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In 2008, the global sensation known as Bitcoin was created by someone named Satoshi Nakamoto. No one certainly knows if it is an individual or a group using a person’s name; even so, Bitcoin’s impact remains to be titanic, despite its shady origins and uncertain start. It uses P2P technology to fuel its full functionality, which is why it survived for so many years. In 2021, Bitcoin remains relevant, and its value is still constantly changing but at a slow pace.
Bitcoin is categorized as a cryptocurrency, something you can use to trade for physical products and even services. It acts as a substitute for fiat currency and is very famous for online transactions mostly because of its anonymity and demand. Many companies and platforms throughout the years saw the importance of Bitcoin and its future in the market. That’s why currently, we can see many businesses and platforms that utilize Bitcoin’s potential. This article will talk about these businesses and platforms and the hassle involved in Bitcoin payments.
“Bitcoin is better than currency” – Bill Gates.
Bill Gates, the co-founder of the Microsoft Corporation, believes in the power that Bitcoin holds. It is very important, coming from one of the richest men around the world. Microsoft is no stranger to trying new things; however, Bitcoin is different mainly because of the security and safety concern it holds. Since 2014, Microsoft implemented Bitcoin payments on their gaming platform, the Xbox. However, this is exclusive to the store and can’t be found in other functions that Microsoft offers.
Bitcoin is known for its volatility and challenging nature regarding changes and spikes in value. That’s why when Bitcoin demonstrated some of these, Microsoft immediately seized their Bitcoin payment options but reverted it afterward once the market has stabilized. Bitcoin has achieved a more neutral state. As of the moment, Microsoft is strict with their Bitcoin implementation and is only allowing it to be used when purchasing Xbox store credits.
When it comes to the shopping and retail industry, it seems like Overstock is the one who truly understands the power and impact of Bitcoin. Overstock is a well-known American retailer of mostly furniture brands, but they also branch out in other product lines, making them very versatile. Couple that with the Bitcoin functionality, and you have an all-around and future-proof business that would last for a very long time.
Besides Bitcoin, Overstock is also known for accepting other major cryptocurrencies, which helps the community a lot, not just because of exposure but also because of usage. Overstock also holds Bitcoin funds aside from payment processing, which is very unusual for companies and businesses. However, as Bitcoin gains more momentum and worldwide attention, these activities might become the norm soon!
Although not directly implemented through their systems, Home Depot is still technically accepting Bitcoin as payments for checkouts. Home Depot’s name and reputation are huge, and trusting Bitcoin is a good expression and support not just for the community but also for Bitcoin itself. The Flexa checkout system that they use in their stores is responsible for Bitcoin payment processing. If you think that checkouts are harder to do when Bitcoin is involved, Home Depot got it sorted out fairly easily with Flexa’s partnership with Gemini, which means that Bitcoin transaction payments are now much smoother than ever.
Although it started as a big disappointment to the Bitcoin community, Starbucks was still able to salvage their promises and provided an avenue for their clients that uses cryptocurrency. It was announced back in 2019 that they will accept Bitcoin payments in their store in the same year. It is massive news for everyone since we all know how influential and important Starbucks is to many people. It turned out that this Bitcoin is just a rumor, and although technically correct, there are some errors with the reports.
Starbucks isn’t going to be the one directly taking in payment through their system. Instead, they will go in partnership with Bakkt, a payment processing partner that hasn’t been launched in 2019, the year the alleged Bitcoin launch was supposed to happen. However, Bakkt was finally released in 2020, which means that Starbucks is now Bitcoin powered, with a third-party payment processor. Even if this is an indirect interaction, Bitcoin is still a major stride, considering that Starbucks, the most famous coffee shop, has taken an interest in cryptocurrency.
NewEgg’s name isn’t new for being tied with cryptocurrency since they mostly sell computer hardware that many Bitcoin communities use to mine their currency. Mining hardware demand is huge, and up until now, people are still into this. Newegg’s popularity for its amazing service is still steady and has greatly improved since they introduced Bitcoin as one payment method.
Since they recognized that a lot of their user-base and well-informed about Bitcoin, they took the opportunity and applied it in their business strategically, now, you can buy any computer hardware with a virtual currency!
American mobile carrier AT&T has a massive amount of users, and throughout the years of innovation and improvement with their service, they have included Bitcoin in their arsenal of payment methods. They are also the very first telecommunication service to do this in the U.S. It could potentially lead to other competitors considering the power that Bitcoin holds. In 10 years or so, we might see Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies as a standard payment method offered to their customers.
The video streaming giant Twitch is known for its diverse audience and its high demand for services. Many people are patronizing many of its recurring subscription models that are offered by the platform’s plethora of content creators. The Amazon-owned streaming platform decided to include Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash in its payment methods because of the growing demand for cryptocurrency back in the days. However, in early 2019, Twitch decided to disable this option; however, they later reverted this after several months, allowing for Bitcoin transactions to be processed once more in June.
