Bitcoin has advanced in its capabilities to an impressive extent over the past decade. As a result, the number of businesses that accept Bitcoin payments for various services and products is continuously increasing.
Bitcoin's meticulous security makes it an excellent aid in finalizing large transactions. Despite having higher fees, Bitcoin remains a leader in its field. Bitcoin was created with the intention of becoming a feasible alternative to the centralized systems that dominated the market. However, BTC has become a renowned long-term investment option similar to stocks or gold in recent years.
A persistent issue with Bitcoin is the low amount of transactions it can process, being a mere seven per second. This number is bleak compared to Visa's capacity to have processed a total of 185 billion transactions in 2019.
An important aspect to note is that credit card transactions cannot be settled instantaneously. In some cases, those transactions take days to be finalized. Yet, Bitcoin received criticism for queueing transactions for a few hours in congested time frames. People often confuse Bitcoin's pending and completed transactions.
As the Bitcoin network expands and grows, congestion becomes more prevalent due to an overflow of activity. Waiting times and transaction fees increase as the number of transactions do and decrease in the same fashion.
The tendency of transaction fees to soar as usage increases was demonstrated in 2017, when a drastic escalation in token prices led to immense transaction fees. This incident planted doubt in many users and companies regarding Bitcoin's viability, and many influential businesses ceased to accept BTC as a payment method.
A scaling solution called the Lightning Network aims to solve scalability issues in Bitcoin's system. Lightning Network utilizes state channels to execute transactions almost immediately and keeps the fees nominal. It does this by updating the state of the blockchain after the completion of transactions.
The simplest and most convenient way to purchase goods and services with Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies is with a cryptocurrency debit card. Cryptocurrency debit cards are available from many major crypto exchanges. These cards enable account holders to withdraw cash from the relevant ATM.
Bitcoin debit cards function similarly to regular prepaid debit cards. The difference is that they are not preloaded with cash but instead with bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency of your choice. When account holders purchase something using this debit card, your card balance in cryptocurrency will lower while the merchant is paid in fiat currency. You can reload your card at any time.
Since 2014, Microsoft has accepted Bitcoin as a viable payment method for products on its Xbox Store. They ceased this implementation temporarily due to the volatility of Bitcoin's value but reinstated it for Xbox store credits. The CEO of the company, Bill Gates, has commented on Bitcoin on various occasions, claiming that Bitcoin is better than any fiat currency.
A premature report was released in 2019 stating that Starbucks would be accepting bitcoin directly in stores within that year. Starbucks invalidated these claims by clarifying that the reports were incorrect regarding several matters. They would, in fact, not accept bitcoins as direct payments but would instead partner with Bakkt, a promising future crypto exchange. Furthermore, Starbucks will only be able to commence this partnership once Bakkt has launched.
Fortunately, the app has successfully launched, and customers can freely make Bitcoin payments in any Starbucks chain.
Home Depot is currently the biggest Hardware Store Chain in the U.S. Home depot's acceptance of cryptocurrency is a major breakthrough and evident of the efficiency of cryptocurrencies, as you can now essentially build your entire home with materials purchased with Bitcoin.
Home Depot utilizes Flexa's checkout system to optimize Bitcoin payments. These systems are installed in their stores, simplifying the checkout procedure to a great extent. In addition, Flexa's partnership with Gemini ensured the eradication of friction typically associated with Bitcoin payments.
Overstock has recently established a well-known reputation as a leader in the shopping industry and the field of cryptocurrency. Overstock accepts various cryptocurrencies besides Bitcoin.
This company not only accepts bitcoin payments but also holds them. Overstock is greatly contributing to the versatility and development of Bitcoin. It displays commitment and dedication to using Bitcoin as an excellent marketing ploy. A customer merely needs to select Bitcoin as their payment method during the checkout process.
Namecheap is used to buy domain names, and they are strong advocates of internet freedom. Namecheap has become popular in the cryptocurrency community because of its eagerness to advance decentralization and liberty in any way it can. Customers receive credit on their Namecheap accounts by sending Bitcoin.
NewEgg is a popular company that sells a wide variety of mining and computer hardware on all ends of the spectrum. As NewEgg's presence became noteworthy in the crypto community, it started accepting bitcoin as a viable payment option for hardware.
Whole Foods' partnership with Winklevoss Flexa's spending app known as Spedn ensured that customers can now buy their groceries at Whole Foods using Bitcoins, Gemini dollar, or Litecoin without any complications. Moreover, Spedn's functions are not limited to Whole Foods and can also be used for purchases at Gamestop, Baskin Robbins, and Jamba Juice.
