The biggest qualm expressed by non-members of the crypto space is that the cryptocurrencies driving the market do not seem to have any external, real-life use. While it might be great to be one of the lucky people holding onto bags of valuable currency, this means very little when it comes to affording the basic necessities of daily life, many of which are sold by merchants with no interest in payment in the form of volatile and unpredictable cryptocurrencies. But the use of cryptocurrency ATM machines might be changing that.
In the beginning the creation of a Bitcoin-to-USD ATM machine captivated the interest of the community. Before long, however, the luxury of converting crypto to fiat was being enjoyed by far more than just the lucky few still holding onto the dominating and most popular cryptocurrency currently on the market. Instead, cryptocurrencies all over the space, including Ether, Dash, and Bitcoin Cash, have seen ATM machine sporting their logos cropping up in places all over the world.
This week saw yet another bullish sign of mass adoption for XRP, the native cryptocurrency embedded into Ripple’s framework for banking solutions using blockchain.
A Japanese company has now made it possible to use normal ATM machines as cryptocurrency exchanges for the fiat currency of the country, the Japanese Yen. Following an extraordinary couple of weeks of explosive bullish growth in the XRP markets, this new introduction of an XRP ATM machine is a very welcome sign for many within the community—and it could be a sign of more things to come.
At an ATM in #Japan – Converting #XRP to #cash in seconds 👌#xrpthestandard @ripple @bgarlinghouse @chrislarsensf @JoelKatz @OKITATakashi @CoryTV @yoshitaka_kitao @marcus_treacher @wsculley @businessinsider pic.twitter.com/Fy9jr3AhdH
— Pavel Matveev (@matveevp) September 24, 2018
About Wirex Visa
The driving force behind the exciting story is Wirex Visa.
Wirex is a startup company trying to make cryptocurrencies more accessible and useful in daily life. They drew international attention within the crypto community when they recently released the card with capabilities for Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin. These currencies were, at the time, the most popular on the market.
Wirex functions in a relatively intuitive manner.
The card comes preloaded with cryptocurrency when the user links their crypto wallets to the card using the simple user interface on the Wirex website. Then, when someone wants to convert their cryptocurrency to cash, they simply use an ATM machine and withdraw the currency in the form of whatever fiat money they would like to have.
The card has been hailed as some to one potential path towards mass adoption of cryptocurrency and blockchain technology, while other fear that it is yet another stepping stone towards a dangerous end-game of the institutionalization and centralization of cryptocurrency.
XRP and Wirex
One video stirred the excitement now likely to drive the XRP markets in the coming days. The CEO of Wirex, Pavel Matveev, released a video of himself walking up to an ATM in Japan, inserting his card loaded with Ripple’s XRP currency, and then withdrawing 10,000 Yen, the currency of Japan. The video went viral almost immediately, causing speculation from some investors that a resultant bull run was inevitable.
The Wirex card also allows users to deposit cash, withdraw fiat money, or transfer crypto quickly and effectively.
Adoption: 5 Business Industries That Accept Bitcoin In 2019
Bitcoin saw the light of day a decade ago, and since then, it attracted serious interest in the financial sector. Even though a lot of people use it mainly to get exposure to its price denominated in fiat currencies, there are a lot of businesses that accept Bitcoin as a payment method.
Traveling With Bitcoin
Back in 2013, the popular American travel agency Cheapair began accepting Bitcoin as a means of payment. This led to other companies implementing it as well, and now clients can use their bitcoins to book flights and hotels all around the world.
The cryptocurrency can be used to directly book a flight with Norwegian Air that also allowed it as a payment option earlier this year. Interestingly enough, the company is also reportedly looking into creating its cryptocurrency exchange.
People can also use Bitcoin to book certain hotels. For instance, a large Canadian group called Sandman Hotels started accepting BTC back in 2014. More recently, a Swiss luxury hotel, The Dolder Grand, announced that its clients could use the largest cryptocurrency to pay for their accommodation.
Entertainment & Sports
If you are into mind-boggling and adrenaline-boosting experiences, then chances are you have heard about escape rooms. Those real-life puzzle rooms where you have to solve a lot of mysteries and problems to get out of a specific space have become nothing short of accessible. Interestingly enough, there are many escape rooms that accept crypto as a means of payment.
On another note, a close variation of an online library, the Internet Archive, that includes vast loads of information, is also accepting donations in crypto. Some of the most popular ones include Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, Ripple, Zcash.
As CryptoPotato reported earlier this year, cryptocurrency adoption and usage continue with one of the most popular sports in the world – soccer. A famous Portuguese team, S.L. Benfica, allows its fans to use Bitcoin and Ethereum to purchase its merchandise.
Since Bitcoin’s idea is to be an electronic, peer-to-peer payment method, it’s only logical that online stores are among the first businesses to ever accept it. The tech giant Microsoft added the popular cryptocurrency back in 2014 for some of its products.
Since then, others were quick to follow in these footsteps. Overstock, the popular US-based online retailer, was among the first major stores to accept Bitcoin as a legitimate payment method. Those who want to purchase their electronics with crypto can do so with Newegg as well, which is a tech-focused online store.
The Food Industry
This is where things get a little bit interesting because it’s still somewhat uncommon to pay for your Sushi with Bitcoin. However, there are plenty of venues which would gladly take it. Clients can enjoy their favorite meals from pizzas to burgers while paying with their cryptocurrency assets.
