Crypto shopping: Five everyday things you can buy with crypto
For crypto to become more entrenched in society, one of the key steps will be for it to start being a viable currency for making purchases. Currently, to most, it’s an asset class, little different (though more volatile) than stocks, and therefore a speculative investment rather than a usable currency.
However, increasingly, there are products and services that will take payments in crypto. Here are just five of the exciting emerging uses of cryptocurrency in the everyday market.
The insurance industry is slowly but surely embracing cryptocurrency. In April 2021, AXA Switzerland began accepting Bitcoin as a mode of payment for its non-life category customers, making it the first multi-line insurer to open up to digital currency.
Meanwhile, the US-based Universal Fire and Casualty Insurance have started accepting crypto for premium payments for license and permit bonds, and surety bond products. The small business insurer supports Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, and Litecoin.
Purchasing life insurance in crypto might be on the cards too. Back in 2020, Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Co. invested $100 million in BTC for its general investment account.
Food & drink
The first real-world Bitcoin transaction was a purchase of two pizzas from a Papa Johns in Jacksonville, Florida. Laszlo Hanyecz placed the order in May of 2010 for 10,000 BTC.
Nowadays, a range of restaurants, cafes, and bars around the world accept cryptocurrency as payment. In Sydney, you can enjoy cocktails and dinner at The Old Fitzroy Hotel, where they have been accepting Bitcoin since 2013. Then on the other side of the globe, New York’s Hudson Eatery also lets you pick up the check in BTC.
In the early days of crypto, the only clothes you could buy with digital currency were Bitcoin-themed apparel. Today, the fashion e-commerce sector is warming up new payment options.
Big names like Pacsun now accept a dozen digital currencies from shoppers, including bitcoin, bitcoin cash, ethereum, wrapped bitcoin, dogecoin, and litecoin. The American retail giant partnered with BitPay in October 2021, in addition to supporting several different crypto wallets and exchanges.
You can now pay for your energy and water with digital currency. In March 2022, Australia’s 1st Energy became the first provider to allow households to cover their electric and gas bills in a range of cryptos – including Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Dogecoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin, Shiba Inu, Wrapped Bitcoin, XRP, or 1 of 5 USD-pegged stable coins.
That same month, residents of the city of Chandler in Arizona, USA, began paying their utilities in Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin. Although, it was required that they connect through PayPal and add the cryptos to their accounts.
TV & magazine subscriptions
Back in 2014, Dish Network partnered with Coinbase to accept Bitcoin and Bitcoin cash for its monthly TV subscriptions. The American television provider uses BitPay to process these payments. Interestingly, popular streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Disney Plus have yet to catch up with older cable companies when it comes to diverse payment options.
Also in 2014, the Chicago Sun-Times became the first mainstream outlet to allow bitcoin on its platform. Not long after, Time magazine moved to accept cryptocurrency for its digital subscriptions.