It’s a question that’s popping up a lot lately: What can you buy with bitcoin?
A big reason for this is thanks in part to Tesla’s on-again-off-again relationship with Bitcoin. But in reality, lots of brands have been quietly dipping their toes into the crypto pool for years.
From gaming and multi-million-dollar pieces of art to space travel and everything in between, we’re breaking down a few of the household name brands that either currently accept cryptocurrency for payments or that plan to in the near future.
Tesla is usually the first business to come to mind when thinking about which big brands accept Bitcoin or crypto, so let’s get this one out of the way. As of the writing of this article, Tesla is no longer accepting Bitcoin as a payment method for its line of electric vehicles.
Elon Musk, the official Technoking of Tesla (yes, that’s his real title) recently back-peddled on the news that Tesla would be accepting BTC after investing in $1.5 billion worth of bitcoin. This news, along with the later speculation that Tesla would dump some of its bitcoin holdings caused the price of BTC to take a temporary nosedive.
“Tesla will not be selling any bitcoin, and we intend to use it for transactions as soon as mining transitions to more sustainable energy,” Musk clarified. “We are also looking at other cryptocurrencies that use [less than] 1% of Bitcoin’s energy/transaction.”
It remains to be seen what currencies he is referring to, whether it’s his much-loved Dogecoin or possibly even Ether, both of which are expected to migrate their consensus mechanisms from proof-of-work to the more environmentally friendly proof-of-stake.
You can learn more about the difference here.
While many companies are only now beginning to hop on the bandwagon, Microsoft began quietly accepting BTC all the way back in 2014. According to the tech giant, Microsoft accepts Bitcoin as “a payment option to buy apps, games and other digital content from Windows, Windows Phone, Xbox Games, Xbox Music or Xbox Video Stores.”
Beyond simply allowing its users to make payments with cryptocurrency, PayPal has taken it upon itself to provide an all-in-one cryptocurrency solution. Currently limited to users in the United States (Hawaii excluded) have the ability to buy, hold, sell, and make payments at checkout with four different cryptocurrencies.
- Bitcoin Cash
Major Fast Food Chains in Venezuela
What can you buy with bitcoin? How about a burger and fries?
While those of us in the United States have yet to be able to buy a burger at Burger King with crypto, the same can’t be said for fast-food lovers in Latin America. This is especially true in Venezuela, where a surge of fast-food chains like Burger King and Pizza Hut began accepting bitcoin in recent years.
The idea of a parallel economy has long been a staple of life in Venezuela, thanks to the national currency’s claim to fame as one of the most inflated in the world. Seeing crypto as a way to circumvent hyperinflation, many Venezuelans looking to protect their wealth view cryptocurrency as a more stable and future-focused safe haven for their money.
And it’s not just consumers. Even the Venezuelan government (well, one of them, but that’s another story) linked its own national currency to Bitcoin in an effort to avoid the impacts of sanctions placed on the politically volatile country by the United States.
Considering that the United States Dollar has been the unofficial currency in Venezuela for years despite official bans from the government, and the local currency is essentially worthless, it’s only natural that so many of the country’s major brands have moved closer to accepting crypto for day-to-day transactions.
Some of these brands include:
- Restaurant Brands International, including Burger King, Popeyes, and Tim Horton’s.
- Yum Brands, which oversees operations of KFC, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, and The Habit Burger Grill.
Besides KFC Canada briefly accepting crypto for its aptly named Bitcoin Bucket, it remains to be seen whether these same brands will extend the ability to pay with cryptocurrency at a store near you.
With Carnomaly — a car buying platform powered by blockchain technology — you will be able to buy a car using cryptocurrency from anywhere in the world. While still in production, our platform will accept bitcoin, ethereum, LTC, and CARR token. And when fully integrated with CarrDefi, our defi auto loan tool, you’ll be able to fund and find your car all in one place.
The internet retail giant focused on discounted high-ticket furniture, and home decor began accepting cryptocurrency for online orders back in 2017. Through its partnership with Coinbase, the company accepts payments in Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ether, and several other major crypto coins.
The ever-popular online encyclopedia Wikipedia is loved by users all over the world. Because of that and its status as a nonprofit, its leveraging of a borderless and cost-effective payment system like cryptocurrency for its funding needs just makes good sense.
Working with Bitpay, a well-known crypto payment processing company, donors can support The Wikimedia Foundation — the nonprofit that runs Wikipedia — using bitcoin core (BTC) and bitcoin cash (BCH).
Christie’s and Sotheby's
You might not expect cryptocurrency to go hand-in-hand with high ticket art. Still, we’ve seen a surge in these two seemingly contrasting worlds sharing headlines in recent months, beginning with Christie’s first-ever auction of an NFT (non-fungible token) work of art by Beeple. The auction brought in the equivalent of $69 million — paid in cryptocurrency.
Sotheby’s followed suit, selling its first piece of physical art in cryptocurrency — a $12.9 million Banksy called “Love is in the Air” — in early May. While it’s not clear which crypto coin was used for the sale, it was either Bitcoin or Ethereum.
Considering the fact that the whole idea behind crypto is to go around centralized, traditional banking systems, it’s a little ironic that those same systems are jumping on the cryptocurrency bandwagon.
And yet that’s precisely what we’re seeing with big names like Visa now accepting payments in USD Coin, a stablecoin that is tied to the United States dollar (so one coin equals $1.00)
Prior to this announcement, Visa partnered with Crypto.com on a crypto-backed rewards program for several years. The cost and tedium of converting crypto to fiat currency each day meant that it made more sense for Visa to participate in the crypto ecosystem through USD Coin instead.
Visa says it won’t stop with just USD Coin. It also plans to add more crypto coins, so long as they’re stablecoins, and intends to support Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDC).
Virgin Galactic (Space Travel)
It’s 2021, folks. It’s only natural that we can now pay for actual space travel with a currency that exists only digitally. That’s precisely the case with billionaire businessman Sir Richard Branson’s commercial space travel venture Virgin Galactic.
Would-be passengers can book their seats on SpaceShipTwo using bitcoin, and according to the company, at least six or seven individuals already have.
Despite its crypto-friendliness, Sir Richard Branson doesn’t view himself as Bitcoin’s #1 fan.
“What I’m saying is we have a spaceship company, and if people have made a lot of money out of bitcoin. We’ll accept their money and send them to space.”
Sounds fair, Sir Richard, sounds fair.
What can you buy with bitcoin? The future of crypto payments
It’s safe to say that those big-name brands that haven’t yet adopted crypto as a valid payment method are at the very least thinking about it and weighing the pros and the cons.
Many private companies have adopted Bitcoin as their reserve currency, including:
- MicroStrategy – 71,079 BTC
- Tesla – 43,000 BTC
- Galaxy Digital Holdings – 16,402 BTC
- MassMutual – 5,300 BTC
- Marathon Patent Group – 4,813 BTC
- Square – 4,709 BTC
- Hut 8 – 2,851 BTC
- Voyager Digital – 1,239 BTC
- Riot Blockchain – 1,175 BTC
The global crypto-industry has reached over $1.4 trillion. With cryptocurrency trading becoming more mainstream by the day and more and more large brands staking their claim on their slice of the crypto pie, it’s safe to say that the answer to “what can you buy with bitcoin?” is soon to be just about everything.
Carnomaly: Find and Fund Your Next Car with Crypto
With Carnomaly’s future auto-trading platform, you will soon be able to buy a car with bitcoin — from anywhere in the world. And, using the lending power of CarrDefi — our defi auto loan tool, you can find your next car and secure the funding for it all in one place.
Learn more about the Carnomaly platform here.