Cryptocurrency has come a long way from its origins as a decentralized digital payment system introduced through Bitcoin in 2009. In recent years, crypto adoption has accelerated globally across industries from finance to real estate. A 2021 survey showed nearly 20% of adult Americans have already invested in, traded, or used some form of cryptocurrency. Though skepticism persists around crypto’s volatility and speculation, its underlying blockchain technology promises efficiency benefits for both businesses and consumers. Lets Explore What can you buy with Cryptocurrency.
One sign of the crypto market maturing is established brands accepting cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum, and stablecoins as a regular means of payment for goods and services within their business models. In turn, more consumers holding crypto now have avenues to utilize these assets beyond just investing or trading them speculatively. This brings real-world utility to the world of cryptocurrency transactions. Just spending crypto is still a niche use case currently, but holds immense potential moving forward.
How Buying with Cryptocurrency Works
The process for purchasing items with crypto isn’t very complicated, especially considering most payments happen online. For e-commerce and other digital transactions, buyers simply select a cryptocurrency payment option during checkout on the website/app and provide the necessary wallet details to complete the purchase with crypto.
Physical goods warrant extra steps where customers first buy prepaid gift cards or crypto debit cards to essentially convert their crypto balance into fiat currency, which can then be used typically to make purchases in retail stores. Wallet apps like Coinbase or Cryptopay offer such cards that are automatically topped up by drawing crypto from the holder’s account. These prepaid mechanisms bring convenience for those wanting to spend crypto like cash.
Just like with credit cards, paying via cryptocurrencies also requires factoring in processing fees levied per transaction as well as market dynamics like exchange rates for crypto-to-fiat conversions that determine exact amounts debited from the customer’s wallet. Volatility in crypto prices can be concerning, so some vendors hedge against downside risks through intermediaries handling settlements instead of holding crypto revenues directly. Stablecoins pegged to fiat help minimize such volatility risks as well.
Major Retailers and Sites That Accept Crypto Payments
Over the last few years, global retail giants, e-commerce stores, hospitality services, technological innovators and many more have embraced cryptocurrency payments. They either directly accept popular coins like Bitcoin and Ethereum or enable crypto spending through strategic partnerships. Let’s explore the major retailers enabling customers worldwide to buy using cryptocurrency.
Top Online Shopping Sites and Dealers
- Overstock – This home goods giant was among the first movers, accepting Bitcoin payments since 2014. It racked up over $10 million in Bitcoin revenues by 2017. Customers can buy everything from furniture to garden supplies using crypto.
- Newegg – One of the leading tech-focused online retailers fully integrates Coinbase Commerce to let shoppers pay with Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Dogecoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, and more. All computing parts, electronics, gaming accessories can be purchased via crypto.
- Etsy – This popular handmade/vintage goods marketplace has also partnered with Coinbase Commerce to enable listing purchases using different cryptocurrency coins since April 2019. Thousands of independent vendors on Etsy now accept crypto payments.
- Shopify – As one of the largest global e-commerce platforms for small businesses, Shopify supports crypto integrations through Coinbase’s merchant services for all kinds of independent online stores. Storeowners can choose to accept Bitcoin, Litecoin and 300+ other coins.
- Microsoft – The tech conglomerate is reportedly developing mechanisms to support Bitcoin payments across its gaming stores, platforms and Xbox store. This will open doors for millions of gamers worldwide to spend crypto on digital collectibles, in-game tokens as well as physical gaming merchandise.
- CheapAir – This online travel booking website for airline tickets, hotels, car rentals and more has also continually invested in accepting Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Dogecoin and Litecoin since 2013 to cater to crypto-paying travelers and vacationers globally.
- Wikimedia Foundation – The non-profit organization operating Wikipedia and other wiki-based projects accepts crypto donations including Bitcoin, Ether, and Dogecoin to fund operations and content development across its educational sites.
Big Brands and Payment Platform Partners
Beyond online marketplaces specifically focused on crypto payments, many established brands are also waking up to enabling digital asset transactions by collaborating with settlement providers in the ecosystem.
- Visa & Mastercard Crypto Debit Cards – The two payments giants have strong crypto rewards credit card offerings whereby cardholders can not only pay via crypto but also earn Bitcoin or other coins through loyalty programs. Mastercard also enables converting crypto into fiat currency automatically to pay merchants worldwide using these debit cards seamlessly.
- PayPal Crypto Payments – PayPal took a major step towards mainstreaming crypto payments for its hundreds of millions of merchants and users globally by launching the ability to checkout with Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin and Bitcoin Cash in early 2021. This opens up new use cases for crypto holders who also have PayPal accounts.
