Both within and outside the finance realm, the term “cryptocurrency” has gained significant traction for quite some time. In the past six years, the total number of crypto assets has increased from 6 million to 221 million. For those just joining the crypto-wagon, the term refers to a digital payment system protected by cryptography, making it virtually impossible to replicate. People worldwide may send or receive money via digital wallets or exchange platforms such as Coinbase. Traditional financial institutions aren’t involved in crypto, so it’s possible to circumvent them and validate payments without them, decentralize the transactions, and put authority in the hands of its users.
There has been a long-standing demand for more convenient and expeditious payment options in online commerce, and cryptocurrency came to prominence just in time. Here are a few retailers that have taken the plunge and now accept cryptocurrency payments.
Travel & Hospitality Industry
Incredibly, such an industry was among the first to embrace cryptocurrency. In 2014, Latvian carrier airBaltic became the world’s first airline to accept Bitcoin for airfare payment. Its footsteps were followed by another Eastern European airline, LOT Polish Airlines, which in 2015 announced that they’ll also be accepting crypto as an online payment method.
Hotels followed airlines in this trend when the Hong Kong-based Pavilion Hotels & Resorts group became the first worldwide hotel brand to implement virtual currency payments. A joint venture between the company and payment provider Coindirect will let guests pay for their stays in 40 different tokens, including Bitcoin, Ripple, and Ethereum.
The penultimate stop on our travel & hospitality trip is Expedia, one of the world’s largest travel agencies. The brand has partnered with Travala to enable tourists to pay for thousands of hotels using more than 30 different cryptocurrencies.
Nobody could possibly be surprised to see iGaming on this list. Such firms are frequently at the forefront of new innovations and technologies, and cryptocurrencies are no exception.
New UK slot sites such as PlayFrank Casino and Karamba Casino, and a few other worldwide online casinos, have all found ways to implement such a payment system onto their platform. Both of the aforementioned operators accept Neteller as a payment method, allowing players to exchange their funds for cryptocurrencies within their digital wallets. Along with others in the industry, they have heeded the call of individuals desiring more anonymity in their financial transactions and, owing to the cryptocurrency’s decentralized structure, are increasingly lured to gaming with it.
Cryptocurrency payments provide several advantages for online gambling operators. For starters, cryptos are very cost-effective and provide minimal transaction fees. In comparison to fixed currencies, some of the most popular crypto payment systems charge as low as 0.5%. Other advantages include rapid and borderless transactions, confidentiality and transparency, and the elimination of chargeback risks without the company’s approval.
Recently, the football industry has developed an interest in digital assets. Many professional soccer teams throughout the globe are looking into partnerships with cryptocurrency companies, including everything from sponsorships to crypto payments.
After establishing a cooperation with the UTRUST payment network, S.L. Benfica became the first major European football club to accept crypto payments. Its fanbase of over 14 million supporters are now able to buy merchandise using Bitcoin, Ethereum, and the UTRUST token (UTK). S.L. Benfica expressed that the club has been looking into upgrading its e-commerce strategy for quite some time, and this step will allow them to support and expand its global audience.
RCD Espanyol is the next name on this list. Catalonia’s professional football club will be the first La Liga club to allow crypto payments, thanks to a recent partnership with the iGaming token, Crypto Snack. Word has been out that this will all come to practice as early as next season, with fans being able to pay in cryptocurrency for match tickets, merchandise, and food items.