The Power of Fiat
When you have money in your wallet, what’s the first thought that strikes your mind? Let’s go
shopping! Well, that is exactly a thought for most of the people out there. There surely are people
who would prefer to invest or trade on behalf of that money, but what for? To make more money
and use that to live lavishly.
Arrival of Cryptocurrencies
A new type of currency forayed into the market with a goal of global acceptance. Contrary to the
previous statement, Bitcoin, based on the Blockchain technology, didn’t take the world by storm in
its initial days. It took Bitcoin quite a few years to get the fame that it holds today. The name of this
currency somehow got linked with creating crypto-millionaires, who surfed the wave of price surge
and traded this currency to reap benefits. In a similar fashion, a number of cryptocurrencies
surfaced, leading to the creation of a ‘crypto market’ that dealt in trading of such currencies.
The Unawareness Factor
While the majority of such cryptocurrencies reached the world at large through their respective ICOs, a very few of these could actually make it to the brick and mortar stores. Every digital currency aimed at having a real-world adoption, but most of them failed miserably. Apart from the factors responsible for this failure from the company’s end, one major factor is the uninformed population. People have no clue what to do with the stash of digital currency that they hold, apart from trading it. Indeed, it is quite a fruitful way of earning benefits, yet without market-based utility and inadequate knowledge of crypto, these currencies slowly fade into thin air losing their value.
Reality of Retail Adoption
As the name denotes, cryptocurrency is a form of currency after all and hence must have market adoption, where people can actually buy goods and services through it. Many people would say that it is a far-fetched dream to use such currencies in the market, as no store would actually accept a currency like Bitcoin. Well, it is a complete myth, as there actually are not even stores, but countries that openly accept different cryptocurrencies as a mode of payments.
Singapore, included themselves in the crypto-friendly retail market by December 2013 by issuing an official statement “Whether or not businesses accept Bitcoins in exchange for their goods and services is a commercial decision in which MAS does not intervene.” Several cafes, art houses and restaurants across Singapore accept cryptocurrencies as one of their modes of payment.
Japan, the land of the rising sun, has remained the first mover in the domain of technology. Considering the cryptocurrencies, Japan passed a law in March 2017 to legalise Bitcoin and other virtual currencies. By April 2017, the operating cryptocurrency exchange businesses in Japan started being regulated by the Payment Services Act. Since then, it has become a common practice gradually to use cryptocurrencies as a mode of payment across different stores and restaurants in the country.
Apart from a number of countries that accept various cryptocurrencies, there are businesses across the globe taking cryptos as a mode of payment. As per the legend, back in 2010 a Bitcoin developer Laszlo Hanyecz did the first transaction via Bitcoin to prove that digital currencies worked. He paid 10,000 Bitcoins to buy 2 pizzas from the famous pizza franchise store, Papa John’s.
A 35-year-old coder, Peter Saddington, stopped by a luxury car showroom, ‘MotorCars’ of Georgia in an Audi R8 and drove back home in a 2015 Lamborghini Huracan worth $200,000 by cashing 45 Bitcoins. This mechanized monster merely costed him less than $115 as per the amount he invested for those 45 Bitcoins. Bought via cryptocurrency, this car was nicknamed as the Bitcoin Lamborghini.
Peter Saddington with his Bitcoin Lamborghini. Source
As per December 2018 Coinmap listings, there are 14049 venues across the globe openly accepting Bitcoins and various other cryptocurrencies for day to day transactions.
In today’s world, you can not only shop through the retail stores using cryptocurrencies, but can travel around the globe as well. Many companies, including, Expedia, CheapAir, Virgin Galactic, aBitSky, AirTreks and SurfAir allow users to book their flight tickets through cryptocurrencies. Several other businesses, including Microsoft, accept digital currencies for their app-based purchases. And if that was not all, e-commerce portals like Amazon, Shopify and Overstock allow you to shop via cryptos, enabling users to purchase from anything to everything.
How to Pay via Crypto
There are several ways to pay for retail bills via cryptocurrencies:
- Smart Phones: Going in to the retail stores, you can simply use your smart phone crypto wallet to scan the QR codes and use the ‘spend’ button to make easy and secure payments. The process is as simple and easy as using fiat wallet to pay.
- Bitcoin Debit Card: There are a number of Blockchain based companies that offer crypto debit cards that function as the regular debit cards. You simply load the card with fiat and that amount gets converted to cryptocurrency for further payments.
- Invoice Address: You will find some businesses providing their wallet address in the payment section, along with Cards and Net Banking options. For making the payments, simply transfer the crypto to the said address via your wallet.
Market adoption and utility are the most important traits for any currency and with the acceptance of these digital currencies across the globe, the vision of creating a decentralised global economy is becoming clearer day by day. What are you waiting for, utilise your cryptocurrencies today!