- AT&T – The telecom giant has been accepting crypto payments since 2019, when it first integrated BitPay to enable bills for mobile and television services to be paid via Bitcoin. Later, it expanded options to also accept Bitcoin Cash and Dogecoin for ATT services subscriptions and more.
- Dish Network – Following from the AT&T example earlier in 2020 to capture crypto-native customers wanting to pay for satellite television and Internet services using Bitcoin and other coins, Dish began supporting crypto payments through intermediary specialists.
- AMC Theaters – As one of the largest cinema chains internationally, AMC also joined the crypto adoption wave in 2021 by announcing plans to accept Ethereum, Litecoin and Bitcoin Cash to buy movie tickets online. Customer transactions will be handled via BitPay.
- Twitch – The popular live-streaming and gaming platform owned by Amazon has enabled functionality for content creators on its network to receive tips and payments using a range of cryptocurrency coins. Viewer support through crypto assets aside from usual payment methods promotes grassroots crypto commerce.
Specialty Retail Industries Embracing Crypto
There are also specific retail industries that are more proactively allowing customers interested to buy their products or services using cryptocurrency based on early adopter demographics. These include:
- Luxury Cars – Incumbents like BMW, Mercedes and Lamborghini have all reportedly made select high-end vehicle models purchasable using Bitcoin to cater to wealthy crypto investors looking to splurge. Smaller brands like Post Oak Motor Cars already accept both Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash as payment.
- Jewelry – Expensive diamond retailers, including ones located within global travel hotspots are also accepting crypto coins for purchasing luxury jewelry. More adoption is expected here as cryptocurrency holders want to diversify their portfolios into scarce assets like precious metals and gems. Brands like Jewlr have built vertically integrated supply chains fueled by crypto payments at checkout
- Alcohol – Wine retailers operating exclusively online like Vinsent are leading categories like alcohol to trial innovative crypto commerce models. For instance, Vinsent offers a membership wine club with monthly packages that can only be enrolled into using Bitcoin payments. They leverage the transparency of blockchain to establish provenance of rare wine collections. More disruption is imminent as young digital professionals purchase fine wines regularly using crypto wallets. Beyond just wine too, other alcohol brands accept Bitcoin coupons or similar incentives for in-store sales driving incremental revenue growth.
- Travel – While we touched upon CheapAir earlier for flights and hotel bookings with crypto, the entire travel industry is exploring innovative use cases with crypto payments, blockchain-based customer rewards programs and related innovations. Family vacation rental platform TurnkeyCashFlow, Las Vegas casino hotels, LOT Polish Airlines, Norwegian Air Shuttle, Latam Airlines are just some prominent travel brands accepting crypto payments using BitPay currently across various countries. Startups like LockTrip enabling crypto-based hotels and vacation rentals bookings also highlight the growing intersection of crypto with global travel.
- Gaming Industry – Even as Microsoft plans to integrate Bitcoin transaction mechanisms for its Xbox gaming platform as covered earlier, other notable developments in this space include leading games developer Zynga accepting Bitcoin for in-app purchases within many of its popular games like Words with Friends. Big Fish Games accepts Bitcoin payments as well. Browser-based roleplaying game Huntercoin even pioneered crypto gaming synergies early on in 2014 itself by seamlessly blending virtual world exchanging with decentralized crypto coins – showcasing what the future of gaming could evolve into.
With Millenials and GenZ gamers already accustomed to using cryptocurrencies, online gaming platforms are primed to enable new monetization models through crypto payments. Whether for virtual assets and collectibles or rewarded experiences, crypto introduces unique value in engaging gaming audiences through next-generation transparency, ownership and interoperability across Metaverse worlds underpinned by blockchain. Music streaming platforms like Spotify could also leverage similar initiatives given the demographic and tech synergy.
As is evident, major global retailers across online marketplaces, hospitality brands, gaming networks, payments providers and niche industries like automotive or alcohol have all introduced mechanisms to purchase products and services with popular cryptocurrency. Bitcoin and Ethereum lead the way, but altcoins like Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash and stablecoins are frequently involved as additional options for crypto holders to directly spend their digital assets beyond just cashing them out through crypto exchanges.
The convenience offered by cryptocurrency payment integration on platforms where consumers already actively spend money means a baseline user adoption and transaction volume gets enabled automatically without requiring drastic behavioral changes. As more consumers start speculating in crypto or projects start distributing utility tokens to communities, the underlying paying user base swells up, creating a self-reinforcing cycle benefiting both merchants as well as token holders.
