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Many businesses have been accepting Bitcoin as payment for years long before Tesla’s three-month fling with the top cryptocurrency.
Bitcoin has come a long way since 2009. From being a mysterious currency of the dark web to legal tender in a whole country, the number one cryptocurrency has had a rough run. The past decade has been been a series of astonishing all-time highs and agonizing lows. Bitcoin also saw a shift from the original purpose of a decentralized peer-to-peer payment system to mostly a store of value, often being likened to gold.
The lockdowns and economic changes resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic necessitated the use of digital payments, which of course included bitcoin. From early 2020 till date, we have seen an increase in the use of Bitcoin for payments. Large corporations are also adding Bitcoin to their balance sheets. El Salvador this month enacted a law that made Bitcoin legal tender in the country. Now, Salvadorans can pay for anything from coffee to groceries using Bitcoin.
What many don’t know is that many businesses have been accepting Bitcoin as payment for years long before Tesla’s three-month fling with the top cryptocurrency.
Below is a list of 10 businesses accepting Bitcoin in 2021.
- Overstock was one of the first companies to accept Bitcoin payments. As early as January 2014, the retailer began accepting payments in Bitcoin. The e-commerce site’s catalogue ranges from furniture to home decor accessories and pet supplies among others.
- AXA Insurance. In April of this year, the insurance broker introduced bitcoin payments. This was after market research conducted in 2019 concluded that almost a third of respondents between 15 and 55 years of age had invested or were interested in investing in some form of crypto. Non-life insurance policy clients can pay using the Bitcoin Suisse exchange then converts their payments into Swiss Francs.
- Microsoft accepts Bitcoin payments to its accounts. Users can top up their Microsoft account through Bitcoin and make purchases in the Microsoft Store. The service began in 2014 but was briefly suspended only to be reintroduced in January of 2021.
- Amazon-owned Whole Foods started accepting Bitcoin payments in May 2019. This was made possible by a collaboration between payments start-up Flexa and digital currency firm Gemini. They created a platform that can be incorporated into digital scanners. Bitcoin payments are instantly converted into fiat and customers walk away with their organic purchases.
- The online marketplace Etsy allows sellers the option of accepting crypto payments. At checkout, buyers can choose the “other” payment option. They can then message the seller to let them know that they would like to pay using Bitcoin. The seller provides a Bitcoin address to which the payment can be sent.
- Virgin Galactic has been accepting Bitcoin payments for years. The space tourism company received its first Bitcoin payment in November 2013 from a flight attendant in Hawaii.
- The Pavilion Hotels and Resorts chain accepts payments in about 40 cryptocurrencies and tokens including Bitcoin and Ethereum. Vacationers and other travelers can now make bookings to any of the chain’s locations in places like Bali, Amsterdam, Madrid and Rome. This is made possible by the company’s deal with the Coindirect payment platform.
- Still on travel, Latvian airline airBaltic has been accepting Bitcoin payments since 2014. The company has so far processed upwards of a thousand Bitcoin payments.
- Rakuten the Japanese shopping site, added a Bitcoin payment option in 2015. This was possible with the integration of the Bitnet payment processing platform into Rakuten marketplaces. The introduction of the Rakuten Wallet has brought more crypto options like Bitcoin Cash and Ethereum.
- Hand-made cosmetics company Lush started processing Bitcoin payments on its website with help from Bitpay.com in 2017.