Bitcoin as Payment – Early Adopters

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Bitcoin has always been interesting for the new age investor because of how different it is conceptually than anything we’ve ever seen in the currency space.  When we drill down on what Bitcoin really makes Bitcoin special, or I guess what could make it the “next big thing,” it really comes down to this. 

Bitcoin has no centralized bank, government, or single entity controlling it.  The US Dollar is backed the US Government who is “responsible” for its debts, issuance, and safekeeping.  The Yen, likewise, is considered a haven currency and backed by the Japanese power hierarchy.  Even gold has a governing body in the single vault that keeps a gold brick.  Bitcoin fits none of these molds. It is the first to market in the cryptocurrency space and is backed by no sole entity.  Rather, it is backed by the strength in anonymity backed by revolutionary blockchain technology.

The currency came into existence almost a decade ago and has risen astronomically in value and popularity over the year.  Some articles claim that the first $1-$1000 of bitcoin were pumped from a single investor pumping it’s price.  This backs the primary consensus that was had around the currency.  Many people laughed and joked about it’s use.  I was one of them.  Now those who bought at $50 are laughing at all of us.  Who knew?  The currency would go from having no value whatsoever to being valued at over $17,000 as at 15thDecember 2017.  That’s for a single coin.  The digital coin based currency now has tens of millions of blockchain wallet users worldwide.

Bitcoin’s numerous owners have many different reasons for holding the currency to be a long term investment opportunity. From the speculative to the transactional, we have come to a point where the acceptance of Bitcoin has grown and spread far and wide. It is no longer the currency for clandestine activity like drug dealing and gambling.  Though it still can be used for such things, the currency is gravitating towards mainstream.  It only takes a Paypal or a VISA to truly change the space forever with the addition of payment processing capabilities that scale to businesses all over the world.  In terms of an uphill battle, that’s the main one Bitcoin faces.  Currently it will never be transactional if it stays as is.  It only conducts 7 transactions a second.  The VISA’s of the world with counts astronomically than that are laughing, but ultimately salivating at the risk reward of such a play. We have seen stocks like NXTD enter the space of processing payments.  Many companies have added processing for the currency as well.  The processing is not scalable at it’s core, but here are your early crypto adopters:

WIKIPEDIA

The Wikimedia Foundation, owners of Wikipedia the online encyclopedia, have reached a partnership with the platform Coinbase, for the acceptance of Bitcoin as means of payment. This move surprised many. Wikipedia had expressed reservations regarding the currency previously. This turnaround is clearly borne from the overwhelming rise in popularity of Bitcoin.  It is important to remember that Bitcoin is only accepted by Wiki as means for donation. The entity an nonprofit and is not a retail outlet. But hey, if you own a blockchain wallet, Give a little (or a lot) to a worthy cause (only if you want to).

MICROSOFT

First Microsoft claimed that they would not accept crypto but then balked on the idea and apologized.  The company came out publicly to state that they had had a change of heart and would begin accepting the cryptocurrency Bitcoin as a form of payment.   They did go out of their way to stat that they did have fears about the digital assets.  Microsoft began accepting Bitcoins in 2014 through a processor called Bitpay.  Bitpay applied to Windows 10 store purchases from Users in the United States. Currently Bitcoin users can buy content in the Microsoft Windows and Xbox stores.  A pretty big win for Bitcoin.

VIRGIN GALACTIC

Flamboyant billionaire businessman and owner of the Virgin Group, Sir Richard Branson described Bitcoin in 2013 as “a new exciting currency.” He announced that his commercial space flight venture would accept the “virtual money” from VIRGIN business customers.  Branson himself is a sizable Bitcoin investor.  Though it is not known how many bitcoin Branson has, it has been openly stated by friends and the man alike that he holds the currency in high esteem.

KFC (KENTUCKY FRIED CHICKEN)

Don’t get your hopes up too high if you are not living in Canada. You can only quench that hunger for juicy fried chicken if you reside in the North American country…for now.  Maybe someday those of us in the states can commemorate our fat picnics with bitcoins.  Gosh I do love KFC…even though it doesn’t love me back!

