The world’s largest and most popular crypto-currency, Bitcoin, is getting hotter, literally. As law enforcement agencies including International Police Organization (Interpol), European Police (Europol), US Department of Homeland Security, and their counterpart worldwide step up efforts to track its use in crime, Bitcoin owners are trying to find ways and means to buy stuff with the crypto-currency.
The good news is, there are over 100,000 online and through brick-and-mortar stores. Understandably, some of these outlets are extremely pricey and meant for very high net-worth individuals. Yet, if you wish to avail of some products and services, here are some ideas where you can spend Bitcoin.
UK-based ‘Passion high-up’, a rather up-market escort agency is accepting Bitcoin from clients. Indeed, Passion high-up has the distinction of being the world’s first escort service to begin accepting Bitcoin in return for carnal pleasures it provides to its female and male clients. Another major escort provider, Backpage, now accepts Bitcoin payments only.
A large number of casinos- online, onshore and offshore- now accept Bitcoin from players. You can indulge in a game of Poker or Rummy, spin the roulette or play any other game at casinos by paying with Bitcoin.
Additionally, you can opt for a payout of your winnings in US Dollar, Euro or Pound Sterling, among other major currencies. Some examples include JoyCasino, TonyBet and, ZigZag777, among others.
Mail Order Bride
US-based online dating service, OKCupid accepts Bitcoin to arrange your meeting with a female or male for dating and matrimony. The website also operates through the Android-based app. OkCupid has operations worldwide, meaning customers can find ‘dates’ in almost any part of the world.
A few ‘mail order bride’ agencies based in Russia also accept Bitcoin payments to ensure anonymity of transactions for men based in the US and Europe.
Bitcoin is now accepted by at least two travel services providers, Expedia and CheapAir. You can book airline tickets, hotels, transfers and sightseeing packages using the crypto-currency.
However, conditions and restrictions apply while booking certain travel requirements with Bitcoin on these websites.
Gift your dearest one with jewelry using Bitcoin or send some useful items for daily use. Two stores that accept Bitcoin for jewelry and other requirements are Gyft and Reed Jewelers, Inc. Prices charged in Bitcoin are similar to those for regular fiat currencies.
Amazon and eBay do not accept Bitcoin payments and indications are they will shun the crypto-currency.
However, e-commerce platform Shopify that helps retailers set up online stores has a system that enables people to buy their daily requirements with Bitcoin payments, in countries where it operates.
Germany’s online food ordering portal Lieferando.de and PizzaForCoins allow you to enjoy everything from a gourmet dish to ubiquitous pizza by paying with Bitcoin.
Lieferando.de accepts direct Bitcoin payments. PizzaForCoins allows you to pay in Bitcoin and place an order with Pizza Hut and Dominos, among others.
Computers & Electronics
US-based online retailer Newegg accepts Bitcoin payments for smart-phones, computers, and accessories as well as electronics and home appliances.
Though Newegg operates online stores in various countries, the mode of Bitcoin payment is not available everywhere. Another company in this field is America’s Overstock.
With companies like Amazon shying away from Bitcoin for obvious reasons, web portal eGifter provides an excellent alternative.
At eGifter, you can exchange Bitcoins for shopping coupons for every major online store including Amazon, Home Depot, Kohl, and others. Charges are applicable while buying these shopping cards.
Global software giant Microsoft accepts payments in Bitcoin for buying games, music, movies, and apps through its Xbox and Windows stores. You have to deposit Bitcoin in the online account and place orders by paying through e-wallet you hold with Microsoft.
Chartering an airline is possible with Bitcoin. At least two companies, Destinia and WebJet Exclusives allow you to charter ordinary or executive aircraft using the crypto-currency. Destinia also accepts Bitcoin for holiday packages and regular seats on airlines.
British banking major Barclays became the world’s first reputed financial institution to accept Bitcoin for people wanting to invest in its products and savings schemes. Reports from across the world indicate, several other major banks are exploring Bitcoin acceptance but are reluctant due to inherent risks.
Banks that are likely to accept Bitcoin include Union Bank of Switzerland, BNP Paribas of France and Banco Santander of Spain.
Apparel & Fashion Garments
China-based LightInTheBox is the first and perhaps only online retailer to accept Bitcoin payment for apparel and fashion garments.
However, you can buy apparel and readymade garments from a few other fashion houses online by making Bitcoin payments through the third party such as banks.
Cars & Automobiles
At least a dozen car and automobile dealers in the US accept Bitcoin payments for vehicles. Lamborghini Newport Beach, Land Rover Redwood City, and TomCar Australia are some companies that accept Bitcoin payments for cars and other vehicles.
Taking one’s own life through assisted suicide is a very controversial issue worldwide. Hence, they do not publicize their services. However, euthanasia providers are in countries where it is legal, accept Bitcoin payments for the service.
Poland’s Medicover Group made history a couple of years ago by announcing it would accept Bitcoin for treatment at its listed hospitals and other healthcare service providers.
In the US, some private clinics and physicians now accept Bitcoin payment that has forced American tax authorities to probe the practice.
The University of Nicosia in Cyprus is the first educational facility to accept Bitcoin payments for fees from students. International Academy for Music Arts, based in Australia reportedly accepts Bitcoin payments for various courses and musical tours.
Web domain provider Namecheap, news, and entertainment website Reddit and free torrent download site The Pirate Bay accept Bitcoin payments. Other online services include 4chan, an online bulletins platform, Mega.co.nz, which offers online storage space to clients for Bitcoin payments. WordPress also accepts Bitcoin payments for premium services.
EZTV and Dish, both based in the US, accept Bitcoin payments for their online TV shows as well as those aired over Direct-To-Home (DTH) satellite systems. However, Bitcoin payments are accepted only for high-value Premium packages offered by the two entertainment providers.
Sean’s Outpost and The Water Project are among charities that accept Bitcoin donations. More on charities that accept Bitcoin donations can be found at Bitcoinforcharity.com. The website carries a list of organizations involved in various charitable activities who accept Bitcoin to fund their work.
More Bitcoin Acceptors
There are several more small and large retailers and service providers that accept Bitcoin payments. However, their credentials could not be independently verified.
According to news reports, popular Quick Service Restaurant (QSR) chain Subway accepts Bitcoin at some of its outlets in East Europe while a few local bars in the US also allow payments in the crypto-currency, provided they are made in advance.
According to information available from various sources, over 100,000 outlets around the world accept Bitcoin payments. Before making a Bitcoin payment, it is essential to verify credentials of the store or service.
Payments once made with Bitcoin cannot be stopped or reversed, unlike with credit and debit cards where customers enjoy protection from banks. Additionally, there are several online scams that entice Bitcoin holders to spend the precious crypto-currency but vanish into the limbo sans fulfilling orders.
Though Bitcoin remains the world’s single largest crypto-currency and its prices have soared over the last 12 months, acceptability remains low. This is because most governments remain undecided over how to tackle challenges faced by Bitcoin and other crypto-currencies and their rising notoriety in crime and terrorism.
The Indian government launched a crackdown on Bitcoin exchanges and banks that held accounts of Bitcoin traders to counter money laundering, tax evasion, and terror funding, among other crimes.