Let us take a look at the uses of cryptocurrencies and the list of traders which accept the two most popular cryptocurrencies at the time of this writing
Before we begin with the chapter, let us give a thought to this question for a minute: Money is basically a piece of paper or metal. It can have a price assigned to it, but what gives it ‘value’?
No such rule applies to cryptocurrencies. It is still an emerging technology. At this early stage, the price of cryptocurrencies fluctuates. Bitcoins have the highest price because they have the highest value because of a massive use case. If all seven Billion inhabitants of the earth were to make use Bitcoins for payments, the price would become stable eventually. However, let us not get into price fluctuations (which you can read in detail here)
The point is, cryptocurrencies are successful because there’s a use case. With time, more and more traders have begun to accept cryptocurrency payments. Let us take a look at the uses of cryptocurrencies and the list of traders which accept the two most popular cryptocurrencies at the time of this writing: Bitcoin and Ethereum.
One of the biggest advantages of using cryptocurrencies is the speed of transfer. When making payments via bank, it can take a couple of days, especially if you’re doing so on the weekend, as banks in most countries remain shut on weekends. The payments are quick and can be instantly liquidated by selling it off to a Bitcoin exchange.
Another characteristic feature of cryptocurrencies, especially Bitcoins is that they cannot be counterfeited. Hence there is no risk of fraud. Moreover, unlike payments made via cards or banks, there is no risk of a chargeback or a reversal. Payment once made is made forever and cannot be reversed. This ensures that those who sell goods/offer services are assured that the money they’ve been paid will not be reversed.
Another major benefit of using cryptocurrencies for payments is the fact that they give you a level of anonymity that regular banks cannot. When storing your money with your banks, your financial documents are linked with the bank and the government will always know your financial status. However, cryptocurrencies give financial freedom. This has been a controversial element and many governments are upset that unaccounted income is being saved by citizens in form of cryptocurrencies.
Making payments via cryptocurrencies provides a peace of mind as the buyer will never have to provide bank details or card numbers to the sellers. Usually, when making online payments, card details have to be entered on the seller’s website and there’s always a risk of carding or phishing or similar risks to identity theft. All of that is eliminated by cryptocurrencies as no details need to be provided.
Unlike fiat money, the physical currency system that we use in the real world, cryptocurrencies do not need to be passed through a foreign exchange and do not even come with an exchange rate. A Bitcoin in Japan will hold the same value as a Bitcoin in Brazil. Buyers and sellers from any two countries can easily trade using Bitcoins, that too much faster than traditional means of payments. This eliminates foreign exchange and other additional conversion costs.
Another benefit of cryptocurrencies is that they are easily divisible. Unlike physical currency where if you need to send $65.50 to someone, you’d have a hard time finding the exact change, there’s no such problem when it comes to cryptocurrencies. In fact, Bitcoins are divisible up to eight decimal points, with the smallest divisible unit called a Satoshi - named after the creator of Bitcoins. It’s easy to send the exact amount with the help of Cryptocurrencies.
One reason why there has been a sudden rise in cryptocurrencies is that a number of users who aren’t as familiar with the technology that powers cryptocurrencies have begun to invest into them. This is because of the massive rise in price of Bitcoins has attracted a large number of users towards cryptocurrencies and many users see of it as a means to make quick money. While it isn’t exactly a means of quick money, but certainly a good investment opportunity.
Now this is something which is an upcoming thing. At this point of time, there’s a very limited acceptability when it comes to cryptocurrencies. However there are many cryptocurrencies which have been developed for a specific purpose and are being accepted for that. (For example Sia Coin for Sia cloud storage). Other currencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum too, are gaining mainstream appeal and many merchants have begun to accept them. Bitcoin is the most popularly accepted cryptocurrency. Let us now take a look at a list of merchants who accept Bitcoins and Ethereum up next:
Got Bitcoins and not sure what to do with them? Here are a list of services, websites, merchants and stores which accept Bitcoin payments!
Subway!: Bitcoins can now be used to eat freshly made Subway sandwiches! Many Subway outlets in the US have begun to accept payments via Bitcoin.
