Bitcoin's history can be traced as far back as November 2008, when a paper was posted to a cryptography mailing list titled "Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System."
In this time the value of the first bitcoin transactions were negotiated by individuals on the bitcointalk forums with one notable transaction of 10,000 BTC used to indirectly purchase two pizzas. But as early as 1999, economist Milton Friedman said the internet would be a major force for reducing the role of government, with the one missing element being a reliable version of e-cash.
Bitcoin has advanced quickly. In 2011, based on bitcoin’s open source code, other cryptocurrencies started to emerge. And on Oct. 11 of this year, the price for a single bitcoin was a little over $4,798.
This is greatly attributed to the fact that more people are getting educated on how bitcoin works, which is also driven by major business acceptance. The convenience of receiving payments within seconds, with minimal transaction fees means a lot to a business. More online stores are opening up to accepting bitcoin as a form of payment from their customers.
Let’s have a look at some businesses that accept bitcoin payments:
Expedia.com. Expedia teamed up with Coinbase in implementing the world's largest travel booking agency found online. Since mid 2014, users have been able to make hotel bookings using the bitcoin payment option. Expedia currently accepts bitcoins for hotel bookings only, but are expected to expand to include flight bookings and other activities.
Newegg.com. Newegg is an online electronics retailer who accepts bitcoin as a payment method. If you are a gadget junkie, then you can make electronic purchases using bitcoin.
eGifter. eGifter is a popular gift card mobile app, which allows users to buy gift cards for different places, such as Amazon, Sephora, Home Depot and Kohls. eGifter works with Coinbase as their bitcoin partner. Bitcoins are accepted for purchasing gift cards for places that do not directly accept bitcoins.
Overstock.com. Overstock is a company selling big-ticket items at lower prices, owing to overstocking. Overstock.com was the first online retailer to accept bitcoins, in January 2014. Overstock partnered with Coinbase allowing its customers to pay with bitcoin for all their purchases, from TV sets and laptops to pillows. In order for you to use bitcoins on Overstock, you need to simply choose the “pay with bitcoin” option for you to complete your purchases.
Microsoft. Microsoft users can use bitcoin to purchase games, movies and apps in the Windows and Xbox stores, as well as the Microsoft online stores.
Virgin Galactic. Since 2013, Virgin Galactic, a commercial space-flight venture owned by the entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson, that includes companies such as Virgin Mobile and Virgin Airline, accepts purchases using bitcoin. You can even pay for space travel with bitcoin.
Zynga. For the online gamers, Zynga partnered with BitPay for their bitcoin payments. Players can use bitcoins for in-app purchases.
Subway. Subway franchises in Buenos Aires recently accept bitcoin for payments at the restaurants for their “Eat Fresh” products.
There are many other small e-commerce stores that accept cryptocurrency for purchases. The use of cryptocurrency is on the rise as it has many benefits, such as security, speed, minimal transaction fees, easy to store and manage and relevance in the digital era. It is evident that we won’t have to wait very long to see cryptocurrency as a globally accepted means of payment.