Purchasing Physical Products/Goods with Cryptocurrency
Beyond the online retailers and massive marketplaces covered earlier, there are thousands of local businesses, independent sellers and niche dealers accepting cryptocurrency payments to enable purchasing a range of physical goods. While constraints around brick and mortar retail stores not having onsite means to accept crypto payments directly result in online channels currently dominating this space, that is evolving as well with increasing mainstream merchant partnerships. Let’s explore some models being leveraged by those wanting to buy items using Bitcoin or other cryptos tangibly, along with their scope constraints.
Online Marketplaces with Crypto Integrations
Nearly all types of electronic items, branded fashion accessories, physical media products like books/DVDs, furniture pieces, automotive parts or camping gear and everything imaginable is now listed on various online seller platforms and can be purchased with crypto coins seamlessly. In some cases, buyers may have to email the sellers first before placing the order to provide their public wallet address where the due payment amount will reflect. Payment platforms like BitPay also offer the ability for consumers to get a crypto debit Mastercard that automatically converts the cryptocurrency into cash at market rates such that it can be used conveniently for everyday transactions through terminals accepting major credit cards.
To illustrate a few examples:
- eBay sellers, particularly those dealing in high-value categories like collectibles, jewelry, exotic cars or yachts have enabled crypto payment mechanisms to cater to the lucrative buyer segment betting big on scarce digital assets over recent years. Nike Dunk sneakers, precious metal wristwatches, vintage comics, luxury pens as well as flea market type goods are commonly listed on eBay USA with the sellers open to transacting using Bitcoin after product listings catch consumer attention.
- Physical crypto coins or souvenirs like tshirts showcasing blockchain themes are obviously common eBay goods that strictly only deal in crypto payments given their underlying ethos. This loosely falls under merchandise but effectively enables buying products with crypto.
- Popular furniture e-tailer Overstock, as highlighted earlier, also has one of the most diverse catalogs spanning home decor, kitchenware, travel gear that can be purchased by checking out with Bitcoin and other major cryptocurrencies.
- And beyond just crypto-first marketplaces, even all kinds of daily essentials, groceries and related physical goods listed on Etsy, Bonanza, Shopify or WooCommerce stores by individual sellers could include crypto payment options hosted through Coinbase Commerce and other merchant services following simple integrations.
The same is true for countless cleantech, books, automotive parts, collectibles or clothing sites with decent foot traffic among Millenial shoppers. Building an online store that natively accepts payments in cryptocurrency is easier than ever before and accessible even for first-time entrepreneurs leveraging tools like OpenNode and CoinPayments.
Crypto Debit & Prepaid Gift Cards
In the context of physical goods that need offline availability, crypto debit cards have flooded the market recently to enable convenience. Leading providers covered earlier like Wirex, BitPay, Cryptopay or Coinbase debit cards let crypto holders load up their Bitcoin or other coin balance to instantly get a prepaid Visa or Mastercard that can then be simply used anywhere major credit cards are accepted. This could be retail stores, groceries markets, filling gas at CNG pumps or for any kind of electronic EMV payment terminal based transaction.
Coinbase goes a step further by offering an integrated app and underlying bank account in USA such that the debit card itself pulls crypto from users’ accounts on the fly to auto-convert into the fiat currency needed to finalize a transaction. This provides a unified experience for pulling crypto out of investment accounts and into the real world seamlessly. Swipe is another popular crypto card issuer while the Binance card also works similarly. Although exact merchant acceptance varies globally, crypto prepaid debit cards open doors for tapping into one’s Bitcoin balance across millions of physical goods purchase use cases in a roundabout yet convenient manner.
The only bottleneck is that actual payments still rely upon traditional financial rails facilitating the conversion from crypto into the local fiat tender. But that is largely inevitable currently to resolve friction issues unless point-of-sale systems and terminals start accepting crypto natively, which leads into the next point.
Direct Cryptocurrency Acceptance Is Emerging
Large hardware retail outlets like Home Depot or convenience stores like select Rite Aid locations have started actively integrating mechanisms to accept direct crypto payments through customers scanning QR codes on terminals through wallet apps rather than relying on underlying Mastercard or Visa crypto debit rails. This both cut costs and provides differentiated value.
