More companies are accepting bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies as payment, including PayPal and Starbucks, despite warnings about its volatility

  • Bitcoin is becoming an increasingly popular payment option among many companies.
  • Fast-food chains, big tech firms, and leading drinks companies are embracing cryptocurrencies.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Rarely does a news cycle go by without some mention of bitcoin’s growing popularity, from fans and skeptics alike. 

Its prices on trading exchanges tumbled around Thanksgiving last year — only to roar back and set an all-time high of $19,857 on November 30: a 177% year-to-date increase that put the S&P 500’s 14% rise to shame, as Insider previously reported. 

Then, last month, the cryptocurrency hit an all-time high, with prices surging to $60,000. One quirk of the increase meant that two pizzas bought by crypto legend Laszlo Hanyecz would have effectively been worth $613 million.

Bitcoin’s volatility is well-publicized and has led many investors, including Warren Buffet, to criticize it and other cryptocurrencies as “risky” and “worthless.” Such warnings have not dissuaded more companies from accepting the currency as an official payment option, however. 

In February, Elon Musk announced that Tesla would accept bitcoin as a form of payment for all models of its cars in the US. In addition, Twitter’s CEO and founder, Jack Dorsey, teamed up with Jay-Z for a bitcoin endowment. The pair will invest 500 bitcoins to develop the currency in India and Africa.

Although Tesla stole the headlines, there are also hundreds of other notable companies that accept the cryptocurrency as a valid form of payment, across various industries.

Fast food

Burger King Venezuela accepts cryptocurrencies as payment.AP

Restaurant Brands International is one of the world’s largest fast-food holding companies. It is the parent company of Burger King, Tim Hortons, and Popeyes. 

Last year, Burger King Venezuela announced it will begin accepting bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. It collaborated with Cryptobuyer, a platform that generates conversion of cryptocurrencies to normal currency, Yahoo Finance reported. 

Yum Brands, which operates KFC, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, and The Habit Burger Grill, is also accepting cryptocurrencies. 

The corporation permitted bitcoin as a valid payment method at Pizza Hut Venezuela last year. Yum Brands also partnered with CryptoBuyer to initiate the launch of crypto payment methods, according to Nasdaq.

For a short period of time, KFC Canada accepted the cryptocurrency as payment for products such as the Bitcoin Bucket, via a partnership with BitPay, per Yahoo Finance. 

Big tech

PayPal announced in October 2020 that users can buy, sell, and hold selective cryptocurrencies through their Cash or Cash Plus accounts starting in 2021.AP

After provisionally pausing from accepting the cryptocurrency as a valid payment method due to its volatility, Xbox is accepting bitcoin payments for Xbox store credits.

Meanwhile, PayPal announced in October 2020 that users can buy, sell, and hold selective cryptocurrencies through their Cash or Cash Plus accounts, starting in 2021, Yahoo Finance reports.

Users will also have the ability to learn and track crypto within their PayPal app. 

Although Amazon does not directly permit bitcoin as a valid payment method, you can buy Amazon vouchers and gift cards through Bitrefill. This is a crypto-only company that authorizes users to top up subscription-based services, and then spend them on Amazon. 

Drinks companies

Coca-Cola Amatil announced their partnership with an online assets platform, Centrapay, to permit bitcoin as an official payment method last year.AP

Coca-Cola Amatil is one of the world’s biggest bottlers and distributors of non-alcoholic and ready-to-drink beverages in the Asia Pacific region. 

Last year, the company announced in a press release their partnership with an online assets platform, Centrapay, to permit bitcoin as an official payment method. There are about 2,000 vending machines in Australia and New Zealand that now accept cryptocurrency, according to a CoinDesk report. 

Elsewhere, Starbucks began testing bitcoin payments last year through the app, Bakkt, Nasdaq reported.

This week, the digital asset marketplace app launched their digital-wallet application, in which users can convert bitcoin into USD to reload their Starbucks Card.

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