Bitcoin Acceptance Rapidly Expanding – Square, Stripe and more

The recent volatility of Bitcoin price in various major Exchanges, has created a lot of buzz in the financial markets. People have started taking Bitcoins seriously. Although the recent transaction malleability has feared some, a lot of business have started accepting Bitcoins as a mode of payment, realizing the potential in Bitcoin market. The year 2013 has seen a number of businesses including Virgin Galactic, WordPress, Reddit and Namecheap offering their services in exchange for Bitcoins.


The recent opening of Bitcoin ATMs in different parts of the world has increased the Bitcoin popularity both amongst both common public and companies. Here are the companies that started accepting Bitcoins in 2014:


1. Tracking Point: This Texas based gun company has recently announced that it would accept Bitcoins in exchange for its products and services. According to them, although Bitcoins are difficult to trace, anyone buying firearms with Bitcoins have to undergo an intensive background check before any purchases. Rifles at their store start at about $10,000, which translates to roughly 23 Bitcoins. Soon, many firearms stores in the U.S started accepting Bitcoins as a mode of payment, without compromising on background checks for purchases.


2. Mountains Plus: This medium-sized retailer that sells outdoor equipment like tents, car racks, footwear, mountaineering equipment, sleeping bags and pads, recently announced that it would accept Bitcoins in exchange for its products and services. Mountains Plus has partnered with Coinbase for accepting Bitcoins. The company has been on the Inc 5000 Fastest Growing Company for the last three years.


3. Miami Exotic Car Rentals: Miami Exotic Car Rentals is a small car rental company in Miami, FL. It recently started accepting Bitcoins as a mode of payment for customers renting its exotic cars. Previously charging customers by credit card, the company now also charges credit using Bitcoins. Mostly high end cars such as Audi R8, Lamborghini and Porsche are available with the company. It charges about $200 – $2000 per day for renting these high end cars. Equivalent Bitcoins are charged, including some extra Bitcoins as deposit which are later returned.


4. Surgery Center of Oklahoma: The Surgery Center of Oklahoma, a leading AAAHC accredited, doctor-owned, multispecialty surgical facility in Oklahoma, USA has recently announced that it would be accepting Bitcoins as a mode of payment for its services. The company sees itself as a customer friendly facility and is willing to use any mode of payment from its patients. It will not be working with any vendors or middlemen, instead it will use these Bitcoins for direct conversion into dollars.


5. Square Market: Square Market is a leading online business that that specializes in E-commerce and mobile payments, including many other services. Their website allows you to increase your online presence by letting you create a free web page for your business. Square Market recently started accepting Bitcoins as a mode of payment for their services. Using the “Pay with Bitcoin” option, buyers with a mobile wallet will need to scan the QR code provided to make a payment and those with hosted wallets will receive instructions through email for making payments. Square Market is using the Bitcoin transaction processor, Coinbase to process such payments. However, the company charges a slightly higher transaction processing fee for Bitcoin payments.


6. Clink Hostels: Clink Hostels, the leading cheap accommodation hostels in Central London, UK have now started accepting Bitcoins as a mode of payment for their services. The friendly family-run business uses a straightforward QR code system for receiving payments, so travelers pay Bitcoin straight  to Clink’s wallet. However, due to the volatility in the Bitcoin market, the company would soon change this feature and use a Bitcoin transaction processor, preferably Coinbase.


7. Stripe: Stripe, a leading online payment website for emerging businesses, has started  accepting Bitcoins as a mode of payment for its services. The online and mobile payments startup has launched a Bitcoin payments pilot with a few select customers, including Canadian encrypted data backup service Tarnsap, and it plans to launch a full beta trial in the near future. The beta option of Stripe is successful might be an excellent alternative for crypto-currency brokers like Coinbase.


8. Cooperatize: The leading advertising platform for sponsored content, Cooperatize recently announced that it will be accepting Bitcoin as a valid form of payment for its services. Furthermore, Roger Wu, the cofounder of this native advertising and storytelling platform, wrote a detailed article on why they accept Bitcoins. He states that the low transaction costs, less theoretical risk, security, publicity and the Bitcoin protocol were some of the main reasons for their acceptance of Bitcoin payments.


9. Cups and Cakes Bakery: The San Francisco, CA based company, Cups and Cakes Bakery that is known for its delicious cupcakes is now accepting Bitcoins as a mode of payment for its products. The company directs you to a specialized account on Bit-Pay, a Bitcoin transaction processor, where you can pay Bitcoins for your favourite cupcakes! This decision would be greatly welcomed in the region as it is known for its vast techie population for whom Bitcoin is the next big thing.


10. Foodler: The online food delivery service Foodler, is now allowing its customers to pay with Bitcoins for its services. The website advertises that you can now use Bitcoins to get food delivery and takeout from all 14,634 Foodler restaurants. The company also pays the Bitcoin mining fee for every transaction and adds 0.001 BTC for every deposit of 0.1 BTC.


A number of such small, medium sized and even high profile businesses have now started accepting the online currency to make themselves more customer-friendly. The risks are not deterring small businesses from accepting Bitcoin as a mode of payment. This is constantly increasing their online presence also and opening them to a wide range of possibilities with the increased visibility. Thus, the year 2014 is turning the Bitcoin into reality. That day is not far away, when you can get a loan in Bitcoins, pay your college tuition fees in Bitcoins and maybe even buy a house with Bitcoins. 

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