17 Stores that Accept Cryptocurrency
When Satoshi Nakamoto introduced bitcoin, it was with the idea that his invention would disrupt money as we know it. While there have been movement regarding monetary transfers and in alternative banking methodologies, there have been little to no movement in daily or small-volume transactions.
Typically, cryptocurrencies are terrible when it comes to these types of transactions. The processing time and fee schedule are treacherous, the lack of merchant support is questionable, and the inflationary nature of altcoin pricing is frightening for businesses that would ultimately have to absorb this risk. However, there are businesses that feel that the benefits to supporting cryptocurrencies outweigh these pitfalls.
This article will look at some of the companies that accept cryptocurrency as payment for goods and services. These are non-crypto companies that you may deal with personally or through your business that made news with their decision to accept bitcoin and altcoins.
Overstock.com was the first major retailer to accept bitcoin as payment, starting in January 2014. While this decision was somewhat risk-free for inventory liquidator and reseller Overstock.com – the risk was absorbed by Overstock.com’s exchange partner Coinbase – it still represented an unorthodox choice for the growing retailer that could have backfired. Fortunately for Overstock.com, the decision helped the online retailer to grow significantly, breaking the trend of sluggish stock prices.
“After 21 hours on @overstock.com, we’ve had 780 #Bitcoin orders that accounted for $124,000 in sales,” Patrick Byrne, Overstock.com’s founder and CEO, tweeted after the retailer’s 2014 bitcoin rollout. “Wow!”
Since that day, Overstock.com has went full crypto. The company now accepts all major cryptocurrencies via ShapeShift. Overstock.com has started its own security token exchange, tZero, which developers say will introduce a means of trading security tokens “in an easy, compliant, and user-friendly manner” with features such as risk management software, an order management system, a matching engine, and others.”
To clear SEC concerns regarding the tZero crowdsale, the tZero ICO has been reclassified as being open to accredited investors only for investors living in the United States.
The travel booking agency Expedia followed Overstock.com onto the bitcoin boat on June 2014. Expedia users was able to use bitcoin to pay for hotel bookings. Expedia only allowed crypto payments for hotel, but airlines and car rental crypto payments were considered for a while. Like Overstock.com, bitcoin payments were managed by Coinbase.
Per Expedia’s press release: “’Expedia, Inc. is in a unique position, as one of the world’s leading online travel agencies, to solve travel planning and booking for our customers and partners alike by adopting the latest payment technologies,’ said Michael Gulmann, Vice President, Expedia Global Product. ‘We’re continually looking at ways consumers want to pay for their travel; bitcoin is a great example of how Expedia is investing early in an array of payment options to give our customers and partners more choice in the ways they interact with us.’”
“Expedia partnered with Coinbase, a trusted third-party bitcoin payment processor, to integrate bitcoin payment support into the hotel booking experience on Expedia.com. Customers can intuitively find and select bitcoin as a payment option at check-out along with all other methods accepted on the site, including Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover, JCB, Diners Club and PayPal. To purchase hotel reservations using the newly accepted currency, customers simply indicate bitcoin as their method of payment and then follow a few steps to safely and securely complete each transaction.”
In May, Expedia suspended its bitcoin payment program. There has been no official announcement regarding the change, but a company representative did confirm the change to Bitcoin.com. “I can confirm that as of May 10, 2018, Expedia no longer supports Bitcoin as a payment method. Currently, we do not feel that we are able to offer the best experience for those using Bitcoin, but will continue to evaluate various options in order to offer travelers flexible payment solutions.”
It would make sense that a technology store would accept cryptocurrency as a payment. However, for orders directly bought from Newegg, Newegg will accept payment from BitPay. BitPay is a onine payment processor that accepts bitcoin and bitcoin cash.
Newegg does not accept cryptocurrency for Will Call orders, gift card orders, Marketplace items, subscription orders, pre-orders, premier memberships, and return shipping labels.
