Most investors see cryptocurrency as a store of value and a means to make quick profits. But some of these virtual coins are gaining wider acceptance – as a payment option like the traditional rupee or dollar. The biggest endorsement for Bitcoin, the oldest and most popular of all these virtual currencies, came from billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk who said in July that his electric vehicle-making company Tesla will “most likely” start accepting payments in Bitcoin again. Several others have also announced that they would be accepting cryptoins as a payment option.
In India, too, you can buy items online and pay at selected restaurants in crypto coins. Though cryptocurrency has not received the backing of the government, the Supreme Court has reversed a 2018 RBI ban on its trade.
Here's where you can use cryptocurrencies to buy goods and services in India:
Suryawanshi Restaurants in Bengaluru's Indiranagar and Whitefield accept payment in Bitcoins. So, the next time you forget your wallet at home, don't panic as long as you can access your Bitcoin wallet. Along with traditional payment, the restaurant accepts Bitcoins as well.
Unocoin, an online cryptocurrency exchange, allows users to buy gift vouchers, ranging from Rs. 100 to Rs 5,000, from a list of 90 brands that include companies operating in the fields of travel, restaurants, lifestyle, clothing, accessories, hotels etc.
HighKart, the online e-commerce store, also accepts Bitcoin payments from customers. Products available on its website include mobile phones, cameras, clothes, electronics and computers.
The Rug Republic, the Delhi-based decor brand accepts payment in Bitcoin and 20 other top crypto coins as payment. As of now the brand is using WazirX and Binance to facilitate transactions but says it may develop an in-house payment system soon.
Apart from them, there are hundreds of outlets and brands internationally that have begun accepting payments in cryptocurrency, including the popular American NBA team Dallas Mavericks that accept the Dogecoin for tickets and merchandise.
Many people also made donations in cryptocurrency to help countries fight the COVID-19 pandemic and arrange the resources required. For example, Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin donated Dogecoins worth $1 billion (roughly Rs 7000 crore) and former Australian cricketer Bret Lee gave one Bitcoin (roughly Rs 45 lakh) to India to help it fight the second wave.