More mainstream brands are beginning to accept Bitcoin as a form of payment.
While governments are still figuring out how to regulate and classify bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, more mainstream brands are beginning to accept it as a form of payment, including most recently Expedia (hotel bookings only for now) and Dish Network. Overstock.com, which began accepting bitcoins at the beginning of the year, has processed $1.6 million in purchases so far. Others accepting the currency range from a sports team (the NBA’s Sacramento Kings) to a college. Apple and PayPal are reportedly considering accepting the digital currency, as well.
Bitcoin’s volatility, along with security concerns and legality issues, remain obstacles to wide adoption, but brands are turning to services that function as middlemen, as we wrote in April. Services like Coinbase or Bitpay convert bitcoins to fiat currency, protecting merchants from uncertainty around the currency. Every instance of a high-profile brand adopting bitcoin payments lends to the legitimacy of the currency in consumers’ eyes, while also giving the merchant in question a more digitally savvy and progressive image. Brands will play a crucial role in bringing bitcoin to the mainstream, and will stand to benefit when they do.
Image credit: Street Wise Journal