Big name tech companies, publishing houses and non-profits/charitable organizations began accepting bitcoin in December, headlined by Microsoft and Time Inc. The crowdfunding industry also started to warm up to bitcoin with two new crowdfunding companies now accepting the digital currency.
Tech and Gaming
Microsoft has partnered with BitPay to allow users to add to their accounts with bitcoin. This means one can now use bitcoin to pay for anything in any of the Windows or Xbox stores. As of right now, the bitcoin payment option is only available to customers in the United States.
Green Man Gaming
Green Man Gaming, a highly regarded mainstream online PC game retailer and DRM reseller, is now accepting bitcoin as payment for anything on its site. The bitcoin payment option is currently available only to those customers who typically use USD. Green Man Gaming also allows customers to sell the digital rights back to the company if purchased on the affiliated distribution platform; this cannot currently be credited in bitcoin.
New York-based publishing heavyweight Time Inc. has partnered with Coinbase to allow for customers to purchase magazine subscriptions with bitcoin going forward. Initially, only select publications will be made available via bitcoin subscription, namely, Fortune, Health, This Old House and Travel + Leisure. Other Time Inc. properties, such as Time Magazine, Sports Illustrated and People may follow suit in the future.
Bitcoin Charitable Donations
ChildFund International, one of the world’s largest children’s aid groups, is now accepting bitcoin donations. ChildFund works with families and communities to support children, promoting their well-being, knowledge and skills. The organization has partnered with BitPay to make these digital currency donations possible for donors worldwide.
You can now donate to Burning Man to support the non-profit’s yearlong projects and initiatives. as they have partnered with Coinbase ahead of their annual event. Bitcoin cannot, however, yet be used to purchase tickets to the event. Burning Man, the week-long desert festival that includes art, music and numerous forms of self-expression, will take place in Black Rock Desert, Nevada, August 31 through September 7, 2015.
Apopo, a non-governmental organization based in Belgium, is currently accepting bitcoin donations to help fund humanitarian projects in eight countries across Africa and Asia. Apopo partnered with BitPay to facilitate these donations, many of which may go toward the NGO’s “HeroRATs” program, wherein rodents are trained to detect land mines and tuberculosis using their sense of smell.
Viralstyle, a crowdfunding print-on-demand e-commerce platform that allows customers to create, sell and distribute custom products worldwide, is now accepting bitcoin. The Tampa, Florida-based startup allows users to create a custom design for apparel and other items, then start a campaign to fund production, followed by shipping directly to customers once the funding goal has been reached.
Durise, a crowdfunding real estate company based in the United Arab Emirates, is now accepting property investments via bitcoin through its website durise.com. The idea is to open up the UAE real estate market to more international investors who wish to invest with digital currencies.
Scanning the Globe...
New York City Parking Tickets
New York City appears to be taking steps toward accepting payments for parking tickets via bitcoin. The city’s finance department has issued a Request for Information on the potential to add several new payment methods, including Apple Pay, PayPal and digital currencies. The Request is due January 15, and from there analysis will be done before any final determinations are made. The city racks up around $600 million in parking ticket revenue each year but does not currently offer any mobile payment options.
Canadian 3D Printing
Canadian online 3D printing store ISG has partnered with BitPay to accept bitcoin as payment for products and services sold through the site. The company sells 3D printers, PLA Filaments, 3D printed parts and objects, and offers 3D printing services for online users. ISG also intends to enable acceptance of CannabisCoin as payment in the near future.
Mobile Payments in Romania
Netopia mobilPay, a mobile payment processor in Romania, recently added bitcoin support to its payment platform. As a result, all 6,000 Romanian merchants who are set up with mobilPay are now accepting bitcoin as a payment option. Netopia mobilPay is partnered with BTCXChange.
About itBit's Who is Accepting Bitcoin Now? Series
As digital currencies gain legitimacy, their acceptance for goods, services and donations continue to grow. Each month, itBit’s Who is Accepting Bitcoin Now? series highlights notable companies and organizations around the world that have joined the Bitcoin movement.