Bitcoin and cryptocurrency adoption is growing fast. Ever since the bull-run of 2017 when crypto hit the major headlines as values surged, entrepreneurs and business owners around the world have pondered ‘can I really sell things for crypto?’ and in turn, consumers wondered ‘can I actually buy things with crypto?’. Stability of cryptocurrencies has been the biggest issue, as well as finding payment processors that stand the test of time.
So, who took the leap into crypto-consumerism and what surprising things can you really buy with cryptocurrencies?
In Flatiron and Soho, New York, one forward-thinking school Chairman, Marco Ciocca, decided to allow his two Montessori daycare centres to accept Bitcoin and Ethereum. Interestingly, Mr Ciocca doesn’t accept credit card transactions for tuition, so what inspired him to put his trust in cryptocurrencies? After attending several conferences and events, and being interested in the space, he found that the advantages of ease of payment, low transaction fees, and the speed were all in line with what he was trying to achieve.
Rather than keep their Bitcoin and see if it increases or decreases in value, Marco admits that they use a bit payment processing company to convert it to dollars immediately. The transaction fee is less than 1% making it much more attractive to him than credit cards, which often are 3-4% and can, of course, get declined.
What if the nature of Bitcoin moves from the digital world to the physical world, and rather than cryptocurrencies moving around on the markets, instead they are used to purchase huge financial assets, like vehicles and homes. Well, that’s already a reality with the S.A.S.S Auto Group in Ontario, Canada, who accept crypto for their used cars out on the forecourt. Down payments and full purchases are both accepted, which makes getting a car easy if you’ve got a load of Bitcoin sat around. The dealership is using a Bitcoin to $CAD exchange rate, which gives real-time market exchange information to ensure that both parties get the right amount from the trade.
As it stands, the most expensive used car on sale is a red 2019 Jaguar F-Type in for $68,500, an absolute steal for anyone who bought Bitcoin for pennies.
Back in 2014, the University of Cumbria in the UK and the University of Nicosia in Cyprus became the first two universities to accept Bitcoin for tuition. So, six years later, so how did that experiment go? Well, according to this freedom of information request back in 2017, only two students paid via Bitcoin, which then went through a payment processor so that the university received the correct amount of tuition. Two is not a bad start and we are sure that those two students are quite pleased with themselves.
The University of Nicosia doesn’t have any equivalent information for how popular this service is, however, they do have this very charming Bitcoin page. Now you know, if you want to pay for university tuition with BTC, Cyprus is the country to go to!
Rent an office space
We’ve found two office space rental companies promoting the concept and application of renting an office by paying with Bitcoin. The first is Raven Office Centers in San Francisco, who have all sorts of interesting office space for rental. On their website, news articles about cryptocurrency, big buttons alerting users to Bitcoin payment methods, and snapshots of information about their interest in crypto give off the impression that this company has a lot of faith in the blockchain.
Over in Prague, Paralelni Polis is one of the city’s most famous crypto-spots, where a crypto-café first popped up, and in which crypto-enthusiasts can meet to talk about different tokens. This café is housed within the Paralelni Polis building, which offers rental spaces for businesses who are then given the option to pay their rent in cryptocurrency (Bitcoin and Litecoin).
What better way could there be to spend Bitcoin than on making memories? If you agree, you might be pleased to learn that Travala has made it possible to book hotels, homes, and flights, all by using cryptocurrencies. Travala has gone well beyond other travel agencies who accept Bitcoin, as they now accept all of the following cryptocurrencies:
- AVA (Travala’s Utility Token)
- CRYPTO.COM PAY
- USDT (ERC20)
- BUSD (ERC20)
Did you notice AVA back there? Here’s how Travala’s utility token works:
‘Whether it is used in a “Smart” program that triggers 1-5% discount, received as a reward for referring new users and leaving reviews or used to book and pay for your hotel room, it enables Travala.com users to maximise their savings while, with the AVA Giveback (from 2-5%), it provides a means for you to save even more on subsequent trips.’
You have probably heard of OKCupid, well, this online dating site decided to accept Bitcoin back in 2013, but the adventure didn’t last long, as they found that it wasn’t possible to build a system that accounted for monthly subscription payments. This same issue is likely holding many subscription-based businesses from getting stuck into the crypto game, but fear not…
By using certain services, it is possible to use Bitcoin to purchase app store credit, with which you could buy a year’s subscription to Tinder Gold, if that’s your thing. Or, if you’re a millionaire, you could go straight to Luxy, the dating network for millionaires, and pay for the premium version with cryptocurrency. The app even allows users to share their cryptocurrency if they wish to show it off. The one caveat is that you need to be hella rich.
We have to probably rank this as the most surprising thing on this list that you can buy with crypto, but if you really want silicone butt implants, Bodysculpt NYC will hook you up in exchange for crypto. It’s not only butt implants either, but they also offer liposuction, gynecomastia treatment, abdominoplasty, breast augmentation, and much more.
Most of these private surgeries offer privacy to their clients for their treatments, but now privacy is offered for payments too. We think it’s pretty ingenious, especially as a marketing tool.
Meet Crescent Tide Funeral and Cremation Services in St. Paul, Minnesota, they have the unique status of being the first and reportedly only funeral parlour in the US (there is another in the Philippines) that accepts Bitcoin for their services. The business first started accepting Bitcoin as a payment method in 2014, purchasing a load of BTC for roughly $100 each. As of writing this article, they are worth about $11,800 per Bitcoin.
Don’t feel like walking? How do you feel about parting with your precious Bitcoin? If yes and comfortable were your answers, and you also happen to be from Bristol (UK), Budapest (Hungary), or Vilnius (Lithuania) as well as many other global destinations, then you are absolutely in luck. These cities can all boast taxi companies that accept crypto for cab rides, usually by partnering with some BTC to fiat payment processors that can instantly turn that crypto into dollars.
At the moment, these payments are taken by the passenger entering a mobile wallet and keying in the taxi’s public keys, allowing them to send over the amount of BTC that has been incurred during the ride. In future, it’s conceivable that this could be done with a special crypto bank card, or by keeping a crypto account with the taxi firm itself.
Here’s an example from the UK.
Favours with the universe!
Who’d have thought you could use cryptocurrency to buy… good karma? That’s right, you can now support thousands of different not-for-profits thanks to the decision of those charities that allowed BTC and other cryptocurrencies as a donation method.
If charity seems like a good place for you to spend your BTC, or you want some examples of how you can use your cryptocurrency to help the world be a better place, check out this recent piece we wrote. If you want to know which charities would love your Bitcoin, go here.