As the cryptocurrency market becomes a trillion-dollar industry, more businesses and financial institutions are taking notice. One of the main driving forces behind this is the scale of investment from asset management companies like BlackRock and huge digital asset management leaders such as Greyscale.
There is a wide range of businesses taking crypto as a form of payment. The price of Bitcoin has fluctuated wildly since it was first launched as an alternative form of payment in 2009. For the first few years of its existence, it was considered essentially worthless. However, the general upward trend in the last decade is astonishing. For example, Laszlo Hanyecz made the first transaction by buying two pizzas in Florida in May 2010 for 10,000 Bitcoin (BTC). Technically speaking, Hanyecz sent the Bitcoin to somebody else, who then purchased his pizza with the United States dollar. This number of Bitcoin would have been worth more than $600 million if he had kept hold of them and sold them in April 2021.
However, this was still a landmark moment and showed that Bitcoin holds real value in modern society. For comparison purposes, the average house price in America today is around 18 Bitcoin.
Companies that accept cryptocurrency as a form of payment
There is now a multitude of companies that accept cryptocurrency as payment. They include but are not limited to:
- Home Depot
- AMC Theatres
There are not only several different companies that accept cryptocurrency as payment – there are now several countries in which you can use it as legal tender.
Countries where cryptocurrency is accepted as legal tender
Although this is still in its infancy, a few countries have opted to use Bitcoin as a legal tender, with varying results. El Salvador was the first country to adopt cryptocurrency as legal tender, in September 2021. It has also been adopted in the Central African Republic.
In other countries, cryptocurrency is accepted but not necessarily as legal tender. For example, you can legally make cryptocurrency transactions, trades and investments in the United Kingdom. Still, very few shops or websites will accept cryptocurrency as a payment method, as opposed to GBP (British pound). The same applies to countries such as the United States, Canada, Australia and Japan.
There are a number of businesses that seem to be open to the idea of using cryptocurrency. Still, many countries and businesses seem skeptical about using this as a form of payment. This is because there is no regulatory clarity on using cryptocurrency and how accepting it as payment would work. The Bitcoin price also fluctuates wildly over the course of a year. That volatility is one of the factors that is scaring businesses from committing fully to the idea of accepting it as a form of payment.
The United States is looking to provide regulatory clarity for the investors and the market as a whole. With the SEC recently taking Ripple to court over their sales of XRP, and whether or not it counts as a security, the outcome of this case will have a seismic effect on the cryptocurrency market as a whole. If the court rules in Ripple’s favor, it could have a gigantic effect on the digital assets that people hold. Cryptocurrency, especially Bitcoin, is already considered a solid long-term investment.
However, suppose XRP is given full regulatory clarity in the world’s biggest financial market. In that case, this could send its price into the stratosphere and flag it as a good short-term investment and certainly a solid long-term investment. This will also positively impact other cryptocurrency prices, with the likelihood that the price of Bitcoin will accelerate along with it.
In summary, it would be fair to suggest that more businesses are taking crypto as a form of payment. Not only this, several other countries could soon adopt it as legal tender. This will then, of course, allow more businesses to adopt it as it becomes more level and steadier within a financial regulatory framework. This would be the ideal scenario for business and cryptocurrency investors alike.
We may be a long way from that at the moment. Still, if cryptocurrency has taught us anything, it is that its popularity and notoriety can accelerate seemingly out of nowhere and suddenly become hugely relevant. With Western countries all suffering from recession and inflation in 2022, the move towards digital asset investing and mass adoption could be closer than we think.