Newegg launched, in 2015, a fictional cryptocurrency, Eggcoin, which is pegged to the price of a dozen eggs. Eggcoins were confirmed to be an April Fool’s joke.
“Bitcoin is a new option that gives people more power and control over their finances,” Newegg wrote on its webpage. “Bitcoin is extremely inexpensive to send or accept, and the currency’s anonymous nature eliminates the risk of identity theft and fraud. Simply put, bitcoin has all the advantages of paying cash, but has the extra advantages of being usable both electronically and across international borders.”
Satellite television service provider DISH Network became the largest company to accept cryptocurrency as a payment in 2014. Like other companies, Coinbase handles the payment processing.
“We always want to deliver choice and convenience for our customers and that includes the method they use to pay their bills,” Bernie Han, DISH executive vice president and chief operating officer, said on a company press release. “Bitcoin is becoming a preferred way for some people to transact and we want to accommodate those individuals.”
“As a bitcoin payment processor, Coinbase will help DISH make the payment experience easy for our customers and make it easy for DISH to receive immediate credit in dollars, at an attractive cost for DISH.”
“We’re excited to support DISH and their current and new subscribers for their bitcoin transactions,” Coinbase co-founder Fred Ehrsam said. “This is a large step forward in the growing momentum of customers paying companies in bitcoin for things we do every day, like watching premium TV.”
Bitcoin payment is available to any customer seeking to make an one-time payment (opposed to a recurring payment) on mydish.com.
Unlike other retailers on this list, Shopify is an ecommerce platform that allows for the creation of independent online stores, like Etsy or eBay. As such, Shopify’s adoption of bitcoin as a payment method created over 75,000 crypto-accepting retailers.
Unlike most other retailers, Shopify’s partnership with GoCoin allows merchants to use not only bitcoin, but other altcoins like dogecoin, ether, and Litecoin. Merchants have the prerogative to sign up for crypto processing or not; merchants are required to pay a transaction fee for each crypto purchase.
Shopify did not introduce this feature as a response to any consumer need. It was because some of its merchants, like GAW Miners, deal exclusively in cryptocurrency. It took many months of lobbying to get a positive response from Shopify.
Roadway Moving Company
When running a multistate operation, sales tax could be tricky. With a recent Supreme Court decision dictating that the states can require businesses doing business in their respective states to collect sales tax, many businesses could find themselves being forced to process a logistically-costly and unpopular price bump.
While there has been no case law or precedence to bear this out one way or another, there is the popular assumption that by paying with crypto, you can skip the sales tax collection.
“Our being the first major moving company in the Tri-State area to accept Bitcoin as a currency has a message behind it – it represents advancement and progress,” Ross Sapir, president and owner of Roadway, said. “Blockchain technology is the future and we, as a company, are always looking to be the leader in providing the newest and most advanced services to our client. For my business, Bitcoin negates the tyranny of credit card and merchant fees, plus the immediacy of a monetary transfer.”
Sapir explained that his decision is based on the following factors:
“Safety: Individual purchases are never associated with a personal identity, much like cash-only purchases. Unlike other forms of virtual payment, customers who use Bitcoin do not leave behind personal data.
No third-party involvement: Banks and other financial institutions have no way to interrupt user transactions. The person-to-person or person-to-business transactions allow a greater degree of freedom than with traditional national currencies, where wire transfers might incur delays or bank accounts which may be prone to freezes.
Low transaction fees: Since Bitcoin transactions have no intermediary institutions or government involvement, the costs of transacting are kept very low compared to other virtual payment systems, averaging at only 1%.
Untaxed purchases: Since there is no way for third parties to identify, track or intercept transactions that are denominated in Bitcoins, one of the major advantages of Bitcoin is that sales taxes are not added onto any purchases.”
Most of these rationales are incorrect. Bitcoin can be associated to an individual wallet, are typically processed through third-party exchanges, and could be taxed in the future – depending on the state’s stance on tax enforcement. Despite all of this, it is true that bitcoin payments are typically cheaper than credit card payments regarding transaction fees.
