Since last week when a $103,000 Tesla Model S was purchased at a Lamborghini dealership in Newport Beach, Calif., you may be wondering just who accepts Bitcoin for payment.
The fact is this virtual currency is becoming so accepted that seemingly everything can be bought with Bitcoin. And it's not just lavish items like the Tesla Model S (which equaled 91.4 Bitcoin at the time of sale).
Sites like Bitpay.com have made it easy for merchants and retailers to convert Bitcoin to more than 30 currencies. If a customer wants to pay in Bitcoin, the retailer can then convert the virtual currency to dollars at that day's exchange rate. For retailers, that eliminates fluctuation risk.
That has made the process of accepting Bitcoin much simpler, and more rewarding, for all kinds of retailers - and made Bitcoin even more mainstream.
For consumers, buying with Bitcoin has become more commonplace as smartphone apps have made virtual wallets easier to handle. One app, "Bitcoin Wallet," is currently adding approximately 5,000 new users a day - up from 500 a day in early 2013.
Consumers can already complete these everyday purchases with the currency...
Who Accepts Bitcoin?
Coffee shops: Coffee drinkers across the country have been getting their caffeine fix with the help of their Bitcoin wallets. Coupa Café in Palo Alto, Calif., is just one of the many cafés in the United States accepting Bitcoin.
"A lot of people have Bitcoins, but they don't have a place to send it," owner Jean Paul Coupal told NBC. "Now they can come and buy a cup of coffee with it."
Grocery stores: Consumers in San Francisco can pay for their weekly groceries in Bitcoin at several locations across the city.
Not only is Buyer's Best Friend Wholesale & Market accepting Bitcoin at its three locations, but it's also taking 5% off the bill for anyone paying with the crypto currency.
The owners initially decided to accept Bitcoin to cut back on credit-card processing fees and also entice enthusiastic Bitcoin owners to come spend at their store.
Tax Services: "In this world, nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes..." and Bitcoin?
That's how Xen Accounting in Montreal sees it, as they are now accepting Bitcoin for a variety of accounting services.
"Most of our clients are in the online and tech communities and some of them are quite fanatical about Bitcoins in general. It only seems to be a natural extension for us to now accept Bitcoins in order to help accommodate our clients' needs as much as possible," CPA, CA, and founder of Xen Accounting Ryan Lazanis said.
Car Dealerships: Consumers looking for automobiles priced more moderately than a Tesla Model S can head over to Overland Park Jeep Dodge Ram Chrysler dealership, in Overland Park, Kan. The dealership is converting Bitcoin with Bitpay.com, allowing consumers to use their virtual wallets.
Ford customers can use their Bitcoin on new and used cars at Five Star Ford in Carrollton, Texas.
No word yet on whether the dealerships will up their President's Day sales for Bitcoin shoppers.
Bars: Watering holes across the world have started providing cocktails in exchange for Bitcoin. The first bar in New York City to do so, EVR, brings a tablet to customers' tables and uses the BitPay app to accept payments.
"When we opened a few months ago, I said that we needed to be the first New York bar to accept Bitcoins," EVR co-owner Charlie Shrem told CNN in April.
Clothing stores: Thanks to sites like Bitfash.com, online shoppers purchasing clothes from Forever 21 and ASOS can do so with Bitcoin.
According to its website, "Bitfash has an exciting expansion plan which, over the next few months, will see the addition of the most famous and fashionable clothing brands from all corners of the Earth."
So if Forever 21 and ASOS aren't exactly your style, Bitfash should be adding more brands to its portfolio soon.
ATMs: The world's first Bitcoin ATM was installed in Vancouver in October by the company Robocoin. The machine allows customers to buy and sell Bitcoin anonymously.
Those looking to buy Bitcoin put their paper money into the machine and are provided a receipt with an encrypted key code, allowing the user to access the Bitcoin online. Those with Bitcoin can input their key codes and receive their cash equivalent back.
The downside? The ATMs come with a 3% service charge, which is much higher than the average online exchange - closer to the 1% Coinbase offers.
For those using the machine, the experience seems worth the 3% charge - if for nothing more than the novelty of the transaction.
Bitcoin or no Bitcoin, virtual currency is here to stay. Here's a list of some of the other virtual currencies that investors are talking about...
Bitcoin Boom Spread to iPhones with Mobile-Payment Apps
The New York Bar That Takes Bitcoins
The Wall Street Journal:
More Small Businesses Embrace Bitcoin