Bitcoin has steadily integrated itself into the modern world, with the network having undergone several upgrades to ensure that it functions optimally to support this.
As more businesses start onboarding Bitcoin as a payment option, naturally more users are asking what they can buy with BTC.
The Upside To Paying With Bitcoin
The decentralized network that operates the Bitcoin platform is renowned for its strong security and cross-border capabilities. With Bitcoin, international transactions can be cleared in minutes, incurring very little fees (when compared to fiat transactions of that nature).
Another benefit to using this digital currency is that there is no need for a middle man, allowing transactions to be sent directly from one party to another. Again, this cuts out time and money.
These transactions are also more discrete, as they are not listed on any bank statements or traditional banking platforms. They do however incur tax implications.
What Is The Lightning Network?
The lightning network is designed to facilitate faster transactions on an already established blockchain, like Bitcoin or Litecoin for instance, through the use of micropayment channels.
This second layer protocol utilizes its own network of nodes to more quickly and cost-effectively conduct transactions than the underlying blockchain network is capable of doing.
The second layer protocol uses smart contracts and multi-signature scripts that enable users to open “channels” through which they can quickly conduct transactions.
These transactions are then facilitated by a “decentralized” network of lightning nodes. By moving transactions off-chain, the lightning network is able to more efficiently confirm transactions, while also decongesting the original blockchain.
However, the downside to using this second-layer product is that it’s not very user-friendly and isn’t as well integrated into wallets and products of that nature, yet.
To make use of the lightning network users are required to create and deposit BTC into their own lightning channels before making the Bitcoin payment. This channel then needs to remain open until the transaction has been executed.
As a quicker and entirely free alternative, Oobit users can make instant Bitcoin payments using Oobit Pay on the app, incurring zero fees.
What Can I Buy With Bitcoins?
Now that we’ve covered the ins and outs of making payments using Bitcoin, let’s explore what is on offer. With the online shopping sector becoming more and more popular, Bitcoin does present an easy and convenient means of making payments, especially when using a mobile wallet and QR code.
The biggest online stores currently accepting Bitcoin include the likes of Whole Foods, Overstock, Home Depot, Newegg, Shopify, and Microsoft. Shoppers looking to pay for goods in Bitcoin opt for gift cards, with many platforms offering gift cards to big retailers for a range of cryptocurrencies, like Gyft.
There are also plenty of service providers accepting Bitcoin payments. As integration continues you’ll see a growing trend of companies across a wide range of sectors opening the payment channel. Service providers from AT&T to Twitch, NordVPN to ProtonMail to Vultr are all accepting Bitcoin payments. WordPress, Reddit, and publications like Bloomberg and Chicago Sun-Times have also started accepting the cryptocurrency.
In terms of restaurants, a few big-name franchises have been leading the way (although not every franchise offers the option). Starbucks, Subway, Burger King, and Chipotle have been the most prolific in this category.
Payments in Bitcoin in the travel sector have also recently ballooned, with a huge variety of companies catering to crypto enthusiasts. These include the likes of the world’s first commercial spaceline, Virgin Galactic, AirBaltic, Expedia and Travago, as well as multiple hotel chains with locations around the world. High rollers can also now purchase a yacht with their Bitcoin through Denison Yacht Sales.
There are even universities around the world that are accepting Bitcoin as tuition payment, with ones located in Australia, the United States, Cyprus and Germany.
While the list of companies accepting Bitcoin grows by the day, it’s always worth checking the payment options on a retailer’s website to see if it is Bitcoin-friendly. As the world becomes more accustomed to Bitcoin and other digital currencies, more and more brick-and-mortar and online stores are going to accept cryptocurrency payments.
Read more about this here:
- Cryptocurrency is taking over retail and travel
- Worldwide Crypto Adoption Update
- The booming trend of businesses accepting crypto