After more than a decade since Bitcoin—the first cryptocurrency—was launched publicly, people can finally walk into malls, stores, cafes, cinemas, restaurants, and other venues to spend their various digital assets. If you are a genuine crypto enthusiast, you are probably thinking to yourself, “how far we have come!”
Of course, there is no doubt that a significant portion of the world’s population has witnessed firsthand how cryptocurrency has gone from being completely ignored to becoming a global sensation and an undeniable breakthrough in the world of finance.
That said, as a crypto believer, you will understand why people say that “there is no going back from here” when it comes to the mainstream adoption and use of cryptocurrency.
Today, unlike a few years ago, there are hundreds of businesses and corporate organizations, both online and offline, that now accept cryptocurrency as a means of payment for their product and service.
We have compiled a carefully-curated list of some of the top physical spots where cryptocurrency is accepted, including stores, cafes, restaurants, cinemas, and other venues. So, in no particular order, below are our top picks for physical venues that accept crypto payments.
Perhaps one of the earliest to accept cryptocurrency as payment, Starbucks, an American coffeehouse chain with a global presence, officially announced its acceptance of cryptocurrency in November 2021.
Previously, customers could use the Bakkt App to recharge their Starbucks cards with cryptocurrency. Technically the option to buy coffee at any of Starbucks’ coffee shops using cryptocurrency has existed even before the official announcement.
9. Bitcoin Beach
If you are up-to-date in the tourism space, then you probably have come across the phrase “Bitcoin Beach.” Based on the coast of El Salvador, the Bitcoin Beach project is aimed at creating a sustainable Bitcoin economic ecosystem where most people lack access to bank accounts or related financial services.
In 2019, Bitcoin Beach decided to challenge the growing assumptions that Bitcoin would never be used for daily transactions such as buying a cup of coffee, as well as the assumption that Bitcoin would be used more by the wealthy than those looking to get to the first rung of the economic ladder.
In their quest to challenge the norm, the non-profit initiative started building systems around local businesses in El Salvador, so that the unbanked and underbanked could pay for products and services using Bitcoin.
While the program existed long before the El Salvadoran government began accepting Bitcoin as legal tender, it made crypto adoption in the region exceedingly easy for both individuals and businesses. Apparently, you can walk into any physical store in local communities in El Salvador and purchase any product or service using Bitcoin.
8. Post Oak Motor Cars
Automobile retailers, like other businesses, are also implementing cryptocurrency payment for their services. Notably, Post Oak Motor Cars, which is owned by hospitality mogul Tilman Fertitta, was the first retail automobile dealer to accept cryptocurrency payments.
Following its official announcement back in September 2018, people have since been able to acquire their favourite luxury automobiles by walking into their showrooms or ordering from anywhere in the world via BitPay, an exchange that handles Bitcoin and other digital assets.
7. McDonald’s (in specific locations like El Salvador)
For the love of burgers and fries, we have decided to add McDonald’s to our top picks. However, don’t get too excited just yet. Why? Because the option to purchase McDonald’s products using cryptocurrency is currently available only to customers in specific countries like El Salvador, where Bitcoin has officially become a legal tender.
Outside of El Salvador, McDonald’s is yet to implement crypto payments. Albeit, it has been reported by various sources that the American multinational fast food corporation may soon accept Bitcoin payment across all its retail outlets.
6. Whole Foods Market
If you reside in a U.S. city or other region where Whole Foods Market is physically located, then you can walk in and purchase your groceries using cryptocurrency.
The American multinational supermarket chain headquartered in Austin, Texas, is one of the first of its kind to announce the acceptance of crypto payment as far back as 2019. Today, there are a number of grocery stores that are following suit.
For anyone who may be interested in buying computer hardware parts and consumer electronics, here is a major deal for you. Based in the City of Industry, California, New Egg is an online retailer (with physical outlets) and one of the few and earliest electronic e-retailers to accept crypto payment.
Specifically, the publicly-listed company announced back in July 2014 that it will start accepting Bitcoin as a means of payment for its services. It has subsequently expanded its list of accepted currency and more recently included ‘Shiba Inu.’
4. KFC (Canada)
KFC is another fast food restaurant chain that is experimenting with cryptocurrency payments. KFC Canada, in particular, revealed in January 2018 that it has begun accepting Bitcoin as payment for fried chicken. As a result, KFC consumers in Canada can visit a physical location or place an online order for KFC fried chicken using cryptocurrency as a payment method.
However, in what appears to be a selective and isolated attempt, the ability to buy KFC fried chicken with cryptocurrency was limited to Canada and possibly El Salvador, where cryptocurrency is legal tender. So far, no other KFC locations in other regions have followed suit, at least officially.
3. AMC Cinemas
Movie lovers are not left out as they can walk into any of the AMC Cinemas to enjoy their favorite movies and pay with cryptocurrency. It came as a surprise when AMC Theatres, an American movie theatre chain, announced in November 2021 that it will start accepting crypto payments.
Ever since, we have seen a wave of other cinema chains follow suit. In fact, another popular brand that goes by the name Regal Cinemas, announced the same move barely two weeks after AMC Cinema.
2. Juliette Interiors UK
Despite the UK’s strict regulatory stance on cryptocurrency, some brands have decided to give crypto payment a chance. One such brand is Juliette Interiors, which prides itself as the first high-end retailer in the UK to accept crypto payment.
While the brand had previously teased the unofficial acceptance of crypto payment back in October 2017, it officially announced it on its website in March 2021. It has since become a pacesetter for many other brands based in the U.K. who are now rapidly embracing the digital currency market.
1. REEDS Jewelers
As the popular saying goes, “the best is reserved for the last.” So the first and the last brand on our list is REEDS Jewelers. Based in the U.S., the retail jewellery company became very trendy in 2014 after announcing its acceptance of crypto payments.
Even though the announcement was made when few people knew about cryptocurrency, the risk the company took then is now paying off years later. Today, REEDS Jewelers is one of the most reliable and trusted retail jewellery companies accepting cryptocurrency.
Did we leave any of your favorite brands off the list? If so, please leave their name in the comment box below to assist a fellow reader who may be interested in learning about more crypto-accepting brands with physical locations.