Hello there, traders and enthusiasts! Today, rather than looking at ways you can make money from crypto, or informing you of all the different ways to be involved in the crypto-sphere, we are going to be showing you some of the major chains, retailers, and well-known brands who kindly accept cryptocurrencies.
Since July 2014, the Wikimedia Foundation has accepted Bitcoin as a form of donation. They did this by partnering with Coinbase to convert Bitcoin immediately into dollars. Although this is a donation rather than a purchase, it’s important to highlight that they were accepting Bitcoin long before it became a household name.
Tech-giant Microsoft was one of the first major chains to embrace cryptocurrency when they made it possible for users to top up their Microsoft account using Bitcoin. By doing this, users can make purchases in the Microsoft store, which will allow them to by apps and games, or to buy add-ons from the Xbox store.
With 134 million customers, AT&T is the USA’s second-biggest telecoms provider, and one of the world’s biggest mobile carriers. Since May 2019, it’s one of the largest companies that accept Bitcoin, as long as users pay their monthly bills via a cryptocurrency payment provider called BitPay. As well as Bitcoin, BitPay accepts Bitcoin Cash, Gemini USD, Paxos, and Circle’s US Dollar Coin.
Some locations around the world accept Bitcoin, some of the time. Burger King’s foray into the crypto-world has been shaky to start with, but that’s natural as there’s quite a great deal of risk for them. In Venezuela, where an economic crisis is causing no end of struggle and strife, Burger King has begun making its stores crypto-friendly. However, Venezuela was not first, it was in Arnheim in the Netherlands where BK initially started taking crypto for Whoppers. Sadly, this offer was withdrawn from the Dutch and German branches. It’s reported that Burger King Russia accepts crypto, but this is somewhat denied due to their illegal nature.
A small number of Subway branches around the world reportedly accept Bitcoin, but finding them is quite a challenge. Reports on the internet suggest that some outlets in Buenos Aires accept Bitcoin, as well as some in Pennsylvania USA. Back in 2013, some forward-thinking Subway chains in Moscow began accepting Bitcoin and even offering a 10% discount for doing so, but we can only assume that this has now been shut down.
Game-streaming platform Twitch, which is owned by Amazon, is another place where you can spend your cryptocurrencies (BCH and BTC)… some of the time. In 2019, they removed BitPay as a payment processor, only to reinstate it several months later. It remains an active option for the platform, although it’s vital that we state that you can’t actually make any purchases with it and rather the crypto feature is used for tipping other users whose content you like.
Shopify is a Canadian e-commerce company that allows private sellers to set up their own online stores. It’s something like a hybrid of Amazon, Etsy, and eBay, and offers loads of flexibility and customisation to merchants. One of the great ways they supported the crypto-movement is by enabling sellers to sell their products and accept payment through a digital payment processor called CoinPayments. This success allowed them to expand and now they accept payment from BitPay, Coinbase Commerce, and GoCoin too, allowing for a total of around 300 possible cryptocurrencies to be used as payment.
Starbucks isn’t quite accepting Bitcoin, yet, but they are developing all of the necessary infrastructures to make it happen, including by partnering with Bakkt, a digital asset management company. We decided to include them on this list because it’s now July 2020, the month that Starbucks stated that they’d be launching the beta test. We also decided to keep them on this list because Starbucks accepting Bitcoin would be a huge boon for the industry and encourage other mainstream chains to jump on the bandwagon.
As part of the Kroger Co group, Whole Foods is part of the biggest chain of supermarkets in the USA, so when they announced in 2019 that they would be accepting crypto-payments, it was a huge landmark moment for the industry. If you’ve seen The Social Network movie, or know about the story of Facebook, you’ll remember Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss. Well, they’re now crypto-entrepreneurs who run a digital currency company called Gemini. Gemini partnered up with Flexa, and together they allow users to use Apple Pay with their cryptocurrencies. Combine these technologies with Flexa’s ‘Spedn’ app and users can pay for their WholeFoods shopping with Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ether, or the Gemini dollar.
As well as Wholefoods, this payment process has been enabled for:
- Regal Cinemas
Keep an eye on this space, however, as it still remains ‘experimental’.
Since 2017, Etsy, the online marketplace for handmade, vintage, and craft goods, has made it possible for sellers to accept cryptocurrency as a form of payment. Whilst they didn’t make any big announcement, they certainly didn’t block the process. The decision to accept crypto is on an individual basis and the onus is on the seller, rather than the platform, to make it happen. Thanks to Coinpixie.com for the how-to guide that we’ve shared below:
‘In order to accept Bitcoin payments on Etsy, you will need to make a way for your customers to checkout without paying. Then, you will be able to send them a wallet address so they can submit payment. You can actually accept any cryptocurrency this way!
To get started, you will need to enable the “Other” payment option.
- Go to your Etsy Shop Manager, click on “Finances” in the column on the left side, then select “Payment Settings.”
- Look for the phrase “Enable Manual Payment Methods,” which will be somewhere below your current payment options. Click on this to open it, and then turn on “Other.” Ta-da! Your customers can now check out without using Etsy payments, as long as they select the “Other” option.’
Whilst WordPress themselves are not taking any payment in Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies, they have enabled a way for their users to do so. To make this possible they allowed developers to create WordPress plugins that would make it possible, with the most popular one being ‘GoUrl’. This cryptocurrency payment gateway does not offer fiat-to-crypto or crypto-to-fiat options, it simply allows users who sell things on their WordPress website to receive Bitcoin, Litecoin, Dash, and BitcoinCash payments directly to their wallet.
This plugin and other similar ones create another innovative way for content creators and bloggers to monetize their websites, allowing readers and visitors to pay for products, downloads, subscriptions, and more, with cryptocurrencies.
Similar to some of the other sites on this list, Amazon does not accept Bitcoin payment directly, however, they have somewhat integrated or normalized the use of cryptocurrency in more indirect ways. Amazon has connected with Purse.io, which is basically a crypto version of Amazon and displays the products sold by merchants who want to receive crypto-payments to buyers who want to make crypto-payments. It’s actually a very clever platform that we recommend you look into, especially as it helps people spend their Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, Litecoin, and Zcash in an innovative way.
Here’s an example: Airbnb doesn’t accept cryptocurrencies, but Purse.io sells discounted Airbnb gift cards. The gift card method is also viable for Nike, iTunes app store, Footlocker, Uber, Dominoes, H&M and many more.
Last on this list is eBay. Again, like some of the other well-known companies on this list, they do not accept crypto directly but have made it possible to spend your cryptocurrency on their platform in an indirect route. The way around their system is to buy gift cards from authorized resellers that accept cryptocurrencies as a form of payment, let’s use Crypto Refills as an example.
Now, eBay gift cards are usually in amounts like $10, $25, or $50, so if you buy something that is $7, you’re going to have money left over on that gift card, so it’s important to be careful here. Gift cards are also anonymous, so you can use this method to spend your crypto on a gift card for somebody else.
This method is as simple as going to Crypto Refills or a similar competitor, purchasing the gift card for a real-time crypto price, and then going to eBay, redeeming your voucher, and spending it.
Things are moving in the right direction
All of the major companies above are supporting an important movement that increases consumer spending power and financial autonomy. Businesses who act fast to integrate crypto payment gateways can now take the decision about whether to store the crypto they receive or exchange it at a commercial crypto-to-fiat platform like Coinbase Commerce.