Back in 2010, on May 22nd, a man from Florida called Laszlo Hanyecz paid 10,000 BTC for two large pizzas. This amount is currently worth millions, and it’s perhaps one of the most famous Bitcoin transactions in the relatively short history of the cryptocurrency. Of course, back then Hanyecz paid someone in Bitcoin just to order him two pizzas for his own FIAT but was also a way of spending your Bitcoins.
Whereas most of the information comes from fast-food chains and takeaways, Bitcoin, as a form of payment, has been recently added to other major outlets in the industry. Reports have it that the Amazon-owned Whole Foods are accepting Bitcoin in their stores as of this year.
Lambo (from Lamborghini) is a term often used in the cryptocurrency community when describing a possible price surge. The question “When Lambo?” is perhaps one of the most commonly used ones within the community. However, it turns out that Lamborghini dealerships have seen an increased number of transactions involving cryptocurrencies, especially around the 2017 parabolic price boom.
Some venues allow for the most significant cryptocurrency to be used to purchase impressive models from carmakers like Aston Martin and Ferrari. Still, clients can also choose classic cars, as well.
Furthermore, using Bitcoin for car purchases spreads beyond just supercars. Numerous local dealerships, as well as giants in the automotive game, have adopted it as a payment method.Be the first to know about our price analysis, crypto news and trading tips: Follow us on Telegram or subscribe to our weekly newsletter.
Alibaba Denies Working With Bitcoin (BTC) Company or Support for Crypto: Report
Contrary to an announcement made by Bitcoin cashback company Lolli, e-commerce giant Alibaba says it has no partnership with the platform.
Lolli announced on China’s Singles Day that its app now allows Alibaba shoppers to earn Bitcoin rewards.
According to a report by CoinDesk, however, Alibaba representatives are denying the partnership. Additionally, Alibaba clarifies that it does not support payments in BTC.
An Alibaba representative tells CoinDesk,
“One of Alibaba.com’s contractors hired a subcontractor who brokered an affiliate marketing program with Lolli. This was done without the knowledge of Alibaba.com. Alibaba.com’s contractor is terminating the relationship with the subcontractor who was working with Lolli. As a result, Lolli should no longer promote or bring traffic to Alibaba.com.”
Lolli’s head of communications, Aubrey Strobel, says Alibaba.com trialed the platform for 24 hours during the Singles Day campaign which drew attention as shoppers broke records and the day’s marketing event, an entertainment extravaganza featuring Taylor Swift, sparked global attention. Shortly thereafter “the partnership” was deactivated.
In a statement reviewed by CoinDesk, Strobel writes,
“It seems as though there was a miscommunication on Alibaba’s end and while that’s unfortunate, we look forward to the possibility of working with Alibaba.com again in the future. In the interim, Alibaba Group’s AliExpress is still live on Lolli.”
In the days following Singles Day, China is showing signs of renewing its crackdown on Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies. While President Xi Jinping has embraced blockchain in addition to removing cryptocurrency mining from a list of banned activities, rolling out mobile app lessons about Bitcoin and calling BTC the first successful use case of blockchain, the country’s anti-crypto stance has not entirely faded. It remains complex.
The Weibo accounts of leading cryptocurrency Tron and trading platform Binance were recently blocked for violating community regulations as China is rolling out new directives that are designed to squash the speculative trading of cryptocurrencies.
Bitcoin drop below $8,500 may be tied down to USDCoin
If one were to look at the unrelated rise and fall of Bitcoin vis-a-vis internal factors within the digital assets space, the relevance of stablecoins increases. Seen as a balancing tool for the volatile world of decentralized currency, the printing, volume and change in stablecoins is often tied to the rapid price movements of Bitcoin.
The recent drop below $8,500 was no different, however, it had a different stablecoin playing a tethering agent, and according to Santiment, a crypto-analytics service it wasn’t Tether [USDT]. Rather the stablecoin USDCoin should be given more weightage.
According to Santiment, the over $600 fall of Bitcoin observed on November 15 can be tied down the USDCoin’s “average age consumed in days metric, which spiked to its all-time high during the same period. They stated,
“#Bitcoin has fallen back below $8,500 for the first time in three weeks, and one likely foreshadow was $USDC‘s [USDCoin] largest “average age consumed in days” spike of all time.”
The metric, although not used frequently in charting is used to determine the number of days, on average, that digital assets are not used before being transacted on a said date, as per the Santiment website. This metric looks at the “idleness,” of the blocks within cryptocurrency’s network and hence the days since the “last time said token moved.”
Santiment stated the three elements in this price move was Bitcoin, stablecoins and large whales. As Bitcoin is being moved between two exchanges, stablecoin movement can indicate future drops in price when “previewing,” activities of large -whales. They opined that this is most often on the sell-side, with a large number of organic buyers within the market. Santiment stated,
“This spike likely occurred from the result of a large amount of $BTC being transferred between exchanges, and stablecoins often indicate future drops in price with these types of spikes by previewing a whales’ plan to make a large (most often sell-related) move.”
At press time, Bitcoin is trading below $8,500 for the first time since it marked its biggest daily gain of over 40 percent on October 23, owing to Xi Jinping’s comments about China making headway in blockchain technology to ramp up its plan of issuing a digital currency tied to the Chinese yuan.