Namecheap is a famous domain name broker and seller that many people use because of its bargain prices and unbelievable offers. Perhaps, Namecheap is also one of the earliest companies to take advantage of Bitcoin, accepting payments since 2013, several years after Bitcoin has been released. This cryptocurrency is still in its infancy, and not a lot of people are much informed about it. Namecheap enabled Bitcoin payments mainly because of all the demands and suggestions they get from their target audiences.
4Chan is a forum-like, image-based posting community. Users are anonymous, which gives them different types of interactions. Anonymity is 4Chan’s main selling point; that’s why it receives a lot of traffic daily, which allowed them to think of monetizing their service. A 4Chan pass is available, and although it is commonly bought through traditional payment methods, 4Chan also allows its users to use a wide range of cryptocurrencies, not just limited to Bitcoin.
Mega is known as a sleek-looking and secured cloud-hosting website that has been around for some time. Although they offer free account registrations, they have certain limitations to how much they can upload and download. It is where account upgrades come in, and so make payments. Since it has a specific target audience, knowledgeable with technology and computer enthusiasts, they started accepting payments for account upgrades through Bitcoin.
ExpressVPN is almost everywhere, and its popularity has led its creators to enable Bitcoin as one of their payment methods. Bitcoin and ExpressVPN share the same plan, and that is to preserve anonymity and also introduce privacy. ExpressVPN accepts normal payment methods and Bitcoin on their subscription services.
As an e-commerce platform, Etsy has developed quite a name when it comes to its unique approach to an advertisement and also content that is available; most sellers that are selling on Etsy are people who are into hand-made crafts. Etsy doesn’t directly accept Bitcoins, nor they enabled it, but they allow their sellers and users to enable this option as a payment method for their customers.
The Japanese-based e-commerce platform is known for its quality and wide range of available products on the website. Rakuten’s interest in implementing Bitcoin in their strategy is way back in 2015. As of the time of writing, Rakuten accepts Bitcoin payment on some of its domains, limiting those that can use this feature. Rakuten wasn’t able to achieve this alone since Bitnet Technologies is responsible for integrating Bitcoin in their system, making it a lot more easy and convenient for other people.
Although it hasn’t been finalized yet, it is very important to include PayPal’s vow to include Bitcoin in their payment options and as a funding source. PayPal is known worldwide as a strong and reliable e-wallet, and having cryptocurrencies in its option is a very strong statement that will put a lot of people’s trust in Bitcoin even more. Cryptocurrencies will be stored on PayPal’s Cash or Cash Plus account, which will roll out sometime in 2021. PayPal is available in most merchants nowadays, and having cryptocurrency as an option for payment is very convenient. PayPal will make Bitcoin a valid currency that anyone can use on their platform.
Bitcoin has so many obvious advantages, which helped evolve online payment into a whole new level, which we are experiencing now. However, behind this, we can’t deny that Bitcoin has some shortcomings that should be addressed.
- Lack of After Transaction Security – Because there’s no bank or any financial authority that directly regulates Bitcoin, going for refunds and transaction reversals is almost impossible, even if you have filed a report or complaint. It, therefore, leads to a lot of scams, fake websites that promise returns of investments through Bitcoin that is never true.
- Anonymity – Bitcoin’s major selling point is its provided anonymity, however, it is most of the time, what you should call a double-edged sword. It offers protection for people using Bitcoin the right way, while it also does the same for those who are trying to commit cybercrimes and straight-up scam schemes.
- Heavy Fees – Bitcoin transactions are processed by computers owned by people around the world. They are doing this to get more Bitcoins in return, hence the term mining. That said, for every transaction, you have to pay some price for it to go through. Some of these fees are ridiculous, especially if you want to have an express service; you’ll mostly see yourself in front of a big Bitcoin transaction charge.
- Volatile – Cryptocurrency, in general, is volatile, but since Bitcoin is at the top of the list, it is more likely to experience certain dips and spikes to its market value. News, statements, and decisions from authorities and government can easily influence the price of Bitcoin, making it very risky to get into, much more if you want to use it as payment. However, Bitcoin is in a very steady condition, and we doubt that it’ll experience a very big change in the near future.
More online shopping options with cryptocurrency
In general, Bitcoin is an unsafe resource to invest in as it has a very high amount of risk but also great rewards when the odds are in your favor. When used as a payment solution, however, Bitcoin seems to be safe as price fluctuations don’t happen that much too often.
Amazon, eBay, and Walmart, all of these service providers, haven’t still hopped in the Bitcoin train. However, this doesn’t mean that you can’t use your Bitcoin to purchase items from this website. With Shopping, you can use almost 100 cryptocurrency that is available in the market. Shopping is a strong platform alternative if you want to spend Bitcoin, but all of the online retailers aren’t acknowledging it yet. Third-party accounts aren’t needed in this platform, all you need is a Shopping account, and you’re all set! With the presence of Bitcoin slowly growing, the platform also aims to expand, targeting to serve people who want to shop through AliExpress using cryptocurrency.