Other small businesses spanning restaurants, bars, salons, grocery stores as well as pop-up shops accepting Bitcoin directly are certainly on the rise within tech-friendly cities like San Francisco, Amsterdam or Singapore where locals transacting using such digital coins is now a more common phenomenon, with tools like ZIGLR POS making it easy for businesses to enable self-checkout based crypto acceptance seamlessly.
And beyond standard PoS setups, Bitcoin ATMs have also grown popular in major cities worldwide – where users can deposit fiat currency & have equivalent amounts sent into their crypto wallet or vice versa, withdraw local cash by having the ATM operators convert crypto on demand. Such mechanisms enjoy regulatory leeway as well as positive sentiment given fears around cash handling during pandemic times saw many transition towards transacting via such automated Bitcoin ATMs.
Between merchants themselves embracing self-custody crypto payments onsite as well as external hardware equivalents like crypto debit cards or Bitcoin ATMs now permeating cities where crypto holder population is sizable, this collectively widens the scope for consumers seeking avenues to spend their Bitcoin or Ethereum holdings freely on purchasing physical goods & retail items. Crypto is thereby slowly but surely making inroads into the regular economy.
Real Estate and Crypto: Buying & Renting Property with Digital Assets
The high-value asset class of real estate has been another lucrative segment witnessing significant forays from the crypto industry over recent years. While still an emerging niche currently, the prospect for purchasing residential or commercial property using Bitcoin and other digital tokens provides exactly the kind of aspirational appeal as well as hedging advantages that could make crypto-involved real estate investing fast catch on!
Brokerages dealing in luxury properties within major global cities have also recently started entertaining buyers wanting to purchase high-rise apartments or large acreage land parcels using cryptocurrency.
Miami and New York in the United States alongside Toronto, Canada are currently leading North American regions where realtors confirm witnessing crypto holders wanting to diversify by acquiring real estate assets using proceeds from Bitcoin or altcoins profits. The Dubai land department similarly has been officially accepting Bitcoin to buy & sell properties since early 2019 – signifying progressive sentiment within booming Middle East regions too for blending crypto with property ownership.
While the percentage share of overall real estate sales volume transacted using cryptocurrency is still miniscule currently, this is widely expected to shoot up over the coming decade if the trend sustains given the overall growth in crypto-fuelled wealth. Let’s breakdown the process specifics as well as market developments around dealing in real estate using Bitcoin or other blockchain-based assets.
How to Buy Physical Property with Crypto
The process of buying residential or commercial property using crypto as payment involves working with realtors open to accepting digital assets as the transaction medium and relying on intermediary settlement services to convert crypto into legal tender fiat currency that actually gets registered as transferring property ownership rights legally. Taxation considerations also come into play for reporting capital asset purchase routing through cryptocurrencies appropriately to fiscal authorities.
Here is an overview of the typical key steps in buying physical property using Bitcoin or other coins:
- Property Search – Identify listings for vacant land, apartments for sale, residential houses or commercial office spaces listed by brokers or builders accepting crypto payments. These are still limited to certain major hub locations but inventory is opening up. Cryptovvo is a dedicated property portal with inventory across 40+ countries.
- Realtor Agreement – Engage with the real estate agent or builder listing agent to negotiate overall property price denominated in cryptocurrency based on market exchange rates and payment deadline. Rates may have a variable component updated close to closing date.
- Settlement Partner – A third party liquidity provider like BitPay needs to partner with the realtor to lock rates and send payout in fiat currency to complete the actual ownership transfer, while accepting buyer’s crypto balance as payment in full. They may also handle tax-related paperwork.
- Escrow Services – It is also recommended to route the crypto payment through reputed escrow services to establish trust and transparency on the transaction prior to release of funds following successful asset transfer at the time of finalizing purchase/agreement. This guards against settlement risks as well price volatility before closing date.
- Ownership Transfer – Finally legal ownership gets updated through title deeds, sales documents and property registration platform to reflect new owner upon crypto payment receipt after adjusting for any fees deductions etc. Real estate as well as taxation IDs get updated accordingly.
It’s certainly a more elaborate process currently to buy physical property using crypto coins than typical home purchases relying on bank mortgages – but the upside to pay via decentralized digital assets keeps improving this mechanism’s feasibility. As acceptance widens, the ownership transfer process is also likely to become streamlined in coming years.
Increased Acceptance Worldwide
Cryptocurrencies introduce unique advantages when purchasing real estate – buyers can more easily shift funds globally, avoid time consuming bank transfers as well settle large ticket deals securely & efficiently. These benefits have started enticing realtors dealing in especially high-value luxury properties within coveted city neighborhoods to begin accepting Bitcoin & stablecoins from prospective buyers.
