It’s been 13 years since Bitcoin is the first decentralized digital currency. It was created in 2009, by an anonymous founder or group of founders... arrived in the world. Back then, nobody (not even its creators) could imagine its incredible success. Now we have a versatile currency at $44,000 per unit with numerous businesses worldwide interested in using it somehow. That’s why there already are very-known big companies accepting crypto this year.
According to CoinMap, there are at least 28,673 venues accepting Bitcoin (An abbreviation for Bitcoin.) and other cryptocurrencies worldwide for February 2022. Among them, we can find ATMs, attractions, cafes and restaurants, grocery stores, lodging, nightlife, shopping, sports, transport, and mixed services. But again, none of it includes the really big names, because they usually make their announcements separately.
So, let’s discover in which big companies you (as an individual or business) can spend your crypto in 2022 and beyond.
Enercity and more
If you’re looking to pay for your energy bills with crypto (for example, if you’re a Bitcoin miner), there already are several utility companies accepting this payment method in different regions. It’s not common or valid yet for most countries. However, there are options for, at least, Australia, Canada, Germany, Netherlands, New Zealand, Portugal, Romania, Switzerland, and the United States.
The first energy company accepting Bitcoin was, probably, BAS Netherlands (since 2014), a small firm that offers renewable energies in its country. But now, some years later, bigger energy suppliers have jumped into BTC and other cryptos. A remarkable case is Enercity (Stadtwerke Hannover AG), one of the largest energy suppliers in Germany. This company provides around one million people with electricity, heat, natural gas, and drinking water.
Overstock and other retailers
Overstock is a big American retailer and the first of its kind and size in accepting Bitcoin payments. Eventually, they also added support for other cryptocurrencies: Dash, Ethereum, NEM, Litecoin, and Monero. Anyone can access its website and buy online numerous items, including furniture, décor, jewelry, lighting, pet supplies, beauty products, and more. They’re based in Utah (U.S.), but they ship worldwide to over 180 countries.
Very similar to this one but maybe less big, we also have the marketplaces SugarTrends and Shopinbit. They ship worldwide from Germany (a crypto-friendly country), and Shopinbit has an especial Concierge Service. With it, they can find you anything you want to buy with Bitcoin, Dash, Monero, Bitcoin Cash, Bitcoin SV, or Litecoin —if the price is over 1,000 euros and it’s legally available in Germany.
airBaltic + UATP
Using Bitcoin and cryptos for traveling is kind of common now, but it wasn’t back when the first airline started to accept BTC. That was the Latvian airBaltic (the biggest in the country), since July 2014. Now, their customers can still use BTC to reserve flights to 70+ destinations across the Baltics, Europe, Russia, Caucasus, Middle East, and Central Asia.
After airBaltic, from 2015 to 2017, LOT Polish Airlines (Poland) and Peach Aviation (Japan) jumped into Bitcoin as well. However, this payment option doesn’t appear on their websites anymore —as of February 2022. But there are more alternatives. Since September 2021, the Universal Air Travel Plan (UATP), a payment network specialized in traveling, offers A digital currency running on a blockchain and built with cryptography. Contrary to central-bank issued currency, cryptocurrency issuance rules are... More payment options.
The adoption by UATP implies that over 300 airlines and travel merchants worldwide can accept cryptocurrencies as a payment method. Their members include Aeromexico, Airplus International (British Airways and Lufthansa), Air Canada, Air China, Air New Zealand, American Airlines, Austrian Airlines, Israel Airlines, Japan Airlines, Malaysia Airlines, Turkish Airlines, United Airlines, and Westjet.
AMC, Cineplex, and more theaters
Before the cinemas, the theatre ticket agency London Theatre Direct (UK) started to accept Bitcoin payments in 2014. They were likely the first ones in doing so from this industry, but the option isn’t available anymore. Luckily, 2021 brought several cinemas into crypto.
