23 Online Stores that Accept Bitcoin
May 9, 2022
The Bolt Team
Many online stores know they could benefit from accepting bitcoin. The problem? They don’t know how to get started, and they want to be sure they can continue offering customer-pleasing features like one-click checkout.
Read on to learn why accepting Bitcoin at your online store is a good idea. We’ll also look at 23 online stores that accept Bitcoin. And if you’re thinking about accepting Bitcoin for your online store, we’ll show you how Bolt can help.
What is Bitcoin?
Bitcoin is a digital currency that permits secure peer-to-peer transactions without a central authority, such as a bank or government. Transactions are tracked and publicly visible to anyone on a shared ledger called the blockchain.
Bitcoin is just one of many cryptocurrencies available today. But all cryptocurrencies follow the same principles:
- Decentralized governance network
- Reliance on blockchain technology
- Easy to verify and distribute transactions.
Unlike fiat currencies, cryptocurrencies aren’t controlled by a bank or government. That’s one of the reasons people find it confusing. But it’s not that different from credit card transactions, in that no physical money changes hands. If you’ve ever used a credit card or services like Venmo and PayPal, you’ve used digital currency.
The major difference is that Bitcoin doesn’t require the permission of a third party, like a bank, to execute the transaction.
Individuals can send cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin directly to each other, and their transaction is recorded on a public ledger called the blockchain.
A blockchain is a shared ledger that stores data in blocks, creating an unbreakable chain of data. Banks record transactions on a ledger as well, but the blockchain distributes that information across a network of computers that verify the validity of each transaction.
Blockchains are append-only systems, meaning data can only be added in sequential order. They’re cryptographically secured, making it difficult to change or manipulate prior transactions.
That’s because every block on the chain records the information of the current transaction (a cryptographic key called a hashtag) and the previous transaction in the preceding block. The result is a chain of data that, if altered, breaks the sequence and invalidates the transaction.
Here’s a visualization of how a transaction of 10 bitcoins is recorded:
- The transaction itself – 10 bitcoins from person A to person B
- A hashtag identifier – a digital fingerprint or code that’s unique (eg. 000057ec2fda71)
- The previous hash – tying it to the first block
Blockchain’s security comes from its transparency. Since the chain is visible to anyone, it’s very difficult to tamper with it.
Every computer connected to the blockchain has a copy of the existing chain. When a new block or transaction is initiated, it is verified by all the others. And the network would know if someone tried to make changes or break the chain of data.
NOTE: Bitcoin and blockchain are not the same thing. Blockchain is the technology Bitcoin uses to record transactions. Bitcoin was the first digital currency to be built using blockchain technology. And every transaction since 2009 is publicly visible to anyone.
Why do online stores take Bitcoin as payment?
Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies like Ethereum are becoming more widely accepted as consumers and online stores realize their potential. Bitcoin’s market capitalization alone was over $740 billion on May 4, 2022. Ethereum’s market value was another $344 billion.
Goldman Sachs predicts that the digital economy is an $8 trillion-dollar opportunity. Online stores that accept Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are positioning themselves to tap into that market as it continues to grow.
Accepting Bitcoin also positions your business as a leader in the industry and gets your business in front of new potential customers. But there are significant advantages to getting started with bitcoin now.
Lower transaction fees
Since cryptocurrencies don’t depend on third-party banking authorities, the cost per transaction can be significantly lower. Merchant credit cards, bank cards, Paypal, and other payment processing services charge fees of 2.9% or more.
You can avoid fees altogether by accepting Bitcoin directly to your personal wallet. You can opt to use third-party services like Coinbase, as well. Their highest fee is 1%, and it can be as low as 0%, depending on the amount of the transaction.
Bitcoin transactions are safer than credit cards or other digital transactions because of the blockchain’s built-in security. Advanced cryptography securely stores and transmits data so only the intended receivers can receive, read, and process the information.
Access to a larger market
There are currently more than 19,000 cryptocurrencies available, and that number is growing daily. Morgan Stanley recently reported that Bitcoin is at the point of being more widely used in both the digital and physical world.
Merchants are driving that growth because of the low fees associated with crypto, but consumers are also looking for ways to use their cryptocurrency outside the digital world.
Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies don’t have to deal with foreign currency exchanges, consumers from anywhere in the world can shop with an ecommerce site, regardless of their location.
Easy conversion to fiat currency
Bitcoin transactions can remain digital or be converted into dollars, euros, or pounds with third-party processors like Coinbase, BitPay, Bitcoin ATM, Bitcoin Exchange, or CoinGate. And the exchange rate is not subject to the economic actions of a country or bank.
Bitcoin’s exchange rate is based on demand. Satoshi Nakomoto, the pseudonymous creator of Bitcoin, limited Bitcoin production to 21 million. So far 18.74 million have already been mined. As scarcity increases, so will demand.
Although that presents some volatility, it also means that you can hold on to Bitcoin until it’s more profitable to convert it.
23 online stores that accept Bitcoin
Bitcoin is already being accepted by major brands, including some of your competitors. Here are 23 early adopters:
Overstock was one of the first online stores to accept Bitcoin. They even issue refunds for any purchases made with the digital currency. They calculate the value of your item in US dollars and process the refund at the current exchange rate for Bitcoin.
Microsoft has been accepting Bitcoin as payment since 2014. You can use it for products such as Xbox and Windows Phone.