Miami has been at forefront courtesy pioneering crypto exchange FTX, which signed a $135 million mega deal to acquire naming rights for Miami Heats NBA stadium. This puts their crypto governance in direct view of millions in a landmark integration of Web3 identity with physical community owned assets. FTX also hosts large Bitcoin-themed events in Miami periodically, further cementing crypto’s growing influence within Miami real estate.
International cities like Berlin, Vienna, Dubai have registered workshops held by real estate boards, developers associations as well as blockchain consortiums over 2021 to train agents as well as enable backend processes to seamlessly facilitate property transactions using Bitcoin or Ethereum without relying exclusively on legacy banking ecosystem.
Other major cities globally are bound to open up for crypto-involved real estate transactions given the investor community flocking towards cryptocurrency markets currently. Tech hubs spanning Tokyo, Singapore, Zurich, Toronto, Hong Kong known for early adoption are especially worth tracking to witness property developers debuting ultra modern Smart City projects designed ground up with crypto, NFT and decentralized governance compatibility factored in already!
Renting Out Property Using Cryptocurrency
Alongside the purchase or sale of residential accommodation, developers as well as urban planners through cities like Austin, Texas have also begun trialing an alternate approach of making rental units or apartments available with rent amounts chargeable fully using major cryptocurrencies based on prevailing crypto-fiat rate when monthly payments are due.
Dedicated property listing sites like BitRent focus exclusively on such inventories where landlords post accommodation information along expected rental rates in BTC for prospective tenants wanting to pay their occupancy fees using Bitcoin wallets directly etc. This eliminates friction with traditional electronic bank transfers or remittances – especially valuable for cross-border migrant populations shuffling between cities regularly.
Cryptocurrency denominated rental schemes also offer upside potential during times of fiat currency inflation or exchange rate volatility – where the crypto paid out retains inherent value vis-a-vis downward pressure on local tender’s purchasing power. Transaction trails baked within blockchain protocols add efficiency as well. Decentraland, a blockchain-powered virtual world has been pioneering crypto models for virtual real estate & advertising within 3D metaverse environments using MANA and LAND tokens for frictionless monetization allowing buyers to own, customize and sell parcels of digital real estate online.
As is evident, the real world applications for cryptocurrencies now extend into high value assets like commercial and residential real estate as well through innovative models for purchase financing, ownership transfer as well as rental obligations. Bitcoin’s maturity alongside underlying blockchain technology’s transparent record keeping and smart contract enabled programmability lends well to transforming age old property buying or leasing paradigms for the better using these decentralized tools. While still an emerging niche overall currently, long term projections suggest crypto penetration especially across global gateway cities could accelerate exponentially over the coming decade within the massive real estate asset class!
Paying for Virtual Goods and Services Using Cryptocurrency
Beyond physical product retailers covered earlier, there’s also a range of virtual environments for gaming, social networking, content publishing etc where spending cryptocurrency is gathering steam through business models incentivizing participation using crypto coins. These span in-app purchases within mobile games or gambling sites, unlocking content subscriptions using NFTs, making donations across community platforms as well as paying freelancers or e-commerce product affiliates through tokens seamlessly.
Online Casinos, Betting and Fantasy Sports Sites
The natural affinity between cryptocurrencies as well as online gambling platforms or betting exchange which deal with high transaction volumes, digital pseudonymous users and require transparency around fund custody made their combination ripe for early adoption. Instant finality offered by crypto payments provides tangible advantages to ensure realtime settlements across esports wagers or slot jackpots payouts. Leading brands in these spaces like BetOnline.ag and Bovada accordingly offer hundreds of slot titles, sports odds pricing across 10,000 live events or poker tournaments accepting deposits as well as withdrawals exclusively using Bitcoin or other major altcoins.
This allows crypto native users interested in such pastimes seamless access Logistically supporting crypto transactions makes business sense for gaming providers saving significant cost over traditional banking rails while also appealing better to digitally savvy users across Reddit communities or Telegram channels which new generation gamers organically conduct discussions in – aligned inherently well with underlying blockchain construct..
NFT integration provides another growth avenue for crypto powered gaming networks through provable scarcity and ownership across virtual artifacts like unique player skins, collectibles or gaming assets with real world value secured intrinsically. Trading infrastructure around these digital goods is also inherently compatible with crypto coins swaps furthering ecosystem synergies for extended retention of valuable user bases through sticky loyalty incentives via branded tokens. Makersplace is a NFT marketplace enables creators list and auction digital artworks using Ethereum payments. Popular brands like Atari are entering blockchain gaming verticals as well illustrating significant momentum brewing up at intersection of cryptocurrencies with digital entertainment formats having captive millennial audiences.
