The world of cryptocurrencies is fast moving and ever changing. Until recently, the vast majority of people have found these alternatives to fiat currency to be an opaque and difficult to understand topic. However, as they continue to surge in popularity, they are becoming an ever more mainstream financial asset.
Along with the frequent advertisements and increasing media attention that has introduced cryptocurrencies to the wider public, more and more businesses are beginning to accept various cryptocurrencies as a payment option for their goods and services. This reflects a huge shift in public perception of crypto, with its value finally being realised by consumers and businesses alike.
However, the adoption of crypto is still in its infancy, and the majority of digital tokens accepted by businesses tends to be limited to Bitcoin and one or two other leading cryptocurrencies such as Ethereum (ETH).
With this in mind, we at Traders of Crypto were keen to explore just how widespread the move to adopt cryptocurrencies as a legitimate form of payment has become. That is why we have created the Crypto Adoption Report to look at the types of businesses that now accept crypto, and which countries are leading the way in this regard.
Before diving into the data, it’s worth noting some of the more well-known companies that have begun accepting cryptocurrency as payment. This should help to illustrate just how much this adoption movement has spread, and what it might mean for the future of payments.
Several of the world’s biggest fast food giants have begun experimenting with crypto payments. For example, Burger King has been trialling crypto payments in three separate countries, Germany, Netherlands and Venezuela. McDonald’s has made similar moves in El Salvador, while KFC has been experimenting with accepting crypto payments in Canada.
The higher education sector has been quick to engage with the potential benefits of digital currencies, with several institutions across the world giving the option to pay for at least part of their courses with crypto. Western Australia’s largest university, Curtin University, launched the Cryptocurrency PhD Scholarship fund, which allows crypto-entrepeneurs to fund research projects in the world of crypto and blockchain technology.
Portuguese professional football club Benfica are one of the early adopters of cryptocurrency in the world of sport, accepting Bitcoin and Ethereum as payment for fan merchandise. Other sports teams to include cryptocurrencies as accepted payment options include the NFL’s Miami Dolphins, NBA’s Dallas Mavericks, Major League Soccer’s San Jose Earthquakes, and NHL’s San Jose Sharks.
The travel sector has also been quick to recognise the growing demand for being able to pay with crypto. Travel booking giant Expedia has led the way in crypto adoption, with customers currently able to pay for hotel bookings using Bitcoin. Several large airlines have also made moves to accept cryptocurrencies as payment including AirBaltic, Norwegian Air, and LOT Polish Airlines.
Crypto adoption has been growing so rapidly that even our love lives have been penetrated by the unstoppable tide of progress. Popular dating website OkCupid has a fairly long history of accepting Bitcoin payments, first offering this option to their customers as early as 2013. Other dating networks such as Badoo and the exclusive Luxy dating site have also joined OkCupid in accepting crypto payments for their services.
Having looked at specific examples of companies that give you the option to pay with cryptocurrencies, we now turn our attention to the sectors and industries that have made the most progress in adopting crypto as a form of payment. Here we can see which types of businesses have the most companies that allow you to pay with crypto.
Travel companies have been the biggest adopters of cryptocurrencies out of any business sector or industry, with 11.54% of crypto-accepting companies in our study. This includes bookings websites, airlines and hotel groups.
E-commerce companies are the second largest group of crypto adopters with 11.06% of stores that accept crypto. Meanwhile, non-profits take third place with 9.13% of organisations that accept crypto payments.
Here we take a look at how crypto adoption differs across the globe. By recording the country in which each of these crypto-accepting companies has its headquarters, we can create an overview of how well-accepted crypto is in different parts of the world.
The United States has by far the most crypto-accepting companies, with 49.52% of companies in our study calling the country home. While the United States is currently the best place for spending crypto in the same way as flat currency, it is also home to a large proportion of the world’s biggest tech companies and global brands which have the economic clout to trial and test-run this new form of payment with minimal risk to their overall business.
In second and third place are the United Kingdom and Germany, with 11.06% and 4.33% of crypto-accepting companies respectively. As these countries have two of the largest economies in Europe by GDP, this supports the idea that crypto adopting is going to take hold in more affluent countries first, before spreading farther afield.
We wanted to find out how widespread the adoption of crypto as a form of payment has become. To do this, we created a list of companies that accept cryptocurrency using a variety of sources and articles such as ICO Holder, Yahoo Finance, Blockchain Journal, Euro News, Fool,Retail Gazette, Business Insider, and many more.
We then combed through our list of companies to remove those that either no longer accept crypto, no longer exist, or were only included because you can buy a voucher for their products from a third party website using crypto.
Once we had our final list of companies, we categorised them by business type, and also researched the location of their company headquarters. For many companies, we used LinkedIn, Crunchbase and Wikipedia to found the HQ location.
Using these factors we then revealed the top countries and industries for crypto-accepting companies, as well as providing an overview of some of the biggest companies that accept crypto as payment.