While some businesses can't seem to understand Bitcoin, more and more merchants are starting to accept it. While smartphones and computers have brought the internet to 1/3 of the global population, online commerce is an industry that still depends on the banking system. In the recent decades, it hasn't changed much. But the rising interest in the Bitcoin - a currency that doesn't need a centralized body to manage transactions - is slowly changing the way people buy and sell goods and services. CEO of Digital Bazaar, Manu Sporny, says:
"The rise of bitcoin has changed everyone's idea of what a good payment system should be," [...] "Bitcoin raised the bar, so everyone's got to come in and match that in some way.”
In fact, keeping up with each new business accepting Bitcoin is becoming an arduous task. To make life easier for us and our readers, here is a compressed list of some of the latest merchants accepting Bitcoin worldwide.
Pizza restaurant welcomes its very first Bitcoin ATM machine
A global experiment has finally arrived in Regina, where the city's first Bitcoin ATM was revealed on Kramer Boulevard, South Regina, Canada, at Triffon's Pizza. Locals can trade bitcoins for cash and vice-versa. The company behind the BTM device is QuickBit, and its co-founder Doug Richardson, mentions:
"Bitcoin is getting adopted across the globe. It's kind of like a portal between the digital currency world and the cash world," [...] "This is just the beginning of a change in the way we handle money."
Based on recent research, a Bitcoin's value has oscillated tremendously since its inauguration, from $0.08 US (July 2010) to above $1,200 (November 20130.). Currently, 1 Bitcoin is valued at $620. The utility of the digital currency, is additionally based on whether or not, businesses (at the people) will accept the Bitcoin as payment for services or goods. Richardson keeps mentioning that QuickBit's main goal is to show merchants how to handle the Bitcoin and use it for transactions:
"I think in about 10 years we'll look back and perhaps muse, [...] I wonder what we did before we had digital currency?"
Sandman Hotel Group accepts reservations in Bitcoin
Sandman Hotel Group, a Vancouver-based company is accepting Bitcoins as payment mode for room reservations, thus making the Canadian hospitality company the first in the country to accept the digital currency. The group handles 44 hotels spread across Canada, and they mentioned that future guests can make a reservation using BTC. Vice-president of Marketing for Sandman Hotel Group, Salim Kassam, pointed out that Vancouver recently hosted a TED talk summit, which brought to the city many tech-savvy travelers. Kassam stated:
“Our hotels had a number of enquiries regarding payment through alternative payments including Bitcoin. As a customer-focused company with an eye on technology, we decided to incorporate this emerging technology as a payment option.”
To eliminate the risk associated to the crypto currency's volatility, Kassam mentioned that all Bitcoin payments are instantly converted into Canadian dollars. Kassam added:
“We feel that bitcoin and cryptocurrencies may be here to stay. We can tell you without question that more and more of our customers are seeking to pay with this currency, and our job as hoteliers is to be accommodating to the changing needs and requests of our guests.”
Sandman is the first chain of hotels in Canada to accept Bitcoins.
Takealot.com accepting Bitcoin
Online shopping website, takealot.com, recently announced that customers can shop on the site using bitcoins. The announcement was made of Twitter:
"We heard your feedback! As always we delivered with speed! Super excited to announce we now accept Bitcoin as a payment method."
The company mentioned that they decided to activate this service due to overwhelming feedback from customers asking for the feature. Takealot.com raised $100 million in May from Tiger Global Management, its major shareholder, and it aims to become South Africa's largest online retailer in the next 12 months.
In spite of many controversies and downfalls, Bitcoin has grown tremendously in the last 5 years, and the company is executing a growth strategy to widen its services and expose the crypto currency to new markets, including in African countries such as South Africa, Nigeria, and Kenya.
Bitcoin machine available in internet cafe in North Tulsa
New internet cafe just opened its doors in Oklahoma, North Tulsa. The place is not your average type of gaming spot, as it offers food, computers, and a BTM - a Bitcoin Teller Machine. Located at 2115 N. MLK Boulevard, the owner of the business mentioned that the goal of the cafe is to help people get to know advanced technology.
"We have great Mexican food. People can learn technology and come grab a bite to eat", said the owner of the cafe, which is also hosts Oklahoma's only Bitcoin machine.
And since we're talking about average companies and businesses accepting bitcoins, can you believe that the NYC Yellow Taxi, also accept the crypto currency? A couple of hours ago, someone snapped a photo in a yellow cab claiming payments can be made in Bitcoin. We can't really know whether the payment option is just the initiative of a tech-savvy cabbie, but one thing's for sure - people in NYC want taxis to accept Bitcoin!
Bitcoin gets to Ireland's most innovative bakery
Krüst Bakery, one of Ireland's most innovative bakeries, is now accepting the world's most controversial and innovative currency: Bitcoin. Users can use their digital wallets to pay for goods by instantly scanning a receipt code with their smartphones. No credit card company or intermediation is required and since Krüst Bakery uses an iPad as their checkout, implementation was easy and took only a few minutes. The two young entrepreneurs are excited about the Bitcoin and also plan to expand it into their wholesale operation which caters for more than 500 clients nationwide.
Former director of the Central Bank of Ireland, Peter Oakes made the suggestion to the owners of the bakery. The suggestion was made in the hopes of making Bitcoin known to a wider audience. Mr. Oakes added:
“Bitcoin is not alchemy, [...] Yes, there still are regulatory issues, but the functionality of digital currency means they are here to stay. As consumers use them more and more, politicians and regulators will adapt to them.”
From multinational corporations such as Dell and Expedia to local businesses - more and merchants around the globe are starting to accept Bitcoin as an additional payment option and broadening their customer-base. As this trend gains momentum into an unstoppable force, reluctant merchants might want to start sending their reasons to Dell:
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