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Looking at cryptocurrencies as investable assets has become the norm nowadays, and with good reason. More than becoming any sort of viable alternative to traditional fiat currency, cryptocurrencies have instead become commodities that we can buy, hold, and sell in the hopes of financial gain.
This is at least partly because of Bitcoin’s early failure to go mainstream, however, and in this regard we shouldn’t necessarily expect things to stay the same. While some understandably remain dubious of its long-term potential to, say, replace the dollar or euro, Bitcoin(BTC)trade is turning to be more useful by the day.
As the price shows more signs of stability, merchants and businesses are persuaded to adapt with the times, and consumers become more comfortable with methods of use and the secure nature of the blockchain, it stands to reason that there will only be more opportunities to spend with the leading cryptocurrency.
These are some of the interesting ways to employ Bitcoin for mainstream spending in the near future.
Professional sports leagues and stadiums harnessing the potential of Bitcoin could bring a real boom to the digital currency world, given the huge numbers of fans that attend sporting events.
We don’t tend to think about how much is spent on concessions and merchandise inside of arenas, but to use one recent example, consider this: The U.S. Open tennis tournament just projected 250,000 sales of a single signature cocktail over the course of a two-week tournament. That’s just one drink (that happens to cost $18), to say nothing of other adult beverages, ordinary concessions, or merchandise sales.
It’s a powerful example of how much revenue is generated within stadiums. Even a small percentage of that revenue coming from Bitcoin purchases would be significant, and we’ve already started to see a few pro sports organizations experimenting with the idea of accepting cryptocurrencies (most notably the Sacramento Kings and Dallas Mavericks of the NBA).
Online sportsbooks and gambling games have seen a fairly steady rise over the last several years. They’ve been around far longer than that, but more streamlined sites, more secure payment options, and the move to mobile have made them increasingly accessible. Their popularity is also starting to expand in the significant U.S. sports market, with new sportsbooks in Pennsylvania and New Jersey paving the way for development.
A few of the sites in this category accept Bitcoin deposits already – an option that consumers seem to embrace because of the inherent security and efficiency that digital currency offers. It may take another year or two, but if Bitcoin can remain even relatively stable, we may see some of the big players in this business get on board, which could lead to a significant spike in Bitcoin spending.
Real Estate Purchases
While the potential for real estate sales doesn’t have quite the commercial appeal or, frankly, the sexiness that, sports merchandise or betting do, it is still significant. Tens of millions of homes are sold all around the world every year, to say nothing of commercial real estate and new developments. And in this space we’re actually seeing some significant chatter about Bitcoin’s potential, specifically because of the potential of blockchain-based smart contracts.
Real estate contracts can be complicated and full of tricks and loopholes; they can also be expensive, if they’re handled through third-party figures. Blockchain can simplify the process via automatically fulfilled smart contracts, with Bitcoin-based payment likely to be part of the deal in a growing number of transactions. Given this, as well as the fact that real estate deals involve significantly more money than the average sports bet or concession purchase, this too is an area that could provide a major boost to the crypto world.
The fast-food industry continues to grow and adapt around the world, with no signs of slowing down. The industry may have been unsustainable had it not shifted to focus more on health, but with more healthy options making it onto fast-food menus, and companies like Starbucks adding more food options of their own, drive-thru and fast-casual drinks and dining businesses are actually thriving.
They’re also doing more with quick digital payment options, thanks to convenient new point-of-sale systems that allow for tap-based or no-touch, smartphone payments. Such systems can easily be tweaked to handle Bitcoin transactions in a variety of ways, which makes this whole industry ripe with potential. There are reasons some companies may avoid Bitcoin, so this is no guarantee – but again, the potential is there.