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What can you buy with cryptocurrency?

If you don’t personally hold crypto or take a great interest in the space, you might not actually know. But despite what people think, there are more and more companies which now accept cryptocurrencies as a means of payment for goods and services.

And since some people don’t realize how much you can actually buy with crypto, Bitcoin Suisse is launching the #buyitwithcrypto campaign – in partnership with our network of merchants – to show just how far crypto adoption in Switzerland (and around the world) has come.

A short history of crypto payments

Bitcoin, the first cryptocurrency, was conceived as an electronic cash system. It has since become the largest of many cryptocurrencies. These have various uses, some of which include payment for real world goods and services – besides decentralized finance, supply chain management, digital identity, decentralized data storage or the tokenization of assets.

In Switzerland, Bitcoin was first accepted as a means of payment for local services in the city of Zug in 2016. More recently, the city of Zermatt began accepting Bitcoin and Ether for local taxes and in September of this year, the canton of Zug announced that it would also accept the top two cryptocurrencies for tax payments of up to 100 000 CHF, while major Swiss health insurer Atupri also began accepting Bitcoin and Ether for premiums, using the services of Bitcoin Suisse.

These advancements have put Switzerland on the map as one of the most open countries for the use of cryptocurrencies, with an increasing number of government and private entities ready to let people #buyitwithcrypto.

European-wide adoption

Adoption of crypto payments is not limited, however, to isolated entities or localities. In November of 2019, Bitcoin Suisse and Worldline, one of Europe’s leading payment providers, announced a partnership to bring crypto payments to the over 85 000 Swiss merchants in the Worldline network.

This partnership has already started to bear fruit. The jointly developed point-of-sale solution offered by Bitcoin Suisse and Worldline has been used in a pilot phase among selected Worldline merchants since July 2020 with very positive market response from merchants and end-consumers.

The next step will see the brand-new YUMI point-of-sale terminal, as well as e-commerce payments with payments service provider Saferpay, rolled out to merchants in the first half of 2021.

At the same time, Worldline has recently acquired Ingenico, another leading European payment provider. With the fusion, Worldline becomes Europe’s largest payment service provider and the fourth-largest provider in the world with approximately 1 million merchants in its network.

With such a massive network available, the prospects for being able to #buyitwithcrypto all across Europe are quite bright.

The attractiveness of crypto payments

Why are more and more merchants open to accepting cryptocurrencies for the goods and services they sell?

For one thing, many businesses have realized that crypto adoption is on the rise and do not wish to miss out on a growing trend. Given the recent news of crypto tax payments and the possibilities through Worldline, it is no surprise that merchants want to let their customers #buyitwithcrypto.

Besides this, merchants are increasingly aware that they need to offer a variety of payment options. In Switzerland and around Europe, customers may come from many different countries and so they often have different needs when it comes to payments – whether it is with cash, international credit card or cryptocurrencies. Even within Switzerland, consumers seek for more options, with a growing number (27% or more, according to a JPMorgan report) preferring mobile payments.

The popularity of digital payment methods (also in the light of the Covid-19 crisis) such as TWINT and Apple Pay as well as the introduction of QR codes – an integral part of the Bitcoin Suisse Crypto Payments system – to pay invoices in Switzerland make it easy and natural for consumers to move forward and use mobile-based crypto payments for everyday purchases.

On top of this, the time-tested system provided by Bitcoin Suisse makes it easy for merchants to let their customers #buyitwithcrypto with no market volatility risk and with regular settlement in Swiss francs.

What is next for crypto payments?

The adoption of crypto payments is also driven by wider trends.

Central banks, from Europe to China and in between, have begun to explore the possibilities of so-called central bank digital currencies (CBDCs). While many are still in an exploratory phase, they present many advantages and opportunities, especially in countries with less developed financial infrastructure.

Some challenges do still remain. Up until now, the number of transactions processed by blockchain-based systems has not reached the same level as that of other systems, such as those used for credit cards like Visa and Mastercard.

However, help is on the way. Second-layer scaling solutions, which help increase the throughput of blockchain transactions, can significantly enhance the usability of blockchain-based payments.

Taken together, these two trends point to a bright future for crypto payments. And Bitcoin Suisse is doing its part to make accepting crypto payments just as easy and convenient as any other payment method.

Spreading the word – #buyitwithcrypto

Crypto payment acceptance still remains a novelty for many. They regard cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin to be something of a fantasy, disconnected from real life.

With the #buyitwithcrypto campaign, Bitcoin Suisse and its partners are turning the spotlight on the many ways people can spend cryptocurrencies in their ordinary life – for a meal in a restaurant, to pay their taxes or legal services or book a room in a hotel. Thanks to the Bitcoin Suisse Crypto Payment service, crypto can be used online, in a store or to pay invoices – wherever needed.

In this way, Bitcoin Suisse is helping make it easy to #buyitwithcrypto.

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