“I’m confident that this form of currency will be soon be mainstream in the moving industry and I’m thrilled to be leading the charge into this new era,” Sapir said. “For our clients, paying with Bitcoin is simple and all one needs to do is open a ‘hot wallet’ on one of the exchanges.” A “hot wallet” is a wallet that is hosted online via a managed service.
Intuit does not accept bitcoin for its services or products but does offer a service that allows its business partners to accept bitcoin, if they like. PayByCoin is a QuickBooks Online invoicing service that allows customers to accept payments by bitcoin.
The service does not get involved in the actual transaction. It is simply a referral service, sending payers to Coinbase, where the payer will send the payment directly to the merchant’s wallet. PayByCoin will then record the transaction.
Intuit has also added bitcoin support to its platform Mint. Intuit does not charge for this service, but there may be a Coinbase or bitcoin network transaction fee.
Microsoft has made it easier to buy Microsoft points. One can now redeem bitcoin for Microsoft points for the purchasing of games, apps, and movies at the Windows and Xbox stores.
Microsoft, however, has made it clear that these points may not be used to buy merchandise from the company’s online store and cannot be used to buy gift cards. Also, bitcoin purchases with Microsoft are non-refundable and may be unavailable in certain countries.
This move is an attempt by Microsoft to catch up to Google. Vastly outclassed by Google Play by market share and developers’ preference, Microsoft is trying to edge into a market where the company was late to take seriously. With mobile computing overtaking PC use, the company is increasingly seeing its future being tied into gaining ground against Google and Apple’s App Store.
It is peculiar to think of a fine jeweler catering to the bitcoin community, but it makes sense in a way. With the rash of bitcoin billionaires and millionaires, accepting bitcoin may be a quick way for a high-end merchant to bring in new business.
Enter REEDS Jewelers. A customer may now pay – in person or online – for their purchase with bitcoin. More, REEDS offer commodity pieces to bitcoin customers for purchase.
“You can now use bitcoin to buy fine jewelry and watches, ranging from engagement rings to Pandora charms, in all REEDS Jewelers locations and online at REEDS.com,” the REEDS website read. “We’re also offering gold ingots and loose diamonds at REEDS.com for those of you looking to diversify your bitcoin holdings. Shipping is free for all purchases.”
“Since 1946, REEDS Jewelers has been trusted by generations. With a focus on personalized service, attention to detail, and lasting quality and style, we want you to feel like family. Shop for jewelry and watches online or in any of our 65+ retail stores across the United States. All REEDS Jewelers return policies and customer satisfaction guarantees apply to purchases made with bitcoin.”
While this may be opportunistic pandering, it does offer the bitcoin investor an easy way to diversify his/her portfolio.
While Expedia will not accept bitcoin for air travel purchases, CheapAir will. One of the first companies to accept bitcoin as a form of payment, CheapAir – in an inverse of Expedia’s policies – accept bitcoin for air expenses, but not for hotel rentals or rental cars.
“If you have not been following the Bitcoin craze, rest assured — you can still purchase flights using credit card or Western Union — but if you have been following the Bitcoin trend, we hope you’re as intrigued as we are with this progressive form of digital payment,” CheapAir’s 2013 blog post read.
“The idea came to us a few months ago, and we’re proud to say it ignited directly from a customer inquiry to one of our Travel Advisors: Can I pay with Bitcoin for my flight? The question didn’t just stop there; it made its way to our development team and CEO, Jeff Klee. After some initial research and discussion, it then landed on our development release schedule.”
Since 2013, CheapAir has extended its crypto purchasing program to bitcoin cash, Litecoin, and DASH, as well as Western Union and monthly payments using Affirm.
Other Merchants that Accept Cryptocurrency:
- Subway (select stores)
- Virgin Galactic