Using Bitcoin in the Real World: Will Retailers & Online Marketplaces Start Accepting Cryptocurrency En Masse?
When Bitcoin was first introduced, there was a focus on trading and investing. Now, however, the rise of the cryptocurrency market has sparked a new trend where cryptocurrency payments can be accepted to purchase everyday goods and services.
“In the last year, we have seen a large increase in demand from merchants wanting to accept Bitcoin,” Sonny Singh, Chief Commercial Officer at BitPay, said. “This ranges from small online stores to large Fortune 500 brands wanting to implement globally. Our sales team used to spend months talking to merchants about accepting Bitcoin, and now merchants are calling us wanting to go live right now.”
In addition to BitPay being used by big brands and retailers such as Microsoft and NewEgg, other large online retailers also are accepting cryptocurrency. These include Overstock.com (the online retailer has been accepting Bitcoin since 2014), Expedia and eGifter. There have even been rumors circulating around Amazon’s adoption of cryptocurrency payments. Last November it was announced that the leading online retailer secured three new domain names related to cryptocurrency: amazoncryptocurrency.com, amazoncryptocurrencies.com, and amazonethereum.com.
The 5miles Effect
Peer-to-peer online marketplaces also are jumping on the cryptocurrency bandwagon, a prime example being Dallas-based 5miles. 5miles has partnered with CyberMiles to integrate the CyberMiles Token (CMT) into its marketplace, including enabling Dallas Mavericks fans to purchase upcoming season tickets and merchandise with CMT.
“A great frontier of cryptocurrency is its viability as a method of payment for everyday goods and services,” Dr. Lucas Lu, CEO of 5miles and a founding member of the CyberMiles Foundation, said. “The 5miles-CyberMiles partnership promises to deliver just that, and we’re proud that our marketplace app can be on the forefront.”
Craigslist, the lion among online classifieds sites, has long been notorious for not doing much of anything to keep up with digital trends. Yet even Craigslist more recently added an option that lets users check a box indicating that they accept cryptocurrency payments (the details of which then can be discussed privately between the buyer and the seller). Craigslist users also have the option to filter search results to see which sellers accept cryptocurrency.
Cryptocurrency Goes Mainstream
Retailers and online marketplaces that have started accepting cryptocurrency payments are leading a trend that is sure to diversify payment options. As more people start to acquire cryptocurrency, it’s predicted that cryptocurrency payments will continue to increase in the retail and online marketplace sectors.
E-stores that are accepting cryptocurrency payments also have demonstrated the influence that the cryptocurrency market has over traditional financial markets. More people than ever are looking towards cryptocurrency as a tangible form of payment that can — and shall — be applied within a number of industries. Soon, consumers may even start to look to a retailer’s acceptance of cryptocurrency payments (or lack thereof) before considering their actual products. Time will tell.