Which businesses are likely to accept crypto in 2022 and beyond?

The trading of crypto is becoming increasingly common. The mass increase in market access brought about by trading apps has meant pretty much anyone over the age of 18 can trade digital securities. That’s all well and good from an investment perspective. But for cryptocurrencies to really work and bed themselves in as an asset that can rival, and potentially even one day, surpass, cash as the means of payment, companies will need to accept them as tender.

Is Crypto a sensible way to receive payment?

Before we look into which companies are accepting crypto as a payment method, it’s important to question can such a volatile asset ever really provide a stable means of payment?

Think about it… Back in April, crypto was trading at around $62,000 per coin. Just a few weeks later that figure had plummeted below $30,000 per coin.

2021 Bitcoin USD chart

Imagine if the US dollar lost 50% of its value in just a matter of weeks, would businesses be lining up to accept it as a means of payment? Perhaps not.

Of course, the short-term volatility of crypto can work in favour of the company accepting it as payment but it can also work against it.

However, advocates of digital currency will argue that they are not concerned deeply about short-term volatility and that accepting crypto as a means of payment allows a company to stockpile digital assets.

If crypto advocates are right, and crypto really is the future of payments, then this can be seen as a smart move. A sort of sovereign wealth fund, for a company.

In reality, though, there are very few companies who could, or perhaps, should, make that kind of gamble, why? Because to be able to accept crypto as payment and then storing over the medium term, you need large amounts of cash flow and cash reserves in place. Otherwise, the company will be directing much-needed liquidity from sales into risky crypto savings funds.

Equally one might argue, why would the company not stick to accepting cash as a means of payment, and then, if they really want to invest in crypto, buy crypto when the value drops with their cash surplus? It’s certainly another option.

Which companies can afford to gamble on crypto?

For mega-companies, like Amazon, the stockpile approach could be seen as a viable option. They certainly have enough liquidity to take these kinds of risks, it’s more a question of appetite.

The emerging dark web millionaire market

Let’s explore another potential angle as to why companies are keen to accept crypto. It’s no secret that crypto is being used for illicit activities. In an article written by Forbes, titled Bitcoin dark web activity up 340% since 2017″ it was estimated that the use of bitcoin on the dark web had risen by 340% from 2017-2020. From 87 million USD in 2017 to 384 million USD in 2020.

Dark web is producing millionaires
The dark web is creating millionaires

From a business perspective, this kind of market simply can’t be ignored. There are a huge number of individuals and businesses operating on the dark web and they’re mainly using crypto, notably Bitcoin. Normal businesses like Amazon will most likely have an interest in attracting this new market of potentially wealthy spenders. One simple way of gaining financially from this market is by accepting bitcoin as a means of payment.

Some of the companies currently accepting crypto

It seems almost every week we now hear of another major company accepting bitcoin. IT giant Microsoft has been accepting Bitcoin as a means of payment all the way back to 2014 on their Xbox online store. CEO Bill Gates once commented, “Bitcoin is better than currency”.

xbox accepts crypto
Xbox accepts crypto as a payment method

Home Depot, the US’s largest hardware store also accepts Bitcoin. Why is this significant? Well, firstly it’s not a tech company. But secondly, it means that you could feasibly build an entire home just using cryptocurrency. Is that, or is that not, the new age American Dream?

Coffee giant, Starbucks has shifted away from bucks to accepting Bitcoins as a means of payment by using the Bakkt app.

Tesla is also accepting Bitcoin. This one doesn’t come as a huge surprise. Ever-forward-thinking CEO, Elon Musk is a massive crypto advocate and is rumoured to own billions in cryptocurrency. Musk is obsessed with the future of energy use and space travel, so digital currency use is very on-brand.

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