Bitcoin in the Real World

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Even as Bitcoin is facing regulation challenges overseas, online retailers and service providers both here and abroad have continued to initiate Bitcoin payment options in order to make their businesses more inclusive and their transactions more immediate.

More retailers accepting Bitcoin.

An increasing number of retailers worldwide are now accepting Bitcoin. Image & sign: Cryptocables

Street vendors in London, bars in Berlin, flower shops in Santa Monica, real estate brokers in New York, and even a university in Cypress join a growing list of businesses that are being drawn to the absence of transaction fees and the ability to process payments in under a minute by eschewing traditional money transfer providers and using Bitcoin instead.

Others, like internet gaming giant Zynga, online megastore, and popular blog hosting site WordPress, see value in the inherent universality of the virtual currency.  (Bitcoin is neither created nor regulated by any central government and, as such, is not subject to an individual country’s economic scales or inflation.)  Andy Skelton, spokesperson for WordPress, issued a statement in November saying that the company recognizes the restrictions some people face due to the socio-politics of their geography.  “We don’t think an individual blogger from Haiti, Ethiopia, or Kenya should have diminished access to the blogosphere because of payment issues they can’t control,” Skelton said on the website. “Our goal is to enable people, not block them.”

Far from being just an ideology or exercise in economics, Bitcoin is quickly proving to be a useful and legitimate tender for real-world goods and services.

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