Satoshi Nakamoto’s original vision was to create a cryptocurrency that would eventually replace fiat currencies and turn into the new standard payment system that would work across the world. Many will argue that bitcoin could solely become a store of value in the future, but it is also growing in popularity as a means of payment.
Towards the end of last year and more importantly since the beginning of 2018, cryptocurrencies have been gaining traction and bitcoin is becoming more and more popular. More people know about the digital currency and many turn new investors each day. A lot of stores and restaurants across the world are already accepting bitcoin and have praised the digital currency for its convenience, rapidity, ease of use, and innovative aspect. Up until now, this was usually the case for smaller businesses, but the trend is shifting and more and more large companies are eying the decentralized cryptocurrency.
Two days ago, American fast food chain Kentucky Fried Chicken announced that it was launching a special edition “Bitcoin Bucket”, and that it was now accepting bitcoin as a payment for it. For a limited time only, Canadian customers will be able to order the said fried chicken bucket and pay for it with bitcoin. The firm is using BitPay to receive the bitcoin payments. It won’t be as simple as paying in-store directly in bitcoin, as one has to order the cryptocurrency-branded meal online and have it delivered to an address. However, it still made a lot of noise within the crypto community and multiple mainstream media outlets reported the news. KFC also largely communicated on the “Bitcoin Bucket” via Twitter and made multiple tweets referencing cryptocurrencies that thousands of people have enjoyed.
Yesterday, Twitch, which is an Amazon.com subsidiary, announced that they are now accepting Coinbase payments. This means that digital currencies listed on Coinbase (BTC, LTC, ETH, and Bitcoin Cash) are now accepted on the platform. In addition to those two, tech giant Microsoft recently announced that it was accepting bitcoin payments once again, after a brief pause where the digital currency had been disabled because of instability issues.
These large companies have many advantages in accepting bitcoin. First of all, one can argue that right now, it most importantly represents huge marketing/communication opportunities for them. Cryptocurrencies are discussed everywhere and many companies want to become part of the trend. As we saw recently, Kodak also joined the frenzy and launched its own cryptocurrency, the KodakCoin. Another advantage is that it gives a positive image to the company and brand. It shows that the firm is evolving with its time and that it is willing to try out new innovations. Moreover, there are all the advantages that concern ease of payment for the customer, rapidity, ease of use, and usually fast transactions.
What could it mean for the future?
Are bitcoin payments going to be adopted by more industry leaders and giants? It very much looks like it. Right now, accepting bitcoin is becoming the trend for many actors, especially for restaurants and tech companies. It is not far-fetched to imagine that a company like Apple, who is always showing a strong sense of innovation, could implement bitcoin in the near future. Similarly, Amazon.com could be one of the next ones to introduce cryptocurrency payments. Considering that they have now done it with Twitch, it is hard not to see them considering it as a “test” run and maybe adopt it for its main platform. If a company like Amazon announces cryptocurrency payments, the price of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies would surely skyrocket. There are only a few issues that could deter companies to enter the cryptocurrency era for their payments, such as fees and strong volatility of the currencies. Will these be enough to stop these companies from such a big marketing and economic opportunity?
TLDR: KFC, Twitch, Kodak, and Microsoft have been the latest large companies to join the cryptocurrency trend. More and more companies are getting involved with bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, and it is certain that more are coming in the near future.