Slowly but surely, bitcoin continues to make inroads into the mainstream financial system. Indeed, more and more people are seeing the value in bitcoins as an investment.
Less than a decade ago, it was practically unimaginable that someone could pay for goods and services using a currency that is generated cryptographically, is unregulated and has no ties to a known economy.
However, the list of places where consumers can spend their hard-earned bitcoin has continued to grow, and that trend shows no signs of abating in 2015.
Technology companies were among the first major business entities to accept bitcoin payments. Furthermore, retailers specialising in the sale of computer and technology products as well as popular software are also more willing than ever to accept payments in form of bitcoins.
Currently Dell, Microsoft, New Egg, and PayPal all accept bitcoin payments in some form (or have announced that they will in the near future). EBay are weighing up the cryptocurrency and look set to accept it in some form soon.
Several travel companies are now starting to accept bitcoin as payment, with Expedia leading the charge. You can book a flight using bitcoin from cheapflights.com or directly via AirBaltic or Air Lituanica. You can also book a room direct with Spanish hotel chain One Shot Hotels.
Food and Beer
Certain bars and pubs have already started a trend that might see similar business establishments accepting payments for food and beer in form of bitcoin. If you’re in New York try EVR near Bryant Park; in Tokyo try the Pink Cow; in Sydney try the Old Fitzroy pub, or, if you’re in London try The Pembury Tavern in Hackney.
Planning to drink at home? You can visit the craft beer website Honest Brew and pay with bitcoin.
But that’s not all, and there are several business leading some unlikely sectors into the realm of bitcoin. In the future, consumers might be able to use bitcoin to pay for:
- A stay in hospital – an establishment in Poland is now willing to accept Bitcoin payments for services offered at the health facility. This means that patients can settle their hospital bills using Bitcoin.
- Refurbishing their flat – retailer Overstock was one of the first notable sites to start accepting bitcoin.
- A brand new car – In December 2013, Lamborghini car group’s Newport Beach dealership in California sold a Tesla Model S to an unnamed customer in exchange for bitcoin.
But what might happen next? Regulatory authorities initially opposed to the use of cryptocurrencies are also beginning to accept that bitcoin is here to stay, which helps to reinforce its position in the global financial structure. So, the trend of paying for various goods and services using Bitcoin is more than likely to continue.
For most of the goods or services mentioned above, acceptance of bitcoin payments is the exception, rather than the rule. However, experts are quite optimistic that the future holds more opportunities for people willing to pay for goods and services using bitcoin. 2015 should witness a significant increase in the list of products or services one can buy using bitcoin.