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Sep 22, 2021

Cryptocurrency Payments: These are the major businesses that accept digital currencies as payment.

A growing number of businesses across a wide range of industries - from big tech to airlines - are embracing cryptocurrencies and allowing customers to pay for their goods and services using them. In this post, we share some of the major companies that have accepted cryptocurrency payments.

Cryptocurrencies are constantly in the news these days. If it isn't enough that the value of Bitcoin has risen to a new high of $60,000 (€50,500) for the first time, Elon Musk, the founder of Tesla, is investing billions in it.

While buying and selling cryptocurrencies is becoming more common, the opportunities to spend virtual currencies are limited due to their volatility.

However, a growing number of businesses across a wide range of industries - from big tech to airlines - are embracing cryptocurrencies and allowing customers to pay for their goods and services using them.

Pavilion Hotels & Resorts

The Pavilion Hotels & Resorts group, based in Hong Kong, has become the first international hotel chain to accept cryptocurrency payments as the latest company to do so.

Through a partnership with payment platform Coindirect, the group, which owns properties in Amsterdam, Madrid, Lisbon, and Rome as well as Bali and Phuket, will accept bookings using 40 different tokens, including Bitcoin and Ethereum, beginning in July.

AXA Insurance

Customers in Switzerland will be able to pay their bills with Bitcoin starting in April, according to the insurance broker behemoth. Since the company's market research in 2019, nearly a third of respondents aged 18 to 55 had either already invested in cryptocurrencies or were interested in doing so, the decision to embrace them has been in the works.

Customers will now be able to pay their non-life insurance premiums using a reference code printed on their bills, which will be converted into Swiss Francs by the crypto exchange Bitcoin Suisse.

Microsoft

Microsoft's acceptance of Bitcoin payments, as one of the world's largest software companies, is significant in terms of instilling confidence in the use of cryptos. Bitcoin, which can be redeemed for credit and used to top up user accounts, can be used to pay for a variety of services, including Xbox Live and Skype.

The company's interest in cryptography isn't limited to that. In late March, Microsoft launched ION, a two-layered authentication platform based on blockchain, on the Bitcoin network. Instead of accepting payments, the technology generates digital IDs that can be used to verify online identities.

Starbucks

Starbucks customers can now pay for drinks and goods with converted Bitcoin using the new Bakkt app, following a successful trial. 500,000 people signed up for the invitation-only, early access program to test the digital wallet as a payment method, according to the app's creators.

Tesla

Elon Musk, the CEO of electric carmaker Tesla, has had a rocky relationship with Bitcoin. Earlier this year, the company announced that it would accept Bitcoin payments for vehicle purchases in the United States. It follows Elon Musk's company's $1.5 billion (€1.2 billion) investment in the cryptocurrency in February. This has now been turned on its head, with Tesla announcing that Bitcoin transactions will be halted until more than 50% of tokens are mined using renewable energy.

Amazon

Amazon was reported earlier this year to be joining the ranks of other tech behemoths, such as Facebook, in laying the groundwork for its own proprietary cryptocurrency. However, the e-commerce company does not accept cryptos directly at this time. You can, however, purchase Amazon vouchers through Bitrefill, a crypto-only company that makes living on cryptocurrencies easier by converting Bitcoin into gift cards, phone refills, and other items.

Visa

Visa confirmed at the end of March that it was testing a scheme with platform Crypto.com to accept cryptocurrency for payment settlement on its payment network. USD Coin (USDC), a stablecoin cryptocurrency pegged to the value of the US dollar, will now be accepted.

PayPal

PayPal users in the United States can now buy, sell, or hold a select few cryptos, including Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, and Litecoin, following an announcement in October of last year. You'll also be able to track cryptocurrencies using the PayPal app. The only disadvantage is that money cannot be transferred out of the digital wallet of the company.

PayPal announced in August that users in the United Kingdom can now trade in Ether, Litecoin, and Bitcoin Cash on the company's website and mobile app.

PayPal has remained tight-lipped about its plans to expand the service to other countries.

airBaltic

In 2014, Latvian airline airBaltic became the first airline in the world to accept Bitcoin as a form of payment for tickets. Since launching the payment option seven years ago, the company claims to have processed over 1,000 Bitcoin transactions. Following its lead, another eastern European carrier, LOT Polish Airlines, did the same the following year.

Sotheby’s

Sotheby's is a well-known auction house. Sotheby's accepted cryptocurrency as payment for the first time in late June and has since fully embraced both cryptos and NFTs.

Since announcing that cryptos were now accepted, it has accepted Bitcoin as payment for a rare 101 carat diamond that sold for $12.3 million (€10.4 million) in July. It became the most valuable item ever purchased at an auction using cryptocurrency.

The auction house will accept Bitcoin and Ether as payment for lots marked as "cryptocurrency payments." Payments will only be accepted through certain approved exchange wallets, including Coinbase, so there are some limitations.

Coca-Cola

Amatil, the drinks giant's bottler and distributor in Asia-Pacific, has partnered with the Centrapay platform to accept cryptocurrency as a form of payment. By 2020, there will be over 2,000 vending machines in Australia and New Zealand that accept cryptocurrency as payment for drinks.

LOT Polish Airlines

In 2015, LOT Polish Airlines announced that it would accept Bitcoin as a payment method for flights, following in the footsteps of airBaltic. Despite the passage of six years since its decision, LOT remains one of the few European airlines that accept cryptocurrency as a form of payment.

Expedia

Expedia has partnered with crypto-friendly travel booking platform Travala to become one of the most well-known travel agencies to accept Bitcoin. More than 30 different cryptos, including Bitcoin, can now be used to book 700,000 hotels from the website's listings.

Lush

Lush was one of the first global companies to embrace cryptocurrency, fully embracing it in 2017 when the handmade cosmetics company began accepting Bitcoin payments for orders on its website through a partnership with a cryptocurrecy payment provider.

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Martin Dominic Banguis Head of Marketing