A CLASS LIMOUSINE

You’ve earned the big bucks because you’ve crushed the cryptocurrency market and are considered a wizkid amongst your friends.  It’s time to sit back, relax and enjoy the fruits of your labor. You can do this at the back seat of the world renowned Limousine rental, A Class Limousine services which incidentally accepts the digital dough as a means of payment.

YACHT BASE

Offering nearly three pages of personal yachts like the Elan 331  and the Bravaria 30 Cruiser, Yacht Base sets out to make your Yacht cruise to Croatia a perfect one.  It’s a charter Yacht service, so once you’re done rolling your limo all the way to somewhere, you can toss some bitcoins from your paper wallet at Yacht Base and say, “ahoy matey, take me to Split, population 180,000.  Check Split, Croatia out.  It looks pretty nifty, and you can boat to it using bitcoin.  The future is now.

SIMPLEPAY

This is one of Nigeria’s popular online and mobile payment service providers. They allow users to fund their e-wallet from their Bitcoin accounts by entering their account details.  They then send Bitcoins to SimplePay’s Bitcoin wallet. Sounds cool doesn’t it?  No banks involved.  Simple and easy.

BADOO

So you’ve got some money in your wallet? The Almighty has blessed you with some huge profits on your decision to invest in the ever appreciating Bitcoin. But there’s just one small problem… 

You don’t have a significant “other” to share your wealth with? Is that a worry for you? Well, worry no more. Popular online dating site badoo.com boasts over 200 million subscribers.  It now offers you the option of paying for premium usage in Bitcoin to boot. Hey you’ve got to be on PREMIUM subscription right? You’re too rich to be regular after all.  And Premium’s have to get all of the ladies…at least that’s what the marketers want you to think.

SHOPIFY…AND BIGCOMMERCE FOR THAT MATTER

I live in Austin and know Shopify well.  Their rival BigCommerce sits on the northern side of town.  For years though, they’ve been getting their asses kicked by rival Shopify, and it’s largely due to innovations in technology.  So it’s no surprise that Shopify is a leader when it comes to incorporating Bitcoin into their online shopping exchange.  BigCommerce and Bitcoin alike allow small and medium sized business to implement what would be complex ecommerce solutions.  Because of these two providers, the ecommerce offerings are templatized and easy to implement for simpler technology minds (like us).  Because of this, they process many transactions for small and medium sized businesses.  By toggling and options in their consoles, the two accept payments using the popular e-money, Bitcoin, at next to no charge.  This is from anywhere, world wide.  CoinBeyond was the main integration parter with BigCommerce who integrates with over 90,000 online stores nationwide.  Shopify has almost double that marketshare.

LOT POLISH AIRLINES

LOT Polish Airlines does not directly accept the currency (it must be stated that most outlets do not, actually, I mean, with it being “virtual money” and all) but does an exchange using a service provider. Flight tickets can be obtained and paid for easily from the airline’s website and making a crypto swap.  Pretty damn close to accepting the real thing.

LIONSGATE FILMS

Are you a fan of “Hunger Games” the movie? Well the production studio that made that flick possible have done things outside the studio to make you even more of a fan. In 2015 they signed an agreement with GoCoin, a digital payment processor to enable online content users to be able to pay for stuff on Lionsgate’s online store.  So you can now get DVDs and Blu-ray discs and pay with ease using Bitcoin.  I wouldn’t be surprised to see them get involved with Po.et in the future, but that’s pure speculation.

AMAGI METALS

Class is permanent. Amagi metals specializes in furnishing precious metals and they pay their entire staff with Bitcoins.

ONE SHOT HOTELS

Spanish hoteliers, One Shot Hotels, are a chain that boast the best destinations in Madrid, Valencia, and Spain.  They now accept Bitcoin from customers with such high frequency that they have Bitcoin ATMs at some of their outlets.

GREEN MAN GAMING

The digital gaming site accepts the cryptocurrency for their games.  They’re a Gamestop like chain in Great Britain.  You can check out more about them here.  

SAVE THE CHILDREN

Fulfilment for many comes in giving back You have made yourself wealthy financially but do you feel a need to make a lasting impact? Save The Children is a charity organization that you can make donations to using Bitcoin.

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The Bitcoin phenomenon seems to continue catching on and is still defying all odds, growing in value and acceptability. Who knows? It could turn out to be 1st real worldwide official decentralized currency.