Wikipedia: Planning to make a donation to Wikipedia? They now accept Bitcoin payments!
Wordpress: Wordpress too, has begun accepting Bitcoin payments. You can now buy your hosting and domain using Bitcoins!
Microsoft: One of the biggest names in the list, Microsoft too, has begun accepting Bitcoin payments for some items - especially on the Windows Store and the XBOX Store.
Reddit: Looking forward to buy Reddit Gold? You can now do so using Bitcoins!
More Stamps Global: It is a travel agency company established in Hungary. It can be used to make cheap flight, hotel and tour bookings using cryptocurrencies. The website currently support 40 cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin and Ethereum.
OkCupid: Online dating becomes easier with premium features! OkCupid, one of the biggest players in the world of online dating has begun to accept payments made via Bitcoins
Steam: Gamers are in for a treat as Steam too, now accepts Bitcoins for payment.
4Chan: Looking for a 4Chan ‘Pass’ that allows you to post without a captcha? Look no further! $20 a year - the 4Chan Pass can be bought using Bitcoins.
Zynga: One of the biggest names in the world of mobile gaming, Zynga is the creator of many hit games such as Farmville and Poker, etc. You can now make in-game purchases using Bitcoins in Zynga games.
Expedia: A major name when it comes to making online travel bookings, Expedia also expects payments via Bitcoins.
Mega.co.nz: One of the most popular file hosts, Mega.co.nz allows its users to make payments via Bitcoins to buy premium subscriptions to the service which allow faster download speeds, no wait times and larger storage space.
Shopify: Setting up an online store can’t get easier than this! You can now pay for Shopify’s services with Bitcoins.
Naughty America: We all know what this is. Premium subscriptions are available via Bitcoin payments!
Save the Children: A global charity organization working towards keeping children safe. You can donate to them using Bitcoins.
Mint: All your financial records in one place. Mint is one of the most popular services that help you keep track of your finances. A premium membership is now available via Bitcoin payments.
NewEgg: One of the most popular online retailers for electronics. NewEgg too allows payments via Bitcoins.
Also Read: How to Buy Bitcoin
Compared to payments via Bitcoin, payments via Ethereum haven’t really caught the attention of the merchants but this might soon be a reality over the next year or two as more and more big business houses have begun backing Ethereum and are planning to implement Ethereum payments soon. Let us take a look at the top companies which have backed Ethereum:
Mastercard: When it comes to payment technologies, Mastercard is a global name. They have shown considerable interest in the Ethereum technology and are expected to work in collaboration soon.
Samsung SDS: The software development division of Samsung, Samsung SDS has shown great faith in the Ethereum technology in the past.
Brave Browser: A browser without ads. Brave Browser used to accept payments only in dollars in the past, but it has now begun payments in the form of Ether.
Swiss Banks: Some Swiss Banks, including Credit Suisse have shown an active interest in Ethereum payments. Apart from the Swiss Banks, many other banks have also shown interest in the Ethereum technology such as the UBS and Scotiabank.
Toyota: One of the biggest and most popular automobile makers of the world, Toyota has been one of the biggest backers when it comes to Ethereum technologies and have shown great faith in it.
Intel: One of the biggest chip-makers in the world, Intel too, has begun to consider Ethereum as one of the strongest cryptocurrencies.
Microsoft: Microsoft has been quite high on the future of cryptocurrencies. The company began to accept Bitcoin payments and is also quite confident in the long-term success of Ethereum.
While Ethereum has a very limited acceptability at the moment, most people who accept this currency do it only for investment. However, with time, Ethereum is bound to become a major cryptocurrency used for payments. With its support for Smart Contracts, Ethereum has the potential to provide a great competition to Bitcoins. However, for the moment it’s all about Bitcoins.
Bitcoins are well-accepted though very few merchants are accepting it now. However, with companies like Microsoft, NewEgg, Expedia and Subway accepting Bitcoin payments, it won’t be long before other mainstream names too join them! The future of cryptocurrencies is indeed interesting.