As digital currencies gain legitimacy, their acceptance for goods, services and donations will continue to grow. Each month, itBit's Bitcoin Adoption Update highlights notable companies, politicians, sports organizations, charities and others that have joined the Bitcoin movement.
Bitcoin adoption among charities headlines the month of September. United Way and Greenpeace, two of the largest mainstream charitable organizations, have started accepting bitcoin. They join a number of Bitcoin-only charities such as BitGive. This is certainly a positive sign for those interested in supporting the social good!
Though initially wary of digital currencies, PayPal is now gradually getting involved with Bitcoin. They first announced that PayPal subsidiary Braintree would be accepting bitcoin payments via Coinbase. PayPal followed up this announcement by partnering with bitcoin processors BitPay, Coinbase and GoCoin to allow customers to use bitcoin to pay PayPal merchants for online purchases.
Overstock has been accepting bitcoin as a form of payment from US customers for nearly a year. The company has now extended the convenience to their customers worldwide, allowing bitcoins to be used for Overstock purchases anywhere on the globe.
The South Africa-based furniture company Möbler started taking payments in bitcoin this month. This a beneficial move for the company due to the unique nature of their business. Though Möbler is based in South Africa, it offers design solutions to clients all over the world. The design work is done prior to the manufacture, which is then done locally in the customer’s geographic location. Transactions in this manner were initially somewhat convoluted due to exchange rates, transfer fees and banking delays. Accepting payments in bitcoin has reduced cost and added a whole new level of convenience for the company as they continue to expand worldwide.
MergerTech, a technology investment bank based in California, is now accepting bitcoin payment for their merger and acquisition advisory services. Founder and CEO Nitin Khanna believes many bitcoin startups could be bought up by larger tech companies in the near future and MergerTech wants to be ready to offer their services. MergerTech will process bitcoin payments privately, rather than through a merchant processor.
Baltimore company Bitsie offers a free mobile app called Bitsie Shop, which allows smaller brick and mortar businesses to accept digital currency as payment. The businesses then have the option to either hold onto the bitcoin, or convert it into a cash deposit for a relatively low fee. Square, a company known for their line of mobile cash register options, is in the midst of developing an in-person bitcoin register that can easily be integrated into any number of small businesses.
Louisiana Republican Party
The Louisiana Republican Party announced several weeks ago that it too will now be accepting donations in bitcoin. According to regulations, political committees must sell the bitcoins and deposit the funds into a campaign depository within ten days. The Louisiana GOP is the first state political party to accept bitcoin donations.
The United Way, the world’s largest private charitable organization, recently began accepting bitcoin donations. They are hoping to attract new donors who may have previously found the process too inconvenient. Payments will be processed through Coinbase.
Shortly following United Way’s announcement, Greenpeace began accepting bitcoin donations. Their payment will be processed using BitPay. Greenpeace is a global organization focused on environmental issues. They can now accept donations from anywhere in the world in a more convenient and cost effective manner.
A number of moderately-sized charities in Canada are following United Way and Greenpeace and adopting bitcoin payment options. Recently, both Ottawa Charity Ping Pong and the Women’s Center of Calgary announced they would soon begin accepting bitcoin donations. These donations will be processed through Resilient 21 and Bitcoin Brains, respectively.