When Bitcoin first appeared in 2009, it was full of mysteries. For one, few people understood how it worked. Secondly, banks and governments were afraid it would replace fiat currencies.
Misinformation surrounding Bitcoin led to lots of propaganda campaigns against the digital currency. Yet, not everyone was quick to dismiss it. The following industries saw potential in BTC when no one else did.
1—Online Gambling Sites
In the early 2010s, online gambling was still struggling to get global recognition. Sure, it was legal in the UK, Malta and the Caribbean. But it was not allowed in the US and many other parts of the world.
To help people find an easy way to deposit money, online casinos embraced the then new Bitcoin payment method. Bitcoin transcends geographical borders. Anyone with Internet access can send and receive crypto all around the world.
Today, online casinos are legal in almost every European country. What’s more, a number of South American and African countries also support iGaming. More importantly, the industry is now allowed in the US.
To be clear, not every American state permits online gambling. New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Michigan and West Virginia lead in supporting iGaming.
The best online casinos for PA players as reviewed by online-casinos.com also tend to have licenses in NJ, and MI. However, you need to check each operator’s payment methods if you want a casino that supports crypto.
In 2010, Papa John’s became one of the first Pizza restaurants in the world to accept crypto. As the story goes, a man ordered $40 worth of pizza in exchange for 10,000 bitcoins.
At the time, one bitcoin was worth cents. So, it was a fair trade. But looking back at the business exchange, crypto fans all over the world tend to make fun of the poor guy.
Here’s why. At its peak in 2021, one bitcoin was worth $69,500. So, had the guy held his 10,0000 BTC and sold them last year, he would have walked away with $695 million.
Papa John’s Pizza chain aside, there are tons of restaurants and hotels that now accept crypto for payments. The most notable chains include Starbucks, KFC, Subway, Burger King and IHOP.
3—Online Shopping Sites
Up until 2015, Bitcoin lovers had a difficult time trying to explain its use cases. That’s because not many merchants accepted it as a payment method. Luckily, a few retail stores in 2014 and 2015 found value in the currency and added it to their list of accepted payment options.
Overstock.com, which specialize in furniture and home décor provided support for Bitcoin payments in 2014. Newgg.com, an eCommerce site for tech products, also began to accept crypto the same year.
With time, more shopping sites became bitcoin friendly. In fact, they also introduced support for altcoins like Ethereum, Solana, Litecoin and Dogecoin.
4—Video Game Companies
Microsoft was the first major video game company to support Bitcoin in 2014. At the time, the company allowed users to purchase video games, Windows software, Xbox consoles and Windows phones through BTC.
Over the next five years, lots of video game companies fell in love with crypto. NVIDIA, for example, embraced crypto because Bitcoin miners were purchasing its GPU units at an alarming rate.
On the other hand, video game brands like Ubisoft, Steam, Twitch, Sony and Gamivo support crypto since most of their customers were crypto enthusiasts.
The gaming industry’s love affair with crypto inspired developers to create “Play to Earn” video games like Axie Infinity and crypto kitties. These games are based on the blockchain. And they reward you with valuable tokens when you complete missions. You can then sell your tokens for money.
Many industries that were initially opposed to crypto had no good reasons for doing it. So, when charities discovered that bitcoin was worth money and there were millions of people who owned it, they supported it.
Red Cross, one of the largest charity organizations in the world, first accepted Bitcoin in 2014. The move inspired lots of smaller charity organizations to accept donations through the same digital currency.
Some critics argue that Bitcoin’s pseudo-anonymous nature provides leeway for people to donate illegally acquired crypto. But then again, this is also a possibility with fiat payments.
When you think about it, you can purchase nearly any software app online through Bitcoin. Whether you want an anti-virus, a web hosting company for your blog or cloud computing services, you can pay for them through Bitcoin.
Usually, software companies support Bitcoin because they are operated by people who love the digital currency. Also, these companies understand how crypto work and have no reason to oppose it.
7—Stocks Trading Websites
One of Bitcoin’s major problems in 2010 and 2011 was finding a way into the mainstream culture. If you didn’t know how to mine BTC, you had to meet a seller in person to own it.
In 2013, however, eToro became one of the first stocks trading sites to provide Bitcoin trading. The way this service worked was that you bought a specific amount of crypto. But you couldn’t take it out of eToro.
You could buy one or 10 Bitcoins. And if the crypto gained value, you could cash out your profits. However, you couldn’t take your BTC out of the platform. Of course, not everyone was happy with this system.
And that led to the growth of crypto-only trading websites like Mt. Gox. Speaking of which, Mt. Gox used to be the largest crypto trading site in the world until it collapsed in 2014.
Crypto has come a long way since its invention in 2009. First, governments and banks saw it as a threat to their wellbeing. However, tech-savvy people saw it as investment opportunity.
Although owning Bitcoin was great, spending it through real-world purchases was even better. Luckily, lots of industries now support the cryptocurrency. You can use it for online shopping, sports betting, paying school fees or buying pizza.
David is a crypto enthusiast and an expert in personal finance. He has created numerous publications for different platforms. He loves to explore new things, and that’s how he discovered blockchain in the first place.