- Bitcoin is becoming an increasingly popular payment option among many companies.
- Fast-food chains, big tech firms, and even auction houses are embracing cryptocurrencies.
- Other companies are still considering their potential.
- 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, in March, 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, at the time of the surge.
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.
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 would 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.
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.
In recent days, eBay Inc announced that it is considering the possibility of accepting cryptocurrency as a valid form of payment in the future.
"We are always looking at the most relevant forms of payment and will continue to assess that going forward. We have no immediate plans, but it (cryptocurrency) is something we are keeping an eye on," eBay said in a statement to Reuters.
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. This enabled it to accept 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.
The digital asset marketplace app recently launched their digital-wallet application, in which users can convert bitcoin into USD to reload their Starbucks Card.
Last week, world-famous auction house Sotheby's said it will start accepting bitcoin or ether as a payment option when it presents Banksy's artwork, "Love Is In The Air", at its contemporary art sale next week in New York.
This will be the first time a major auction house accepts cryptocurrencies for physical artwork, as Insider previously reported.
The move to push crypto and art closer together comes as collectors look for more seamless methods of payment when doing business with Sotheby's, said Stefan Pepe, Sotheby's chief technology officer.