What Retailers Will Accept Bitcoin By 2019?

The ascent of Bitcoin (BTC) into the financial mainstream has moved society ever closer to an exclusively digital, universally accepted form of payment. Based on revolutionary blockchain technology, BTC provides users a fast, secure and economical means of making purchases or transferring funds. As the technology of BTC gains acceptance among consumers and retailers alike, many businesses are poised to adopt digital money as a preferred mode of exchange.

Cryptocurrency experts are enthusiastic about the potential of blockchain technology. The applications to individual, business and governmental functions may someday define everything from voting to the capital markets.1)Retrieved 6 January 2018 http://www.businessinsider.com/blockchain-technology-applications-use-cases-2017-9

However, the initial purpose of the blockchain, as well as BTC, is for use as a monetary system. This utilisation has many of the world’s largest companies excited about the possibility of honoring BTC in return for goods or services rendered. In fact, the following corporations are already accepting BTC as a form of payment2)Retrieved 6 January 2018 http://www.businessinsider.com/bitcoin-price-8-surprising-places-where-you-can-use-2017-10/#expediacom-1:

Corporations Accepting BTC

Company Core Business
Expedia.com Travel/Leisure
Microsoft Technology Solutions
Overstock.com Discount Retail
Subway Restaurants

While most entities that champion BTC exist in the online space, many traditional businesses are taking notice. Entertainment outlets, restaurants and casinos are beginning to view BTC as an integral part of day-to-day operations.

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The Ascension Of Bitcoin (BTC)

Dating to its inception in 2009, BTC has undergone periods of intense skepticism and euphoric optimism. In the early days, the cryptocurrency’s popularity was severely limited by consumer paranoia regarding the feasibility of an unconventional form of currency. Later on, the utility of BTC and blockchain technology gained the support of many in the financial community.

Featuring no physical presence, central banking authority endorsement, or asset backing of any kind, BTC appeared to be short lived. Concerns surrounding basic functionality, as well as safety, undermined its popularity among both consumers and merchants. As the world became more comfortable with rapidly evolving technologies, attitudes toward BTC and cryptocurrencies underwent a dramatic transformation.

From 2013 through 2017, BTC valuations grew exponentially. From January 2013 to December 2017, the price commanded by one BTC increased from £11 to over £12,000.3)Retrieved 5 January 2018 https://www.coinbase.com/dashboard In December 2017, BTC eclipsed £14,000—almost 15 times the value of one ounce of gold.4)Retrieved 5 January 2018 https://www.cnbc.com/2017/12/19/cramers-charts-reveal-bitcoin-is-not-replacing-gold-anytime-soon.html The monumental rally served to not only legitimise BTC as part of the contemporary financial landscape, but fortified cryptocurrencies as a brand-new asset class.

The Growth Of Bitcoin In Retail

The popularity of BTC continues to grow among consumers, merchants and investors alike. While it is difficult to quantify the actual number of individuals that use BTC and other cryptocurrencies, academics have formally addressed the question. A 2016 study conducted at the University of Cambridge estimated the number of active cryptocurrency wallet users to be between 2.9 million and 5.8 million globally.5)Retrieved 7 January 2018 https://www.jbs.cam.ac.uk/fileadmin/user_upload/research/centres/alternative-finance/downloads/2017-global-cryptocurrency-benchmarking-study.pdf

The regions where BTC usage is the most prevalent are the European Union (EU), U.S., U.K, Canada, Australia and South Korea.6)Retrieved 8 January 2018 https://news.bitcoin.com/worlds-top-10-bitcoin-friendly-countries/ In addition, acceptance of BTC among retailers is growing rapidly in many areas around the globe. The following are several examples of this trend in payment processing:

Retailers Scheduled To Accept Bitcoin By 2019

With robust growth in value and growing global acceptance, BTC is a hot commodity. In order to capitalise upon the media coverage and public interest, countless retailers are in the process of integrating BTC into their business models.

Although many household names are keeping their unique plans under wraps, there are several industrial heavyweights expected to adopt BTC payments in the years to come. Here are several of the leading global retailers projected to have BTC payment systems online by 2019:

Summary

Of course, only time will tell how deeply BTC will penetrate global commerce. Lofty valuations have made it an international buzzword, but there are various challenges to sustaining long-term viability.

Perhaps the largest threat to the growth of cryptocurrencies is the future of industry regulation. Many countries have already restricted BTC use, including China, Sweden, Russia and India.12)Retrieved 8 January 2018 https://www.ccn.com/top-10-countries-bitcoin-banned/ In the event that aggressive regulation becomes prevalent around the globe, retailers from all industries will be forced to rethink their strategy as it pertains to BTC.

Any opinions, news, research, analyses, prices, other information, or links to third-party sites are provided as general market commentary and do not constitute investment advice. FXCM will not accept liability for any loss or damage including, without limitation, to any loss of profit which may arise directly or indirectly from use of or reliance on such information.

FXCM does not endorse cryptocurrency. The information provided herein is for educational purposes only.

References   [ + ]

1. Retrieved 6 January 2018 http://www.businessinsider.com/blockchain-technology-applications-use-cases-2017-9
2. Retrieved 6 January 2018 http://www.businessinsider.com/bitcoin-price-8-surprising-places-where-you-can-use-2017-10/#expediacom-1
3. Retrieved 5 January 2018 https://www.coinbase.com/dashboard
4. Retrieved 5 January 2018 https://www.cnbc.com/2017/12/19/cramers-charts-reveal-bitcoin-is-not-replacing-gold-anytime-soon.html
5. Retrieved 7 January 2018 https://www.jbs.cam.ac.uk/fileadmin/user_upload/research/centres/alternative-finance/downloads/2017-global-cryptocurrency-benchmarking-study.pdf
6. Retrieved 8 January 2018 https://news.bitcoin.com/worlds-top-10-bitcoin-friendly-countries/
7. Retrieved 8 January 2018 https://www.financemagnates.com/cryptocurrency/news/now-accepting-bitcoin-rise-btc-retail/
8. Retrieved 8 January 2018 https://www.ccn.com/big-4-accounting-giant-pwc-accepts-first-bitcoin-payment/
9. Retrieved 8 January 2017 https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-11-29/bitcoin-shows-up-in-shipping-as-ukrainian-firm-plans-first-deal
10. Retrieved 8 January 2018 http://www.miaminewtimes.com/news/miami-beach-condo-owners-accepting-bitcoin-and-ethereum-for-blue-diamond-penthouse-9835526
11. Retrieved 8 January 2018 https://www.forbes.com/sites/rogeraitken/2017/11/29/bitcoin-odds-on-to-be-accepted-by-mcdonalds-at-end-of-2018-but-could-it-break-20000/#206e467d1385
12. Retrieved 8 January 2018 https://www.ccn.com/top-10-countries-bitcoin-banned/