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Cryptocurrency payments are accepted the most by the travel industry, adoption study shows

Carla Mozée   

Cryptocurrency payments are accepted the most by the travel industry, adoption study shows
  • Travel companies, fast-food chains and dating sites are leading the adoption of crypto payments, said Traders of Crypto.
  • Expedia, McDonald's and OkCupid are among large companies showing themselves open to crypto, according to a study.

The travel services industry and fast-food chains are among those leading the widening acceptance of cryptocurrencies as payment for goods and services, research released Tuesday showed.

Of the top 10 crypto-friendly industries, travel is number one, with 11.5% of the companies in that sector accepting the digital assets, according to a study conducted by Traders of Crypto. E-Commerce is second at 11.06%, while non-profits and charities are third at 9.13%.

Meanwhile, fast-food chains including Burger King, institutions of higher education, and sports teams are among other large companies and entities acting as early adopters of cryptocurrencies.

The broadening acceptance "reflects a huge shift in public perception of crypto, with its value finally being realized by consumers and businesses alike," Traders of Crypto said in a note.

The cryptocurrency research website jumpstarted its study by combing through a variety of general and specialty news sites to create a list of companies that accept cryptocurrency.

"However, the adoption of crypto is still in its infancy, and the majority of digital tokens accepted by businesses tends to be limited to Bitcoin and one or two other leading cryptocurrencies such as Ethereum," it said.

The travel sector has been "quick to recognize" the growing demand for crypto-payment availability, with Expedia leading the way in allowing customers to pay for hotel bookings using bitcoin. Airlines including AirBaltic, Norwegian Air, and LOT Polish Airlines also moved to take crypto as payment.

Burger King and McDonald's are among several of the world's biggest fast-food companies that have started experimenting with payments in crypto, the study showed. Burger King has run trials in Germany, the Netherlands, and Venezuela. McDonald's is working on it in El Salvador – the first country to adopt bitcoin as legal tender – and chicken chain KFC has been experimenting in Canada.

Portuguese soccer club Benfica's acceptance of bitcoin and ethereum for fan merchandise made it an early adopter in the sports world. In US professional sports, the Dallas Mavericks, Miami Dolphins, San Jose Earthquakes in soccer, and San Jose Sharks in hockey include crypto as payment options.

"[Even] our love lives have been penetrated by the unstoppable tide of progress," with dating site OkCupid accepting bitcoin payments as early as 2013, Traders of Crypto said. OkCupid is run by Match Group. Badoo and Luxy are other dating sites that accept crypto payments, it said.


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