Twitch was also an early adopter of crypto as a payment method. The popular streaming platform is owned by Amazon and has been accepting Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency since 2014.
In December, 2021, Gamestop announced they would accept Bitcoin and several other cryptocurrencies.
Gyft is a digital gift card platform with more than 200 hundred retailers to choose from. You can use Bitcoin to purchase your gift cards for a particular store and spend them on that merchant’s site even if they don’t accept Bitcoin..
eGifter is another digital gift card site with gift cards for over 300 retailers. As with Gyft, you can purchase your gift card using Bitcoin and use it like any traditional gift card.
CheapAir claims to be the first online travel agency to accept Bitcoin. They’ve been accepting Bitcoin for flight reservations since November of 2013. In February of 2014, they expanded that to include hotel reservations as well.
Travala accepts over 50 different cryptocurrencies for travel anywhere in the world. They offer over 3 million travel products that can be paid for using the Bitcoin lightning network.
NewEgg is one of the leading ecommerce stores for computer parts, components and consumer electronics. NewEgg began accepting Bitcoin in 2014 and it seems to be working. Net sales for 2021 were around $2.4 billion.
Namecheap provides domain name registration and web hosting at a discount and has more than 15 million domains under management. They’ve been accepting Bitcoin as payment since 2013.
The Internet Archive is a non-profit library of millions of books, movies, software, music, websites and other cultural artifacts in digital form. It’s a decentralized storage network where files are stored on multiple computers much like blockchain technology. The archive began accepting donations in Bitcoin in 2011 and now accepts Bitcoin, Ethereum, Filecoin, XRP, Zcash and Altcoins.
Sling TV began accepting Bitcoin in 2014 and now accepts seven digital currencies as well as five stablecoins.
Express VPN is another early adopter of crypto currency. They began accepting Bitcoin in 2014 and also accept Ethereum, XRP, stablecoins, and more.
Shopify lets online store owners accept Bitcoin and 300+ other cryptocurrencies by enabling “alternative payment methods” in the Payment Providers section of the admin page.
Planet Express is a package forwarding service based in California. They ship products for international customers who buy products online in the US. They began accepting Bitcoin soon after launching in 2017 and now accept several other cryptocurrencies as well.
Paypal allows US users to use Bitcoin at checkout. You can also buy, sell, or hold Bitcoin in your account. The caveat here is that Paypal acts as your crypto wallet and holds your crypto like a bank does. So you don’t actually own your crypto.
When you purchase Bitcoin the traditional way, you are given a cryptographically generated private key that acts like your password. No one can access your Bitcoin without it. Paypal doesn’t actually transfer ownership to you. So you can’t take your Bitcoin with you. You have to sell it on Paypal to cash it out.
Mega.nz is a cloud-based storage and file hosting service based in New Zealand, and has been accepting Bitcoin since 2014.
AMC Theaters CEO, Adam Aron, announced this past November on Twitter that they would be accepting Bitcoin and other crypto for movie tickets purchased online.
Amazon doesn’t accept Bitcoin directly but instead relies on Purse.io to facilitate the transaction. Purse connects shoppers who have Bitcoin with people who are willing to trade Amazon gift cards in return for that Bitcoin.
The Dallas Mavericks got into the crypto game several years ago and accept Bitcoin for both tickets and merchandise purchased online.
AT&T was the first major mobile carrier to accept Bitcoin as payment for your cell phone bill.
Bitrefill is another gift card site that accepts Bitcoin to purchase gift cards from over 750 retailers.
Uber doesn’t accept Bitcoin yet. But CEO, Dara Khosrowshahi, said in an interview with Bloomberg that Uber will accept cryptocurrency “at some point.”
There are several online stores and brick-and-mortar stores who accept Bitcoin indirectly. They use third-party apps like Bakkt, or partner with gift card sites like the ones we mentioned above.
However, as cryptocurrencies popularity grows, customers will increasingly expect to find more opportunities to spend it.
Accepting Bitcoin at your online store
When credit cards first entered the scene in the mid 1950’s, Alfred Bloomingdale predicted that plastic cards would make money obsolete. Still, many merchants weren’t excited by the idea and didn’t see the potential.
Seventy-five years later, there are more than 2.8 billion credit cards being used worldwide. Merchants who were quick to accept credit cards benefitted by making themselves more available to consumers.
It’s early days for crypto, but it promises to be as valuable as credit cards (or more so) for online stores. Up to 40% of shoppers who pay with crypto are new to the merchant, and spend nearly twice as much as credit card users.
Online stores that accept bitcoin enjoy:
- Lower transaction fees
- Fraud protection
- Faster turnaround times
- Ease of accepting foreign payments
- Increased spending by consumers
The benefits are indisputable, which is why Bolt acquired Wyre. With Wyre’s technology, Bolt makes using crypto as simple as one-click. Your customers won’t have to worry about navigating third-party apps or trying to figure out exchange rates. Paying with Bitcoin will be as simple as paying by credit card.
Wyre was founded in 2013 to develop crypto and payment infrastructures for the new economy. They spent the last ten years building a platform that speeds the adoption and deployment of crypto and decentralized finance (DeFi) applications.
Bolt’s smooth, one-click checkout process removes friction for your customer. And now, Bolt will soon let you offer it to customers who pay with bitcoin.
Increasingly, your shoppers will want to consider crypto, so you have to be ready. Get started today. Enjoy checkout everywhere in just one click, and usher your customers into the world of Bitcoin. Get your 3-minute demo now.