make donation. So, if you wish to make a contribution to Wikipedia, you can connect with Coinbase and make Bitcoin transfers.
Besides these mentioned above there are many other websites like CheapAir, OkCupid, PizzaForCoins, Etsy, Zynga etc that allow you to buy flight tickets, pizzas and even mobile apps or games with Bitcoins. Given that there are mobile apps now which enable quick scans of QR codes or wallet keys, payments are becoming faster these days.
More recently, KFC in Canada had come up with a limited time period offer called the Bitcoin Bucket allowing you to buy waffle fries and chicken with BTC. Like the KFC, Subway had also tried accepting Bitcoin payments for a limited period. But the mystery around the Bitcoin continues to exist, and this is why many large companies are still skeptical about using Bitcoin payments.