Since its inception in 2009, Bitcoin (BTC) has firmly established itself as the world’s largest and most popular cryptocurrency. During its ascendency, the cryptocurrency donned many hats, such as that of a store of value, a hedge against inflation, and a reliable investment asset. Over time, bitcoin has also become a popular mode of payment for both online and offline payments. While microtransactions are difficult, considering the fees involved, BTC is ideal for larger transactions. With bitcoin’s reputation as a hedge against inflation and an investment asset, you would be surprised to know that it was actually designed as an alternative payment system.
While creating bitcoin, Satoshi Nakamoto intended for it to allow holders to make purchases seamlessly without relying on third parties or government-issued fiat currencies. While bitcoin may not have the same level of penetration as fiat currencies, several industries, institutions, and businesses accept bitcoin as a mode of payment. In this article, we shall explore bitcoin as a payment mode and also look at what you can buy using BTC.
Here’s What Can You Buy With Bitcoins
Here is a list of things and assets you can purchase using bitcoin.
Several high-profile auction houses accept bitcoin as a mode of payment. Famed auction house Phillips had, in 2021, listed a coveted Banksy artwork, “Laugh Now, Panel A.” The artwork was valued between $2.82 million and $4.1 million, and potential buyers had the opportunity to pay for the artwork using cryptocurrency, namely bitcoin. This was the first time a prominent auction house in Asia would accept crypto as payment. Following Phillips, famed auction house Sotheby’s announced that it would accept payments in bitcoin during the auction of Banksy’s “Love is in the Air.” Auction house Christie also announced that it would accept payment in bitcoin for a painting valued at $6 million.
In 2017, a simple housing transaction in Essex made significant waves in the crypto space. Why? This particular transaction was the first real estate transaction where the house was purchased using bitcoin. While this transaction created a flutter at the time, today, buying real estate using bitcoin is relatively commonplace. In fact, several bitcoin-specific realtors have sprung up, especially in the Middle East. These realtors enable potential buyers to purchase property using BTC.
Not just realtors but property developers have also warmed up to the idea of accepting bitcoin as payment. Bithome, a consulting firm based in Switzerland, offers potential buyers a range of properties around the world that they can purchase using bitcoin. Another firm, OpenHouzz, provides similar services offering similar properties in Europe. DAMAC, Dubai’s largest property developer, has also started accepting payments in bitcoin.
In Bitcoin community forums, there is a meme often thrown around. The meme, a simple “when Lambo,” is a friendly jibe at BTC holders waiting to purchase a car using bitcoin. However, don’t confine yourself to supercars. The truth is, you can buy pretty much any car using crypto, with luxury car dealerships already accepting bitcoin as payment. Several bitcoin-centric car dealerships have set up operations. These include AutoCoinCars and BitCars, which allow customers to purchase a variety of cars from luxury brands such as Porsche, Lamborghini, Bugatti, McLaren, Ferrari, Koenigsegg, Bentley, and more.
Elon Musk’s Tesla also announced that the company would allow customers to purchase a Tesla using bitcoin. However, the company backtracked and revoked the decision after significant backlash amidst growing concerns about the cryptocurrency’s environmental impact. However, Tesla has not ruled out offering the option of making payments in bitcoin at some point in the future.
Remember the days when you had to physically visit a store to purchase video games? Today, all games are purchased and sold online, becoming more of a digital possession, much like digital currencies. The gaming industry has taken a leading role in adopting cryptocurrencies, so it comes as no surprise that major gaming platforms are open to accepting payments in crypto. While Steam may have a few problems accepting cryptocurrencies as payment, others have stepped up. UK-based Green Man Gaming allows users to purchase Steam Keys using bitcoin. Furthermore, customers can purchase pretty much all game titles for Nintendo, PlayStation, and Xbox using bitcoin. Sony’s PlayStation Network and Microsoft’s Xbox also accept bitcoin as payment.
Luxury Goods And Gold
Luxury goods makers and retailers have also begun accepting cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin as payment. Online luxury retailer BitDials offers customers luxury watches such as Patek Philippe, Rolex, and other high-end watches. Potential customers can pay for these watches using bitcoin. Several other jewelry and luxury stores have partnered with payment gateways so that they can accept bitcoin as payment.
Over the years, bitcoin has earned the moniker of “digital gold.” However, you can also use BTC to purchase gold directly from sellers. Several platforms, such as the European Mint and Bitgild, allow their clients to purchase gold and other precious metals, such as silver and platinum, and pay using bitcoin. Bitgild allows customers to pay for the goods directly from their wallets or using a crypto exchange. Meanwhile, the European Mint uses a third party to process transactions.
The insurance industry has been relatively cautious around crypto, which means it needs to catch up regarding adoption. However, things have picked up over the past year or so. Some insurance providers have started accepting premium payments for other products and services using bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. In 2021, Insurance company AXA announced that it would accept bitcoin as a payment mode for all services barring life insurance. Metromile, an agency selling automobile insurance, also accepts bitcoin as a mode of payment.
The travel industry is highly competitive, offering customers the same services across a vast industry. An alternate mode of payment could be an excellent avenue for attracting new customers. Several companies have realized this and have started allowing customers to pay for their travel experiences using bitcoin. Notable players accepting bitcoin as a mode of payment include Expedia, the world’s largest online travel booking agency, AirBaltic, and Virgin Galactic.
How Do I Start Buying With Bitcoins?
As bitcoin gains more mainstream attention, the list of institutions, businesses, and companies accepting the cryptocurrency is only set to grow. Companies and businesses accepting bitcoin as a mode of payment could also positively impact its adoption. You can purchase and learn more about bitcoin on CoinSmart, Canada’s most trusted cryptocurrency platform.
Plus, CoinSmart’s SmartPay solution allows merchants around the world to accept crypto payments. Do you want to know how it works? Check it out here.