Freelancer Earnings and Creator Support Transactions
Similar to the alignment with virtual gaming environments covered above, direct income opportunities spanning creative disciplines also increasingly leverage cryptocurrency rails either for accepting project based freelance payments or community donations towards supporting indie open source developers among other examples.
Topcoder is a traditional crowdsourcing platform for freelance developers payments now modernized to add support for both Bitcoin as well as TRON based USDT payouts in certain Eastern European geographies demonstrating cognizance of user transition towards digital assets.
GitHub also supports labeling issues or bug reports on its social coding repository with a bounty sponsorship amount that any contributor can claim by submitting a verified merge request upon satisfactorily resolving the posted problem. These bounties are enabled using underlying Gitcoin framework to allow posting projects in cryptocurrencies like Ether or DAI that serves as added motivation for open source developers seeking freelance income to prioritize tasks with cryptocurrency based rewards.
Such initiatives organically nurture community led software development ecosystems and aid wider adoption given alignment with project goals spanning transparency, decentralization or related Web 3.0 constructs that cryptocurrencies themselves aspire to forward. Indie platforms like Coil also aims to redefine content monetization models using crypto to accurately reward site visitor attention spans through ubiquitous micropayments which simply cannot scale via cumbersome traditional payment gateways
Social networks have also joined the fray with platforms like Sphere emerging where content gets published directly atop blockchain itself enabling native token rewards or subscriptions from followers. Such community owned ecosystems attempt rebalancing power away from centralized advertising middlemen towards direct community aligned curation & compensation mechanisms feasible at scale only atop decentralized cryptocurrency platforms.
Similarly podcast analytics framework Podhero improves accuracy around listener metrics allowing creators collect platform payments denominated in POLY token as rewards driving deeper engagement. Broader creator ecosystem spanning Patreon, Substack or OnlyFans alternatives operating entirely using tokens suggest additional categories witnessing value creation from bottom up for social content audiences wanting to pay as well as incentivize high quality communities using cryptocurrencies seamlessly.
Open source freelancing, community coding incentives as well as social content monetization using NFT galleries or token gated memberships each tap into inherent synergies with blockchain construct beyond just payments that widen scope for cryptocurrency adoption across digital first economies through coming decade.
Investing in Stocks, Bonds & Other Assets Using Cryptocurrencies
Investing amounts held in cryptocurrency wallets into conventional financial markets instruments like publicly listed stocks, bonds or other regulated tradeable assets has also made steady progress over recent years thanks to secure brokerage access & robust APIs available from leading exchanges. Mature fintech firms like Robinhood and UK based EToro among others today enable opening investment accounts on their platforms using Bitcoin, Ether or other altcoins seamlessly. Wealth frontends like Paypal or Square also have deposited crypto showing up as balance available for stocks investing or savings accounts allocation.
Crypto Brokerage Capabilities
Such brokerages extend crypto holders ability to tap into their blockchain based capital for diversifying into traditional asset classes conveniently through their mobile apps or web platforms optimized for slick customer experience, real time onboarding compliant with local AML checks and asset transfer finality thanks to underlying blockchain’s irreversible settlement guarantees unique from legacy clearance mechanisms.
They cater well to millennials starting out with savings built through early cryptocurrency investments like Bitcoin a decade back who now seek professional avenues for allocating this portfolio into diversified blue chip equities like Apple or Microsoft to balance risk adjusted returns. We see this through emerging retail investment patterns across Robinhood’s vast young userbase.
From the brokers’ side as well supporting crypto currencies allows transforming huge underserved customer segment holding massive yet often passive wealth within their decentralized wallets to redirect towards wealth management vehicles like index funds, treasuries or fractional real estate allowing tapping into blockchain assets just like their traditional share dealing or forex offerings.
Platforms like eToro extend social community features allowing investors to track percentage portfolio allocation amongst crypto assets & international stocks from peers on its network to exchange notes on an insights forum. This brings accessible wealth tech right at the fingertips of mobile first investors across generations.
Global Asset Classes Open Up
And it’s not just US stocks that early crypto investors are now able to diversify their blockchain created liquidity into seamlessly thanks to innovation from leading investment platforms. 214 of 500 companies forming Australian Stock Exchange ASX index are now also accessible as investable instruments directly for crypto holders thanks to Swyftx brokerage enabling onboarding as well as ongoing balance funding using Bitcoin or other top digital tokens. This brings opportunities for hedging geographical risk but capturing upside from the lucrative Australian equities market with strong global export ties.
