by Emma Newbery | Published on Oct. 5, 2021
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Wondering where you can spend your Bitcoin? These major retailers accept cryptocurrency payments.
When Bitcoin (BTC) launched 12 years ago, it promised a payment revolution -- the possibility to transfer money without needing a bank as an intermediary. It meant, among other things, that the billions of unbanked people (who can't access traditional banking services) might be able to stop relying completely on cash.
A lot has happened since then. There are over 11,000 cryptocurrencies and more than 400 cryptocurrency exchanges. Roughly 14% of American adults own cryptocurrency, and many more plan to buy some. Plus, El Salvador recently made Bitcoin legal tender.
However, various factors -- including environmental concerns, volatility, and transaction fees -- have hampered crypto's adoption as a form of payment. But some big companies do accept cryptocurrency, including these seven.
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Early adopter Overstock.com started to accept Bitcoin as early as 2014. It currently partners with Coinbase to accept BTC payments on its site. The online retailer has also launched a blockchain-focused investment company called Medici Ventures.
The online travel company accepts a number of cryptocurrency payments, including Cardano (ADA), Bitcoin, Ethereum (ETH), Dogecoin (DOGE), and more. It's also partnered with Binance Pay and Crypto.com Pay so customers can pay for their hotel stays through the exchanges' apps. Travala.com even has its own cryptocurrency -- AVA -- which has nearly doubled in value since mid-July.
U.S. PayPal customers can not only buy and sell crypto, they can also use it to pay. As long as you've got enough cryptocurrency in your wallet, you can select Checkout with Crypto and pay with Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin (LTC), or Bitcoin Cash (BCH). This means crypto payments are available at any of the 30 million merchants that accept PayPal.
AT&T announced in 2019 that it was the first mobile carrier to accept cryptocurrency payments. It does so through BitPay, a third party payment processor. Customers can select BitPay when they check out using Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.
If you want to use crypto to buy your morning coffee, Starbucks' deal with third party payment app Bakkt makes it possible. You can buy, sell, and trade crypto through the Bakkt App, and you can use Bitcoin to pay at several Bakkt partners, including Starbucks.
Bakkt has also teamed up with Cantaloupe, Wyndham Hotels & Resorts, and, most recently, Quiznos, to let customers pay using Bitcoin, loyalty points, or airline rewards.
CheapAir.com has been accepting cryptocurrency payments since 2013 and accepts a big range of coins. You can pay for your flight or hotel booking using a range of digital currencies and stablecoins, including Bitcoin, Ethereum, Dogecoin, Gemini Dollar (GUSD), and USD Coin (USDC).
Billionaire crypto enthusiast Mark Cuban's NBA team has been accepting crypto payments for over two years. Mavs fans can buy tickets and merchandise using various popular currencies, including Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, USD Coin, Gemini Dollar, Binance USD (BUSD) and Dogecoin.
Dogecoin was the most recent addition to its crypto list. Cuban said the team had chosen to accept Dogecoin "because sometimes in business you have to do things that are fun, engaging and hopefully generate a lot of PR." The Mavericks also use BitPay to process its crypto payment options.
According to a 2020 study by HSB, a cyber insurance and inspection company, 36% of small and medium businesses accept cryptocurrency payments.
Other companies, like AMC Theatres, plan to launch crypto payments before the end of the year. And all eyes are on Amazon and Walmart after both retail giants put out job postings for digital currency product managers. Crypto enthusiasts may also be able to use crypto rewards cards -- usually Visa debit cards -- connected to their cryptocurrency accounts for their everyday purchases.
However, if you're considering paying with cryptocurrency, be aware of potential tax implications. When you spend your crypto, as far as the IRS is concerned, you're selling it. So you may need to pay capital gains tax on that transaction -- and you'll need to keep careful track of those purchases.
There are hundreds of platforms around the world that are waiting to give you access to thousands of cryptocurrencies. And to find the one that's right for you, you'll need to decide what features that matter most to you.
To help you get started, our independent experts have sifted through the options to bring you some of our best cryptocurrency exchanges for 2021. Check out the list here and get started on your crypto journey, today.
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Emma Newbery owns Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, and Cardano.
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