Cryptocurrencies are slowly establishing themselves as an alternative payment mode, with more and more companies and global giants beginning to accept cryptocurrencies as payments. For companies, too, being early adopters can help them stay ahead in the race. Many of these organizations are breaking the status quo and using crypto adoption as a marketing gimmick, given that digital payments are becoming the norm and plastic money is being used less and less each day.
Cryptocurrencies are stored in online or offline wallets and do not require any third parties like a bank or a financial institution to initiate and validate their transactions. All the transactions concerning cryptocurrencies happen over a blockchain in an immutable, decentralized, and transparent fashion. Many third-world countries have been the biggest adopter of cryptocurrencies as they do not require any financial infrastructure. Only a mobile phone and internet connection are enough to keep your finances moving.
While governments, like those of El Salvador and the Central African Republic, have already declared Bitcoin as legal tender, a long list of countries have adopted a progressive outlook. Financial Institutions and top global firms like JP Morgan, Barclays, Microstrategy, Block, etc., hold large chunks of their holdings in cryptocurrencies. In addition, the world’s top moguls like Tesla, SpaceX, Microsoft, Twitter, PayPal, Visa, Mastercard, Starbucks, etc., all accept cryptocurrency payments.
Global giants accepting cryptos as a payment option
Cryptocurrencies facilitate borderless payments and are censorship-resistant and almost instantaneous. Since they are not governed by any government or institution, anyone from anywhere globally, including India, can purchase goods and services from companies that accept cryptocurrencies as payments.
While there are thousands of companies that accept cryptocurrencies today, let’s discuss a selected few:
- Microsoft: Microsoft has been accepting Bitcoin in its online Xbox store since 2014. They momentarily stopped accepting it due to the volatility, but they are now accepting it solely for Xbox store credits.
- Overstock: Overstock now accepts bitcoin as a payment method resulting from a partnership with Coinbase, a global crypto trading platform. The company has developed a system that interacts with the blockchain while also offering additional benefits to individuals who only use its network.
- Home Depot: Home Depot allows Bitcoin payments through Flexa’s in-store checkout systems. This makes utilizing Bitcoin for payment extremely simple, as Gemini’s collaboration with Flexa has eliminated all of the friction often associated with Bitcoin transactions.
- Whole Foods: The Winklevoss Flexa spending app ‘Spedn’ has teamed up with Whole Foods, and one can easily purchase all of their groceries using Bitcoin, Litecoin, or the Gemini dollar.
- NewEgg: Newegg is well-known for purchasing cryptocurrency mining hardware in the cryptocurrency world. They supply a wide range of computer gear at various price points. NewEgg began accepting payments in Bitcoin for their hardware after realizing its popularity in the cryptocurrency community.
- AT&T: AT&T made history by being the first mobile carrier to accept Bitcoin payments in 2019. It uses BitPay, a third-party payment processor, to facilitate transactions. Customers who pay with Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies can choose BitPay as their payment method.
Companies accepting crypto payments in India
The 2021 Chainalysis report marked India as the home to the world’s second-largest number of cryptocurrency holders. While regulatory uncertainties and the new crypto tax regime continue to dampen prospects for cryptocurrencies in India, there are quite a few companies that have started accepting cryptocurrencies as payments, either directly or via payment gateways, to tap their growing user base:
- HighKart: The e-commerce store is becoming India’s leading online store that accepts Bitcoin as payment. The e-commerce portal was launched in 2013. HIghKart customers can purchase mobile phones, cameras, apparel, gadgets, laptops, and crypto mining equipment via Bitcoin.
- The Rug Republic: The Rug Republic is a Delhi-based decor company that accepts the top 20 cryptocurrencies by market cap for purchasing its merchandise. The Rug Republic uses the WazirX and Binance platforms for peer-to-peer transactions. However, it wants to develop its own in-house payment system.
- Purse: Purse is an online retailer of electronic devices that accepts cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash. Customers who have BTC or BCH in their wallet and want to buy any electronic can make purchases directly without converting their crypto holdings into fiat currency. Customers can also convert their bitcoin holdings into gift cards and use them to make purchases on Amazon.
- Sapna: Sapna is also one of India’s most popular online retailers, specializing in books, electronics, gifts, health care products, and children’s toys, among other things. When a customer chooses to pay with crypto tokens, the transaction is completed in under 30 seconds.
Several other small businesses in India are showing their trust in cryptocurrencies as payment, but the bigger market players are still waiting for regulatory clarity before they finally enter the crypto waters.
India is at a very nascent stage regarding regulations and initiatives toward greater crypto adoption. Whether cryptocurrencies will become an alternative medium of exchange would depend on the upcoming cryptocurrency bill still waiting to go on the floors of parliament.
Disclaimer: Cryptocurrency is not a legal tender and is currently unregulated. Kindly ensure that you undertake sufficient risk assessment when trading cryptocurrencies as they are often subject to high price volatility. The information provided in this section does not represent any investment advice or WazirX’s official position. WazirX reserves the right in its sole discretion to amend or change this blog post at any time and for any reasons without prior notice.