Whether you’re very knowledgeable about bitcoin and comfortable making cryptocurrency transactions, or a complete newbie on the subject, you probably want to know where and how you can use bitcoin as a payment for goods and services. Outside of serving long-term financial objectives like investing and saving, any type of currency is useless to most of us if we can’t exchange it for the things we need today or in the near future.
Simply put, bitcoin must do both by providing increasing value to holders over time while functioning as payment to retailers.
And that’s half the challenge for bitcoin and its cryptocurrency peers. Merchants and service providers can be excused for the slow uptake to adopt it as an accepted payment method. As a digital currency existing for new concepts like online wallets, initial coin offerings (ICO), and blockchain, bitcoin represents a radical departure from the centuries-old conventions of government issuance, traditional banks, and the regulation associated with fiat currency (read “normal money”).
Despite some short-term volatility, Bitcoin’s strong performance as an enduring value store or asset is well proven, especially considering the last 18 months. The bitcoin to U.S. Dollar exchange rate has soared from around $500 to $4000 over the period.
There’s also good news when it comes to established retailers accepting bitcoin for the products and services we use everyday. The growth in volume flowing through the bitcoin system should excite consumers and push merchants to adoption as transactions are up an impressive 55% in the year mid-2016 to mid-2017.
In fact, you might be able to make your next online purchase using bitcoin. While acceptance is lagging at traditional brick and mortar businesses, the e-commerce world widely welcomes your bitcoin as payment rendered. Bitcoin naturally piggybacks on the broader trend of more and more consumers preferring to purchase goods and services online. People love the convenience of online shopping, and they want banking capability to keep pace with fast and secure payments. Bitcoin fits the bill perfectly.
So just who is taking bitcoin payments online and what exactly can you purchase?
If you’re looking for love, or maybe a new friend, dating site OkCupid will sell you a membership in bitcoin. Need a new TV chair? Find yourself a big comfy La-Z-Boy on Overstock.com and pay for it in bitcoin. You’re probably planning your next vacation. Why not head over to Expedia.com and book that tropical destination flight and hotel package you daydream about during business meetings? Yes, you can pay for it in bitcoin. Video gamers who use the Xbox platform can even access online content via tech giant Microsoft with bitcoin payment.
Of course, consumers need accessible blockchain banking services to manage, store and process their bitcoins. Enter the likes of Bankera, a company focused on bringing the convenience of traditional banks to bitcoin consumers. It’s banking for the blockchain era. Bankera offers a creative payments solution empowering customers with the ability to pay with bitcoin or traditional hard currency.
While merchant bitcoin acceptance is on a slow and steady climb, the movement still awaits a tipping point that could accelerate growth and make bitcoin payments ubiquitous. It’s likely just a matter of time, and adoption by a behemoth retailer by the name of Wal-Mart or Amazon might be the trigger.
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