Retailers and Marketplaces Accepting Crypto in 2019 (Part I)
This is Part I of a two-part series where we try to understand the current state of crypto adoption among online retailers and marketplaces. In this article, we focus on virtual items and services. While some entries on this list do also offer physical products, most of their business models rely upon digital products like downloads, software services, and/or peer-to-peer payment technologies (i.e. crypto for payments and tips).
Part II of this series will primarily focus on e-commerce and brick-and-mortar businesses where you can use crypto to pay for services or physical products.
Places Accepting Crypto for Digital Products and Services
While the list of marketplaces and retailers that accept crypto is much longer than this (and continuously growing), these entries represent the diversity of businesses accepting crypto in 2019. The businesses featured in this list range from startups to Fortune 500s.
Since 2014, Microsoft has accepted BTC in its online Xbox Store. The company temporarily stopped accepting BTC in 2018 due to high volatility; however, the company is once again offering this as an option for users wanting to purchase Xbox store credits.
One of the top platforms for purchasing domain names, Namecheap accepts BTC and often uses these funds in its efforts to fight for internet freedom and net neutrality.
Purse.io for Amazon Items
Yes, it’s true that Amazon doesn’t yet accept cryptocurrencies, but Purse.io is a unique platform that allows users to buy orders on Amazon in exchange for BTC or BCH. For some products, it’s possible to save up to 33% by using Purse.io.
On Purse, when you name your own discount, it is fulfilled by earners (individuals who wish to exchange their Amazon gift cards for your cryptocurrency). As a shopper, you can try to get larger discounts by trading delivery speed for savings.
In March 2018, CheapAir became the world’s first online travel agency to accept LTC, BCH, and DASH as payment for flight and hotel bookings. Prior to this, CheapAir began accepting BTC in 2013. According to its website, CheapAir remains the only online travel agency in the U.S. that allows you to buy flights with Bitcoin.
This P2P music marketplace allows musicians to sell their songs directly to fans. There are a few benefits of using Ujo Music over iTunes or other platforms. On this site, 100% of sales and tips go directly to artists. The platform automatically splits payments with multiple song collaborators. It even provides a way to sell digital, collectible badges. All payments use ETH.
Bitrefill for Airbnb, Netflix, Uber, and Other Major Companies
Bitrefill is a platform that allows users to purchase a variety of gift cards with cryptocurrency. It works with 1,650 businesses in 170 countries. Although it’s not possible to make crypto payments directly to these sites with Bitrefill, the company does sell gift cards for some of the most popular retailers in the world. While most options are available internationally, a few are only available to people residing in the U.S. Accepted cryptocurrencies on Bitrefill include BTC, ETH, DASH, DOGE, and LTC. This site is even an early adopter of Thor, a service that lets anyone get an empty Lightning channel opened to them from Bitrefill’s node on the Lightning network.
Origin is a protocol for creating P2P marketplaces. It uses the Ethereum blockchain and IPFS, empowering developers and businesses to build decentralized marketplaces. Origin makes it easy to create and manage listings for the fractional usage of assets and services. Buyers and sellers can discover each other, browse listings, make bookings, leave ratings and reviews, and much more. The ultimate goal of the project is to replace the rent-seeking middlemen of Web 2.0. These include companies like Uber, Airbnb, Fiverr, and Getaround that take up to 20–30% of transaction fees.
The Origin dApp operates much like Craigslist, with sellers on the Origin dApp currently listing items like art, clothing, and watches. There are also a variety of unique services like jet ski lessons in Peth, Australia and online music production/DJ lessons from 3LAU. Every item or service listed on the dApp is paid in ETH.
In February 2019, Twitter launched Tippin browser, an extension for Chrome and Firefox that allows users to send and receive BTC. This is made possible via the Lightning Network, a Layer 2 payment protocol that operates on top of the original Bitcoin network. In order to tip on Twitter, the sender and receiver both must have Lightning Network wallets.
Early Adopters No Longer Accepting Crypto
According to an official announcement, Expedia began accepting BTC as a payment option on June 11, 2014. Beginning on May 10, 2018, Expedia stopped accepting BTC. While there was no official announcement explaining why the company stopped, some comments on various forums suggest that the reason might be Coinbase’s decision to discontinue custodial services for merchants.
Twitch once offered an option to pay with BTC and BCH using BitPay. However, according to a Reddit user’s post from March 23, 2019, BitPay payment processor service has been removed as a payment method for Twitch users of all countries. On March 20, 2019, another Reddit user stated that Streamlabs — a popular streaming software widely used by Twitch users to receive tips — also removed support for crypto payments.
First establishing a feature to accept BTC in January 2015 with a fee of 0.5% per transaction, payment processing giant Stripe was a positive sign for early crypto adoption. On April 23, 2018, Stripe stopped its support. According to a statement from Stripe COO Claire Hughes Johnson in July 2018, Bitcoin and other blockchain-based payment services are “slow, impractical, and overhyped.”
For instance, Johnson said that merchants sometimes had to file a second transaction to account for price fluctuations that occurred between when a purchase occurred and when it cleared. Despite these results, Product Manager Tom Karlo has said that the company remains optimistic about cryptocurrencies overall and that it could offer support for BTC and other coins once again at a future date.
EMR Webinar Signup
Ethex is a non-custodial, decentralized exchange for trading ETH and ERC20 tokens. We will soon launch Ethex 2.0, a new protocol that will feature Ethex Maker Rewards (EMR) token as an incentive for market makers.
Fill out this contact form or reach out to us on Telegram if you would like an invite link to our webinar, which will take place on April 17, 2019, at 1:00 pm EST. During the webinar, CEO Dan Walton will explain how EMR works, how it is earned, and answer any questions.