German stocks across manufacturing powerhouses like BMW, sportswear giants Adidas or pharmaceutical leaders Bayer also prove attractive additions available readily across crypto friendly brokerage apps. And beyond stocks, even regulated investment grade bonds with higher fixed income yields, commodities like Gold or Silver as well as market tracking ETFs get added as vehicles for prudent total portfolio allocation powered entirely atop cryptocurrency rails which just keeps expanding in reach continually.
So whether it is blue chip international stocks, physical gold or euro denominated high yield corporate bonds, crypto natives seeking smart diversification have more channels than ever to deploy Bitcoin funds for inflation adjusted, risk managed returns on market leading broker platforms – thereby expanding usefulness scope for blockchain created liquidity.
Crypto Rewards Programs
Alongside the investment use cases we just explored, a more passive and easily accessible way for regular folks to earn small allocations in crypto coins is showing up through Credit Card loyalty programs as well. Leading providers like BlockFi or Coinbase have launched Bitcoin Rewards Credit Cards where users can spend fiat currency typically yet accumulate 1.5%-2% of purchase amounts as redeemable Bitcoin rewards automatically into their connected crypto wallets with every swipe. This pioneers slick fintech integrations across both legacy payments and modern crypto infrastructure!
Given flashy sign up bonuses like $200 extra in Bitcoin after meeting reasonable monthly spend criteria, average shoppers stand to accumulate sizable crypto assets over time using such cards just through shifting everyday cashless expenses towards a smarter channel. And beyond sign ups bonuses, consistent long term gains compounding at 2% back daily across dining, electronics or apparel aggregates towards a fixed stream of Bitcoin inflows monthly into wallets!
Now imagine when payment giants like Visa roll out similar crypto cashback models at scale – this could easily onboard mass retail audiences unaware of blockchain intricacies into pseudo crypto ownership by simply continuing existing purchasing habits as card rewards start reflecting in Bitcoin instead of traditional airline miles. The addressable market is massive once such programs permeate worldwide through Visa’s vast merchant network.
And that aspect is already manifesting with leading travel booking portal Travala.com offering loyalty rewards for hotel stays and holiday package bookings with up to 12% givebacks in the form of its native AVA tokens for cryptocurrency users. With crypto collateralized lending against assets also entering mainstream through Celsius Network providing attractive interest yields, we’re decidedly witnessing ramp up across touch points allowing average users to expand crypto portfolio balances through both active trading as well as passive rewards enabled seamlessly by market leading fintech brands discussed here!
Charity Opportunities: Donating/Fundraising Using Cryptocurrency
Given cryptocurrencies’ premise around decentralization and democratizing commerce, it’s a natural fit with fundraising campaigns supporting non-profit causes or humanitarian relief efforts by removing dependence on legacy intermediaries like banks or payment gateways. Accepting donations in crypto coins can benefit charities on multiple fronts – wider donor access globally aided by efficient cross border transfers, lower processing costs improving net proceeds as well as cultivating better visibility & trust signaling alignment with blockchain ethos.
Let’s explore some real world examples where usage of cryptocurrencies has already made an impact evolving donation models across philanthropic use cases.
Direct Non-Profit Acceptance for Funding Initiatives
Notable non-profits like Wikimedia Foundation operating collaborative wiki platforms, Khan Academy’s free education portal as well United Way umbrella supporting community building projects are some prominent examples already integrating options to accept major cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum or Dogecoin directly on their official websites as donation payment methods similar to cards or bank transfers.
Donors simply scan a QR code or enter the linked wallet address to send over any amount worth of crypto coins they like supporting causes aligned with decentralization principles. Such transfers process securely peer-to-peer without incurring high credit card fees improving net proceeds. United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) also trialed beta crypto donations for improving transparency having received Ethereum contributions up to $10K value seamlessly.
While small merchants often cite price volatility risks in crypto payments, charities locked into holding donated amounts long term are shielded anyways from such concerns. Offering donors flexibility to pay using growing asset class seamlessly hence makes sense expanding funding avenues. Familiar non profits like American Red Cross, Save the Children or Wikimedia accepting crypto encourages more first timers explore blockchain payment capabilities as well triggering organic adoption beyond just trading contexts.
