Major Businesses that Accept Bitcoin in 2021

October 13th, 2021

Major Businesses that Accept Bitcoin in 2021

Bitcoin, once a cypher-punk engineering fantasy, has now become a legitimate payment option for fortune 500 companies and governments worldwide. The year 2021 has given Bitcoin a legitimacy and massive global adoption not yet seen in the cryptocurrency universe. This comes after Tesla’s Elon Musk announced in February, the luxury EV manufacturer would start accepting and welcoming Bitcoin holders to trade in their BTC for Tesla’s next-gen electric vehicles.  Many large-cap, publicly traded companies seemed to be anxiously waiting for a company of this stature to make the first move. After Musk announced this groundbreaking news, a plethora of small, medium, large, and mega-cap companies came out to follow suit.

To portray the magnitude of just how transformative these announcements are, one must examine the past. The first Bitcoin transaction in exchange for a good or service happened over 10 years ago. On May 22, 2010, a Florida man named Laszlo Hanyecz spent a whopping 10,000 BTC on two delivery pizzas from Papa John’s. At this time, with Bitcoin in its infancy, 10,000 BTC was worth roughly $40 USD – now this is approximately half a billion dollars! The day of May 22 has now been dubbed “Bitcoin Pizza Day”. This is surely the most expensive pizza ever made, in retrospect.

A few short years later, a man named Adam Welsh also made similar Bitcoin history. Adam traveled over two hours from his home in York, Pennsylvania to purchase a chicken sandwich from a select Subway in South Whitehall Township, PA that happened to accept this new technology (Bitcoin) as a valid payment method for its food. At this time, the Lehigh Valley Subway Adam visited was one of only 2 Subway franchise locations to accept BTC as payment, the other being across the world in Moscow, Russia. Adam spent $12.35 USD, at the time, for the chicken sandwich, translating to .04 BTC – now worth approximately $2,000 USD in 2021.

These two groundbreaking events set up the framework for Bitcoin’s future in not only exchanging BTC for small food items or household goods, but in the massive, new universe of decentralized finance and the entire financial market, as a whole.

Shortly after the Subway sandwich purchase, in late 2014 the mega-cap tech giant Microsoft announced it would start accepting BTC as a payment option for apps, games, and other digital content from the Windows, Windows Phone, Xbox Games, and Xbox music and Video Stores. Eric Lockard, Microsoft’s corporate vice president stated, “The use of digital currencies such as bitcoin, while not yet mainstream, is growing beyond the early enthusiasts” and went on to say, “We expect this growth to continue and allowing people to use bitcoin to purchase our products and services now allows us to be a front edge of this market.”

Earlier this same year, 2014, Overstock announced it would also accept Bitcoin through a partnership it recently struck with Coinbase, a very popular digital wallet app and exchange service, which is now a publicly traded company on the NASDAQ. Overstock later announced they would further their exposure to the growing crypto market, by not only accepting BTC as payment, but also as holding it on its books and in its treasury reserves. Overstock CEO, Patrick Byrne has been quoted saying, “These institutions that we get told are neutral and are governing society neutrally… become the tools powerful [enough] to oppress the we. I distrust the idea of central banking”. A very powerful statement from such a large company’s CEO. At this time, this may have seemed quite controversial, but this idea has now been adopted by many and implemented in many major corporations in 2021.

A few exciting years pass for the brave, crypto-pioneering companies, and many businesses seems to be accepting that BTC may be in the line up with payment options like VISA, AMEX, and Mastercard for the fore-seeable future. Come 2019, yet even more major retailers start utilizing the newly launched third-party exchange apps, in which customers can instantly convert BTC in their digital wallets to USD or other currencies around the world. These digital payment applications and networks provide a secure, fraud-resistant ecosystem for all money to be converted and spent in the desired manor. This allows major companies such as Starbucks, Home Depot, and Whole Foods to start accepting Bitcoin as payment, through these applications.

The implementation of these payment networks allow more retailers to jump on board with accepting BTC, without having to actually custody, handle, or hold BTC on the company books or treasuries. This easily and effectively combats the concern for volatility, regulation, and seamlessly ties directly into the company’s existing point-of-sale system, creating an environment where virtually no major retailer has the “excuse” to reject BTC as a payment option.

Furthermore, other notable websites and applications created a software allowing credit card holders to link the cards of their choice and earn BTC, as a type of reward system, whenever a purchase is made at participating retailers and restaurants. This absolutely exploded in popularity and demand amongst major retailers, and now encompasses major brands like: Amazon, Walmart, GAP, Macy’s, Lululemon, Best Buy, Old Navy, Toms, Ulta, and Go Daddy, just to name a few.

Then of course, self-dubbed “Technoking of Tesla” Elon Musk announced in February 2021, Tesla would start accepting BTC as a valid, and welcomed, payment option for purchasing the next-gen, luxury EV.

Moving forward it is most certain companies will be evaluated on and forced to take a stance on their position on cryptocurrency, most specifically Bitcoin. As BTC becomes more and more a part of the status quo, new companies as well as major existing ones, will need to have a serious conversation about staying relevant and congruent with the times, if they are to survive the 21st century technological advances.

To this point, Bitcoin has well outperformed all other asset classes, from publicly traded companies, major index funds, and all commodities in the market. Anyone who plans on starting the next Amazon or Tesla will be forced to acknowledge these facts, and hopefully quick to adopt this new currency network as a welcomed payment option, far superior to cash or card.

Forecasts, estimates and other information included in this blog should not be considered as investment advice or as a recommendation that you purchase any cryptocurrency or any particular investment product. Past performance is not indicative of future results. The author of this blog and Bitcoin of America in no way guarantee any specific outcome, gain, or profit.

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