#Payments21 Jan

Bitcoin Accepted Here: Major Online Merchants Embracing Crypto

Alisa Tkach

What do Twitch, Porhhub, and Microsoft have in common?

What do Twitch, Porhhub, and Microsoft have in common?

Skeptics insist that cryptocurrency is not real money as it’s nowhere close to being a medium of exchange. That could be a solid argument a few years ago, but the crypto payment infrastructure has been gradually expanding. As time goes by, eCommerce pushes out retail and more merchants worldwide are opening their minds and digital wallets for cryptocurrency payments. Over 15,000 businesses around the world already accept Bitcoin as a solid payment method. 

Those who want to go beyond speculation and start paying for goods and services in crypto won’t find it problematic anymore. A wave of well-established companies embraced the new digital gold allowing their customers to use Bitcoin and other coins as a means of exchange. 

We’ve compiled a list of popular online services, both pioneers and newbies in the crypto processing scene, that you can start using right away.

Twitch

Is there a better environment to test out virtual currencies than a virtual world? Although blockchain gaming is yet to make a much-heralded breakthrough, the mainstream gaming service caused no delay in stepping up. Owned by Amazon, a video streaming platform, Twitch has been facilitating Bitcoin settlements since 2016. 

Although generally crypto-friendly, the leading game streaming service demonstrated a mixed attitude towards digital currencies. In 2019 Twitch removed BTC and BCH from the payment methods for a few months and then discreetly brought them back. However, this behavior is typical, as all the major enterprises seemed to have a similar tendency at some point.

Now, things are looking more than bright for crypto and gaming enthusiasts. Twitch is swinging a 10% discount for those who wish to pay for their subscriptions in cryptocurrency. Powered by BitPay, Twitch’s list of coins includes BTC, ETH, BTH, XRP, USDC, GUSD, PAX, and BUSD. And when feeling generous, Twitch users can tip streamers with crypto donations via third-party processing services.

Pornhub 

Privacy and decentralization make cryptocurrency a perfect payment method for those platforms that cannot take advantage of the mainstream goodness. And that doesn’t necessarily apply to the darknet resources. After the scandal involving posting non-consensual content, the infamous adult entertaining website Pornhub has been abandoned by all the high-demand payment providers. 

At the end of 2020, VISA and Mastercard restricted using their cards on Pornhub. But since there’s no controlling force in crypto, you can still use it to pay for your entertainment fix. As of now, if you’re considering buying a subscription to the website’s Premium content, get your crypto wallet ready as it is the only payment option available. Fun fact: ever since Pornhub introduced crypto payments to its viewers, Bitcoin price has doubled. Coincidence?

Chess.com

The Queen’s Gambit has captured the viewer’s hearts, and minds and everyone rushed to Chess.com in hopes to become the next Beth Harmon. Chess.com is the biggest online chess club that hosts over a million games daily and favors crypto. 

Although the website’s basic functionality is available for free, the subscription will give you access to the site’s finest content. Chess puzzles, lessons, game analysis, and the ability to get a rating on your saved games comes at a price. Conveniently enough, the aspired chess players can pay for the yearly subscriptions in Bitcoin via the BitPay gateway.

Airbaltic

A Star Alliance member, airBaltic, proudly calls itself the world’s first airline that started supporting cryptocurrency as a legitimate payment option. Latvian air company has been accepting Bitcoin since 2014, sustaining its status as one of the most innovative airlines globally. 

To pay with Bitcoin for the flight tickets on the official Airbaltic website, choose BitPay as a payment option. But keep in mind that Bitcoin checkout is only available for the Green and Green plus tickets for flights booked at least five days ahead of the scheduled departure.

Microsoft

Microsoft, the computer software development leader, is one of the first companies to embrace Bitcoin settlements. It has started accepting BTC payments from users for topping up their accounts as early as 2014. 

Like most big firms that support cryptocurrency payments, Microsoft did not make official announcements about why they are backing digital currency. As many Microsoft users are also big crypto fans, the software giant probably had no choice but to meet them halfway. All Microsoft account holders can currently top it up via cryptocurrency and pay for all the company services, including its beloved Xbox store. 

Etsy

One of the most popular shopping platforms in the US and globally, Etsy allows its merchants to accept cryptocurrency payments too. Although creating a shop on the platform is free, it is the individual listings themselves that the merchants have to pay for. 

The Etsy sellers are free to decide whether they want to accept Bitcoin in their shop, and they’ve got two options on how to do it. The merchants can choose to settle crypto transactions directly with the buyer or via the crypto processing firm. As practice shows, crypto payment solutions are in-demand, and therefore the number of sellers accepting crypto continues to grow.

Shopify

2020 gave a powerful boost for e-commerce as the online shopping volumes skyrocketed. It’s no surprise that popular marketplaces gave the green light to as many payment solutions as possible. Apart from Etsy, one of the US largest and fast-growing marketplaces – Shopify – has gone crypto-friendly too. Besides, they’re giving their merchants quite a few options.

One of its crypto processing solutions is carried out by our partner CoinPayments, and supports over 1,800 digital coins. Any of the merchants who work with Shopify can easily set up cryptocurrency checkouts in their shop. Apart from CoinPayments, Shopify has partnered with BitPay and Alchemy Pay and is looking into joining Libra Association. 

Expedia 

Besides buying things with crypto, you can book your next holiday or business trip without laying out your credit card. Expedia, one of America’s largest travel companies, has partnered with Travala – the blockchain-based travel service – to offer its users hotel bookings via Bitcoin and 30 other cryptocurrencies.

In the past, Expedia was trying to facilitate the Bitcoin payment option too but had to stop this service until Travala came up with a partnership offer. Travala’s CEO, Juan Otero, is optimistic that the travel industry is rising back, and the demand for cryptocurrency checkouts is already self-evident. 

The Bottom Line

While new online services are implementing their first crypto payment solutions, major enterprises are adding additional processing options. Ecommerce is blossoming and the cryptocurrency payment volumes are growing too – 2020 made a point in this matter.