What Retailers Will Accept Bitcoin By 2023?
The ascent of Bitcoin (BTC) into the mainstream financial world is helping pave the way to a truly digital and 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. 
Up until 2021-22, Bitcoin adoption around the world seemed to be unstoppable. Bitcoin has already become an accepted asset class amongst even the most conservative of institutional investors. Countless S&P 500 companies, including Tesla, Microsoft, and Starbucks, have announced they would also accept Bitcoin as a payment method.
However, fewer Americans are opening crypto wallets amidst the crypto selloff. With BTC down over 60% since 2022 began, some are wondering whether institutional Bitcoin adoption as a payment method could just prove to be just a passing fad.
Cryptocurrency payments do seem to be here to stay. Here's exactly which retailers have already accepted Bitcoin, which will likely do so by 2023, and Bitcoin's future following the 2022 crypto bear market.
The Ascension Of Bitcoin (BTC)
Dating to its inception in 2009, BTC has undergone periods of intense scepticism and euphoric optimism. In the early days, 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.
The Growth Of Bitcoin In S&P 500 Companies
Bitcoin adoption has reached a point where countless S&P 500 companies have already accepted the flagship cryptocurrency as an alternative means of payment.
The most obvious cases are crypto enthusiasts like Elon Musk, who announced buyers could buy Tesla in Bitcoin. That has since spread to nine different S&P 500 companies, including Starbucks, Microsoft, Amazon's Whole Foods, AT&T, Overstock, Home Depot, PayPal, Twitch and Etsy.
Bitcoin Growing Popularity Amongst Small Retailers
According to one study, around 28% of American small businesses accept cryptocurrency as payment. Another common barometer for Bitcoin adoption, the number of Bitcoin ATMs in the country, has more than doubled between 2021 and 2022 and has risen by more than 437% since 2022.
Data from Statista shows that convenience stores and gas stations are the most popular category of stores that accept Bitcoin or own Bitcoin ATMs. Closely behind were casual dining restaurants and supermarkets.
Food companies tend to be the most popular acceptors of Bitcoin, far from surprising since the first Bitcoin transaction in history involved buying two pizzas. Big food chains like Burger King, Subway, Pizza Hut, and KFC all accept Bitcoin as well, with the most recent addition being Chipotle, with over 3,000 chain restaurants across the country. 
Will Bitcoin Acceptance Slow Down In 2023?
There's a good chance Bitcoin adoption could slow down in the next 6-18 months, depending on how long this crypto bull market lasts. The value of most altcoins has plummeted, while mainstream tokens like Bitcoin and Ethereum are trading at multi-year lows.
While Bitcoin adoption could slow down a bit, it's probably not going to grind to a halt. When looking back at the original 2018 crypto crash, where Bitcoin declined over 83%, that didn't seem to stop bitcoin adoption from growing at the time.
Between 2018 and 2019, the number of Bitcoin ATMs in the U.S. grew from 2,074 to 4,107, a 98.0% growth rate. While that's a slight slowdown from the 2017-2018 period, which grew from 968 to 2,074 at a rate of 114.3%. It's clear that crashes don't necessarily have to slow down crypto adoption in the retail sector. 
Additionally, most Americans aren't using Bitcoin for daily transactions yet either. Around 27 million people in America, or 8.3% of the population, own BTC in a Bitcoin wallet by the end of 2021. However, most aren't using it on a daily basis, rather as a kind of an investment, so even this figure is exaggerated in terms of suggesting Bitcoin usage in day-to-day life. 
With that said, Bitcoin adoption will likely continue to stay strong into 2023 and beyond, albeit at a slightly slower pace of growth compared to previous years.
Could Bitcoin Regulations Be A Threat?
Unlike before, crypto regulations in the Western world seem to have stabilised. Western governments have largely accepted cryptos for what they are, but a bigger threat to Bitcoin is its structural limitations.
Unlike back in 2018, when very few people were using these flagship coins, the newfound transaction traffic is slowing down the Bitcoin network. That means it's a lot more impractical to use Bitcoin for a quick, day-to-day purchase, like a cup of coffee. Credit cards like Visa and Mastercard can process thousands of transactions per second, while Bitcoin is stuck at around 4.6 per second. Other popular coins, like Litecoin and Bitcoin Cash are all suffering from similar problems as well.
There are scaling solutions that can solve these issues. The most popular of which is the Lightning Network, a layer-two scaling protocol that lets two parties make numerous BTC transactions between each other, before settling and transcribing said transactions into a single entry onto the Bitcoin mainnet.
Other Bitcoin payment options, like Bitpay, have also become popular alternative ways to spend bitcoin in day-to-day retail transactions. There even are solutions where you can just use your debit card at checkout, and it will automatically convert your payment into Bitcoin form.
Overall, the picture for Bitcoin remains bright. While the speculative fervour has evaporated, that hasn't stopped the more tangible aspects of blockchain technology from continuing to find mainstream adoption.
When you consider existing examples, the companies most likely to accept Bitcoin are financial service providers and food companies. Other B2C companies, like hardware retailers and furniture chains, are also likely candidates to see more Bitcoin acceptance. Tech and online retailers like Newegg have accepted Bitcoin, so larger competitors like Best Buy may also start to accept Bitcoin payments going forward as well.
FXCM Research Team
FXCM Research Team consists of a number of FXCM's Market and Product Specialists.
Articles published by FXCM Research Team generally have numerous contributors and aim to provide general Educational and Informative content on Market News and Products.
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