Cryptocurrencies are not far from the headlines these days. If it’s not news that the value of Bitcoin has reached a record $60,000 (€50,500) for the first time, it’s news that Tesla founder Elon Musk is investing billions in it.
At a time when buying and selling cryptocurrencies are becoming increasingly prevalent, the opportunities to spend virtual currencies are somewhat limited in comparison to their volatility.
However, a growing number of companies across a plethora of industries – from big tech to airlines – are embracing cryptocurrencies, allowing customers to use them as a formal means of paying for their goods and services.
Below are some of the largest and most well-known companies that use and accept cryptocurrencies.
Master Card Credit Card
In November, Mastercard said it would allow partners on its network to enable its customers to buy, sell and hold cryptocurrency using the digital wallet, as well as reward them with digital currencies under their loyalty programs.
This move will allow customers to earn and spend rewards in cryptocurrencies instead of loyalty points.
The credit card giant will pair up with Bakkt Holdings Inc, a digital asset platform founded in 2018 by the owner of the New York Stock Exchange Intercontinental Exchange, to offer new crypto services to its customers.
Pavilion Hotels & Resorts
As the latest company to allow cryptocurrency transactions, Hong Kong-based Pavilion Hotels & Resorts has also become the first international hotel chain to adopt virtual currency payments.
The group — which owns properties in Amsterdam, Madrid, Lisbon, Rome as well as Bali and Phuket — will accept reservations using 40 different tokens, including Bitcoin and Ethereum, starting in July through their partnership with payment platform Coindirect.
From the beginning of April, the giant insurance broker will allow customers in Switzerland to use Bitcoin as a payment option for their bills. The decision to adopt cryptocurrencies has been in the making since the company’s 2019 market research found that nearly a third of 18-55-year-olds had already invested in it or were interested in doing so.
Customers will now get a reference code printed on non-life insurance policy invoices in order to pay their premiums through the Bitcoin Suisse cryptocurrency exchange which will then convert them into Swiss Francs.
As one of the largest software companies in the world, it is important that Microsoft accepts Bitcoin payments, and somehow goes to instill a degree of confidence in the use of crypto. Redeemed for credit in user accounts, Bitcoin can be used to pay for a range of services, including Xbox Live and Skype.
The company’s interest in encryption technology does not end there. Using the blockchain, Microsoft also launched ION, a two-layer authentication platform on the Bitcoin network, in late March. Instead of payments, the technology creates digital IDs to authenticate identities online.
After an extensive trial, Starbucks customers can now use the new Bakkt app to pay for drinks and goods at the coffee chain with transferred Bitcoin. According to the creators of the app, 500,000 people have taken the invitation-only Early Access program to test the digital wallet as a payment method.
The CEO of electric car maker Tesla Elon Musk has an up and down relationship with Bitcoin. Initially, the company announced earlier this year that it would accept Bitcoin payments for the purchase of cars in the United States. This comes with a $1.5 billion (€1.2 billion) investment in cryptocurrency by Elon Musk in February. However, this has now been turned on its head with the statements that Tesla will suspend Bitcoin transactions Even more than 50 percent of the tokens are mined using renewable energy.
It was reported earlier this year that Amazon was joining the ranks of other tech giants, including Facebook, in laying the groundwork for its exclusive cryptocurrency. However, the e-commerce company is not accepting cryptocurrencies directly yet. However, you can buy Amazon vouchers through crypto-only Bitrefill, a platform that makes living on cryptocurrency easier by converting Bitcoin into gift cards, phone recharges, etc.
Credit card company Visa confirmed at the end of March that it was experimenting with a scheme with the Crypto.com platform to accept cryptocurrency to settle transactions on its payment network. It will now accept USD Coin (USDC), a stable cryptocurrency linked to the value of the US dollar.
Following an announcement in October last year, PayPal users in the US can now buy, sell or hold a handful of cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash and Litecoin. In addition, you will be able to track cryptocurrencies through the PayPal app. The only drawback is that it is not possible to transfer funds from the company’s digital wallet.
In August, the company announced that UK users You can now also trade Ether, Litecoin and Bitcoin Cash on the PayPal website and mobile app.
So far, PayPal has been silent on whether it intends to expand the service to other countries.
Latvian airline airBaltic became the first airline in the world to accept Bitcoin as a payment method for fares in 2014. According to the company, it has processed more than 1,000 Bitcoin transactions since it launched the payment option seven years ago. Its decision to do so saw the example of another Eastern European airline, LOT Polish Airlines, the following year.
Popular auction house Sotheby’s began accepting cryptocurrency as payment in late June and since then has firmly embraced both cryptocurrency and NFT.
Since it has now announced its acceptance of cryptocurrency, it has accepted bitcoin as payment for a rare 101-carat diamond that sold in July for $12.3 million (€10.4 million). It became the most valuable item purchased with cryptocurrency at auction.
When contracts are listed as “cryptocurrency payments,” the auction house accepts both Bitcoin and Ether as payment. However, there are some limitations, as payments will only be accepted through some approved exchange wallets, including Coinbase.
Amatil, the beverage giant in the Asia Pacific region, has enabled cryptocurrency as a payment method through its partnership with Centrapay platform. As of 2020, there are now more than 2,000 vending machines in Australia and New Zealand that are designed to accept cryptocurrency to pay for drinks.
LOT Polish Airlines
In the wake of airBaltic, LOT Polish Airlines announced in 2015 that it would also accept Bitcoin as a payment method for flights. Despite the six years since its decision, LOT is still one of the only European airlines to allow cryptocurrency as a payment option.
Travel giant Expedia is one of the leading travel agencies that accept Bitcoin through its partnership with crypto-friendly travel booking platform Travala. You can now book 700,000 hotels from the site’s listings containing over 30 different cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin.
Lush was one of the first global companies to adapt to the use of cryptocurrency, and fully embraced it in 2017 when the handmade cosmetics company began allowing Bitcoin payments for orders on its website through a partnership with Bitpay.com.