The American chain AMC Theatres (the largest of its kind worldwide) it’s a remarkable case now. They announced a crypto adoption in mid-2021 and started to accept online payments in Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum, and Bitcoin Cash from the end of the year. They’re even planning to accept Dogecoin (DOGE) and Shiba Inu (SHIB) as well.
Other cinemas accepting crypto in 2022 include Major Cineplex Group (the largest operator of movie theaters in Thailand), and the American chain Regal Films. Along with BTC, the latter will also accept Litecoin, Ethereum, Dogecoin, Chainlink, Cosmos, Basic Attention Token, and some stablecoins.
EY + PwC
From the Big 4 accounting firms (the largest worldwide) two of them accept Bitcoin as payment now. Additionally, the other two seem on the way to accepting it eventually. In the first case, we’re talking about Ernst & Young (EY) and PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC). Since 2017, EY accepts Bitcoin in Switzerland, installed a Bitcoin ATM inside its building there, and offered payments in BTC to its employees. They’re also developing permissioned blockchains for companies.
PwC started to do it the same year in Hong Kong, especially because of the high demand from startups. The other two from the Big 4 (Deloitte and KPMG) are testing permissioned blockchains, and KPMG Canada just bought an unknown amount in BTC and ETH. Deloitte, for its part, accepts Bitcoin only for its Toronto Office Restaurant. But they’re already publishing the benefits of accepting cryptos for companies.
Christie’s + Sotheby’s
The Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) fever led the cryptocurrencies into the auction houses already. Some of them have been sold for millions in ETH and BTC. That includes the (still) most expensive NFT ever sold: “Everydays: the first 5000 days” by Beeple, sold on Christie’s for over $69.4 million in March 2021.
Sotheby’s was founded in 1744, while Christie’s was founded in 1766. Both of them in London (UK). They handle several billion in sales every year, and now this also includes digital art. So, these two big companies must be the oldest ones accepting crypto as payment methods. Next February 23, indeed, Sotheby’s will put to auction the largest group of CryptoPunks so far, with expected sales surpassing $30 million.
Bonus: Microsoft + Amazon + Tesla
Maybe these ones aren’t exactly accepting crypto (yet), but they’re worth mentioning for several reasons. In the first place, we can say for sure that, for some years, Microsoft indeed accepted Bitcoin for payments on its store. They started with it in 2014, so, they were one of the first big companies accepting crypto.
They canceled the service in 2016 for a while, to resume it again later. However, this 2022, the option doesn’t appear anymore, and Bitcoin isn’t included in the payment terms either (not even for El Salvador, where Bitcoin is legal tender). Then again, at the same time, Microsoft published a job offer in early February titled “Director of Business Development- Cryptocurrencies”.
The selected candidate will “lay the foundation to support and inform Microsoft’s Web 3.0 strategy”. So, it’s very likely that the company is laying the ground to handle cryptocurrencies and Blockchain is a type of database storing an immutable set of data, verifiable to anyone with access to it —through... again in different projects.
For its part, Amazon doesn’t accept cryptocurrencies directly, but it’s possible to buy gift cards with cryptos and spend them on their website. Besides, two big companies owned by the brand do accept cryptocurrencies: Whole Foods and Twitch. The first one is a multinational supermarket chain, while the second one is a popular video live streaming service.
Tesla and renewables
Finally, Tesla is a very known case by now. They bought $1.5 billion in BTC a year ago and started accepting BTC payments for their electric cars. The company removed the option seven weeks later, though, alleging environmental concerns related to the Bitcoin mining. Despite this, Elon Musk (Tesla CEO) declared that they’ll accept BTC again once “there’s confirmation of reasonable (~50%) clean energy usage by miners with positive future trend”.
That’s on the way already. According to the Bitcoin Clean Energy Initiative, Bitcoin mining “presents an opportunity to accelerate the global energy transition to renewables”. The future comes with cryptocurrencies.
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