The first real-world Bitcoin transaction happened on 22nd May 2010, when Laszlo Hanyecz bought two pizzas from a Papa John’s store in Jacksonville, Florida for 10,000 BTC (In today’s exchange rate, that comes to over 500 million dollars).
In 2014, Overstock became one of the first big e-sellers to accept direct Bitcoin payments. Since Bitcoin happens to be the biggest and the most known cryptocurrency, which is why some of the biggest retailers are setting up payment systems that enable Bitcoin transactions. It is well known that big companies like AT&T, Starbucks, or KFC Canada accept Bitcoin payments.
Here are some well-known examples:
- Microsoft has been accepting Bitcoin for its online Xbox Store credits.
- Home Depot, the largest Hardware Store Chain in the United States, accepts Bitcoin payments via Flexa’s checkout systems installed in their stores.
- Purse.io allows purchases from places like Amazon and various other online retailers.
- Overstock accepts multiple kinds of cryptocurrency and not just Bitcoins for transactions.
- In 2013, the first Bitcoin purchase at a Subway happened in Moscow, Russia. Burger King in Netherlands, Germany, and Burger King Venezuela accept Bitcoin payments through orders on its website.
Air tickets and non-profits
Using cryptocurrency to pay for tickets is also gaining popularity. Online travel sites like Expedia and CheapAir.com accept Bitcoins for flight purchases. If you visit ScubaOtter, you can buy scuba gear with Bitcoin. Even Apps in the Apple and Android stores allow users to buy airline tickets
by converting Bitcoin to fiat money in real-time.
Non-profit organizations like Wikipedia accept Bitcoin for donations. Subway was the first major food chain to accept Bitcoin.
Even though the popularity of cryptocurrency is on the rise, it is yet to be adopted by the majority of the nations. The lack of a proper regulation system governing cryptocurrency transactions deters many countries from legalizing cryptocurrency.
Japan creates the first crypto economy
Right from the inception of cryptocurrency, Japan has been a crypto hub. Japanese citizens were mining bitcoins (a way of creating new bitcoins by processing transactions) and using them, even when they had very little real-world value. Japanese citizens welcome technological disruptions. This is the reason why Japan has a large number of cryptocurrency investors and users. Today, it is considered to be a world leader in cryptocurrency.
Japan has a specific PSA (Payment Services Act) based framework which keeps track of all the cryptocurrency payments and trading. The cryptocurrency exchanges in Japan are registered as financial services institutions. Japan is planning to launch its own digital currency in both the public and private sectors by 2023. This digital currency will be similar to Facebook’s Diem plan. Enjin Coin (ENJ) has become the first gaming cryptocurrency in Japan. It can be used within the country and can be easily purchased with the Japanese Yen.
When it comes to the acceptance and adoption of cryptocurrency, Japan is following the footsteps of China which is in its trial stage of launching its digital currency. It is expected that China will officially launch its digital yuan in 2022.
Last year, European Union has announced its first-ever plan to regulate cryptocurrency. Simultaneously, it will also introduce new regulations to reduce risks for investors, while also ensuring legal certainty to those issuing digital currency. Currently, Switzerland has the highest rate of crypto ownership in Europe which is also among the highest in the world. The highest number of crypto holders can be found in London. According to statistics, the majority of cryptocurrency holders in Europe are young.
PayPal, MasterCard, and Visa adopt crypto
A digital currency can create a globalized and decentralized economy, which is why cryptocurrency is widely accepted on many e-commerce portals. MasterCard is planning to roll out a crypto-based debit card in partnership with Bitpay that could be used at more than 3,000 merchants worldwide. Recently PayPal announced that through PayPal digital wallets it is going to let the consumers use cryptocurrency to buy things from the platform’s almost 30 million merchants.
The increase in cryptocurrency adaptability along with growing ease of use indicates a future where digital money will become the norm.