Thanks to the recent advances in blockchain technology, Bitcoin has sailed back into the spotlight over the last 12 months. With previously naive consumers now learning that they can pay for goods and services without using standard currencies such as dollars, pounds or yen, the market has exploded.
Although we’re still a far cry from the spending revolution Bitcoin enthusiasts predicted when the cryptocurrency first launched in 2009, there’s been a definite shift in the way we spend in recent months. Thanks to businesses of all shapes and sizes embracing the online currency, consumers can now buy products and services without a physical coin or banknote ever exchanging hands.
If we’re on the cusp of a complete shift in the way we pay, it seems right that we get to grips with the current state of play and highlight some of the best places to spend your Bitcoins in 2016.
If you’re in the market for electronics, cars, kitchen items or anything else in between then BitRoad is for you. Like the Amazon of the Bitcoin world, BitRoad acts as a hub for localized merchants who accept the cryptocurrency.
When you visit BitRoad you’ll be able to view a collection of businesses based all around the world that will sell you something in return for Bitcoin payments. In essence, this site is a one-stop shop for Bitcoin lovers who don’t want to use conventional online marketplaces like eBay or Amazon.
Fans of casino games can now get the Vegas experience without paying in dollars thanks to BitcoinPokies.com. Entering the $41 billion iGaming market in 2016, this site has broken with tradition and operates solely on Bitcoin.
Unlike some of its casino peers that only accept traditional companies, BitcoinPokies.com gives players the ability to deposit, play and withdraw funds in Bitcoin. Basically, if you’re a fan of online slots like Chicago Nights and Jack Hammer and fancy a new way of paying, this site gives you that option.
Minecraft servers have been a part of the geek’s domain for the best part of a decade, but thanks to Bit Quest the industry has a new twist. Described as the first Minecraft server with a “Bitcoin denominated monetary system”, the platform allows users to earn, spend and store Bitcoins.
The standard currency on the server is Bits (fraction of a Bitcoin) and players can either fund their account using an external wallet or by killing monsters and trading with friends. With as many as 1.5 million people playing Minecraft every day, this innovation is one that is helping to make the currency a global hit.
If you’re in Prague, Czech Republic, and fancy a coffee but don’t have Czech koruna in your pocket then fear not because Paralelní Polis accepts Bitcoin. In fact, this progressive coffee shop doesn’t just accept Bitcoin, it only accepts Bitcoin.
Whether you want an espresso, latte or cappuccino, Paralelní Polis will only serve you if you’ve got a smartphone, Bitcoin wallet and some virtual funds in your account. Although this café is the first of its kind, it’s unlikely to be the last. Indeed, with pubs in the UK such as The Haymakers in Cambridge also accepting Bitcoin, it could become the currency of choice for drinkers around the world in the coming years.
Bitcoin might not become the dominate force in the currency world over the next decade, but it will certainly get more attention as the technology evolves. Indeed, as more companies start to accept the currency it will slowly become normalized and once that happens it won’t be long before everyone is buying and selling in Bitcoin.
Photos: Jonathan Waller,