And beyond these popular humanitarian organizations, even local place of worship groups, cultural center events or niche causes like wildlife conservation projects often post public wallet addresses for donors more comfortable transacting using Bitcoin primarily. This unlocks global accessibility otherwise challenging traditionally via legacy remittance channels because of high fees or cumbersome paperwork needs.
Individual Campaigns Leverage Social Media Traction
Alongside established non profits integrating crypto acceptance, grassroots fundraisers managed by individuals on platforms like GoFundMe have also increasingly taken to listing Bitcoin wallet addresses within campaign description or banners. This allows tapping into crypto community on Twitter, Reddit or Telegram wanting to support various causes like healthcare needs, natural disaster relief or educational pursuits seamlessly using blockchain payments from anywhere across globe swiftly.
Having a public wallet address makes transferring crypto frictionless 24×7 unlike traditional time constrained donation options – providing vital flexibility for urgent medical or rehabilitation campaigns where even slight delays could impact end outcomes dramatically for the recipients. Crypto tweets going viral also often spurs impromptu relief from strangers to chip in quickly with Bitcoin comforted by full transparency on amount confirmation directly on blockchain ledger.
Innovative Philanthropy Models Emerging
These real world examples highlight adaptability of cryptocurrency commerce towards evolving philanthropy use cases either through direct nonprofit adoption or grassroots social media campaigns capitalizing on blockchain’s strengths like accessibility, auditability and zero barrier instant settlements. Purpose built crypto donation platforms like GiveTrack further bolster accountability by letting donors trace transaction finality as well as connecting activity chronologically across relief timelines – improving reliability significantly.
Impact investing initiatives combining crypto with IoT sensors have also demonstrated template for transparently tracking donations deployment & circulation for targeted projects – especially valuable in regions with higher corruption.
The Future of Buying with Cryptocurrency
As evident through the comprehensive industry analysis across key segments, cryptocurrency commerce has already gained formidable traction globally both for online as well as increasingly physical goods or high value assets. But considering crypto ownership is still under 20% consumer penetration, the growth runways from here on centered around blockchain payments are massive as adoption accelerates over the coming decade.
Projections suggest worldwide blockchain technology market size touching close to US$70 billion by 2026 through a compound annual growth rate exceeding 65% between 2021 to 2026 timeframe! New unicorn startups targeting crypto payments, NFT marketplaces, tokenized financial services can further expand target addressable markets as they replicate early internet companies benefiting from surging penetration.
Entertainment will be disruption rife as music apps allow tipping artists directly in tokens or gaming expansions tap play-to-earn phenomenon through interoperable NFTs. Social commerce also gets redefined using decentralization for community owned ecosystems like Mirrorimproving creator incentives. Even traditionally opaque segments like advertising now warm up to blockchain transparency using Brave browser’s BAT token across privacy aware publishers.
And mainstream embraces like Visa debit card rewards converting into Bitcoin holdings or Paypal expanding merchant wallet integrations amplify convenience for regular folks to own, save and transact via digital assets just like fiat alternatives over coming years.
With cryptocurrency foundations firmly laid out over the last decade, this next growth phase promises mass adoption upside for all stakeholders in the ecosystem ranging from investors to developers, merchants and consumers as blockchain protocols mature into reliable mainstream payment rails complementary to legacy financial infrastructure across the world. Exciting times lie ahead as buying using crypto becomes commonplace!
Q: What are the major industries where I can spend crypto today?
A: E-commerce shops, gaming networks, hospitality services, financial brokerages, philanthropic non-profits, real estate companies already facilitate transactions using Bitcoin or other major cryptocurrencies across their online purchase flows for retail investors along with niche crypto debit cards aiding offline physical goods as well.
Q: Which companies accept direct crypto payments currently?
A: Microsoft Store, Overstock, Shopify, Etsy, CheapAir, AT&T, Wikipedia, UNICEF, Khan Academy, AMC Theaters, Twitch, Post Oak Motors, Cryptovvo, BitRent accept direct crypto transaction settlement using Bitcoin or altcoins.
Q: What everyday items can I buy using my crypto balance?
A: Online stores list all kinds of physical goods from electronics, apparel, books, collectibles, alcohol, automotive parts that consumers globally can purchase using cryptocurrency payments securely. Cryptocurrency debit cards also allow tapping into Bitcoin balance for general offline shopping.
Q: Can I buy property or cars using Bitcoin?
A: Yes, real estate companies dealing with commercial buildings, apartments, luxury homes accept crypto payments in select global cities. Exotic car dealerships also entertain Bitcoin for folks wanting to diversify investments into scarce physical assets.