Though not technically a retailer, PayPal has made major advancements in the world of cryptocurrency. Since PayPal announced its "Checkout with crypto" feature, account holders could effortlessly make purchases using Bitcoin. This service functions by converting crypto bought through PayPal's exchange to U.S. Dollars for the merchant's convenience. At one point, PayPal was so determined to make this operation possible that reports were claiming PayPal bought over 70% of all newly minted bitcoin.
PayPal's service is primarily helpful for traders who use PayPal as their prime means of selling and buying bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. However, users cannot send money directly from their personal wallets to their PayPal accounts.
It is well-known that you can buy Tesla cars with BTC. However, despite the all-around publicity regarding Tesla's acceptance of cryptocurrency, paying for Tesla products with Bitcoin is not an easy process.
If a buyer commences the process of purchasing a Tesla with BTC, they have to be committed to following through, or they risk losing the opportunity. Potential buyers only have half an hour to finalize their purchase. There are no refund opportunities if a buyer mistakenly sends the fund to the wrong address or overpays.
If you reside in the U.K. or have the means to transport a vehicle from the U.K., you can also purchase a BMW using BTC by going through a third party.
As digital transactions are an opportunity for Bitcoin to display its technological advances, online ticket sales is a promising field to enter.
Not only do the Dallas Mavericks accept bitcoin payments, but they also offer discounts for paying with BTC.
The Miami Dolphins accept Bitcoin and Litecoin payments.
The Oakland A's provide a six-person suite for one bitcoin.
Manhattan Residents use a company called Blockparty to purchase concert tickets with bitcoins.
Christie's made headlines when it announced its acceptance of Ether as a payment method at their auctions. Regarding BTC specifically, there are other available options. Verisart established a platform where artists can accept bitcoin for their artwork. Many U.S.-based galleries have started accepting bitcoin among other cryptocurrencies as valid payments. This growing market displays the potential of bitcoin in elevating the art industry.
Many fast-food restaurants are moving in the modern direction of accepting cryptocurrency. Depending on where you are in the world, you are bound to find at least one fast-food chain that welcomes BTC as payment. One such example is Subway. Furthermore, Quiznos in the U.S., KFC in Canada, and Burger King in Venezuela all accept bitcoin payments.
If you are determined on purchasing luxury furnishing, Fancy.com is based in New York City and focuses on providing high-end products through photos shared by customers on social media. You can purchase furniture on Fancy.com using Bitcoin Cash or Bitcoin.
Moreover, Overstock also accepts bitcoins. You will be required to combine your bitcoins with gift cards, Club O rewards or coupons, and in-store credit.
Various luxury goods retailers and makers have started accepting bitcoin as one of their payment methods. BitDials is one such retailer and allows bitcoin purchases of Patek Philippe and Rolex.
High-end watchmaker Franck Muller produced a gold and diamond-encrusted watch with a QR code from the bitcoin genesis block.
Jewelry stores that have partnered with payment processors have become more common in recent years. This partnership facilitates crypto-based purchases from jewelry stores.
There are three primary reasons for the limitation of Bitcoin as a widespread payment option: High transaction costs, low transaction speed, and extreme volatility.
Another chief factor preventing the widespread use of Bitcoin is related to its security. When an account holder loses a credit card, it can easily be retrieved or replaced without any financial losses. On the other hand, a lost digital access key to a Bitcoin wallet will make it impossible to access the account entirely. Furthermore, if a Bitcoin account is hacked, the owner cannot simply call a service provider to look into the problem. The burden is theirs to carry.
Each block of Bitcoin's blockchain can store one megabyte of information. A new block needs to be mined every ten minutes, which is also the approximate time it takes for Bitcoin to confirm a transaction.
The Bitcoin network is able to process seven transactions per second, which, as we mentioned before, is unfavorable at best. The delayed clearing process leads to pile ups in the Bitcoin network and the longer the delay endures, the higher the fee that miners can charge for opening a new block.
It is not uncommon for a 10% spread to occur in a period of 24 hours. Low liquidity only worsens high volatility. Large trades have a big impact on Bitcoin prices as there are only 21 million bitcoins, with 90% already being circulation.
The Lightning Network will play a critical role in improving scalability. Lightning allows for transaction processing off the blockchain network at no cost. The network is predicted to process 25 million transactions per second at a rate of 4 cents each.