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Now You Can Buy Sotheby’s Diamond With Bitcoin at Hong Kong Auction

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In October 2010, a single Bitcoin cost just 10 cents. At the time of writing, the value sits at just over $30,000. Talk about return on investment. With major companies like Tesla and MicoStrategy now holding significant portfolios in digital assets, it’s clear that Bitcoin is worth taking seriously.

Companies are taking note, increasingly accepting Bitcoin as a payment method. From gaming and online casinos, to retailers, food and beverage, and now Sotheby’s – more and more names have been joining the crypto movement.

Bitcoin

Sotheby’s has announced they will be accepting Bitcoin (and Ethereum) for an incredibly rare 101.38-carat diamond. It’s expected to go for over $15 million, and the auction is taking place on July 9 in Hong Kong.

The auction clearly has symbolic appeal, with Sotheby’s accepting humanity’s first digital currency in exchange for a diamond, one of the oldest representations of value. It’s not just for show, however. With Bitcoin’s value experiencing exponential growth since its launch, it may end up being Sotheby’s best financial move yet.

What Else Can You Do With Bitcoin?

When Bitcoin launched in 2009, its value was negligible. Now, it’s a legitimate store of value, and it is widely accepted as a payment method:

Retailers: Overstock 

Overstock is big on crypto, accepting a wide range of digital currencies for their products. Not only that, the company is heavily invested in Bitcoin, showing their belief that the cryptocurrency is here to stay.

The next retailer to accept Bitcoin? Don’t be surprised if Amazon experiences some FOMO and decides to enable crypto as a form of payment. If you are super keen to spend your Bitcoin at Amazon, there are ways to buy gift cards to spend at the retailer. For example, companies like Bitrefill do this.

Food and Drink: Starbucks and Subway

Yes, you can now buy your daily cup of Joe using Bitcoin. You have to use a payment app called SPEDN, but it’s totally doable. The app also accepts other cryptos, including Litecoin, Ethereum, and Gemini Dollar.

Subway was one of the first fast-food chains to accept cryptocurrency; the first foot-long bought using Bitcoin was in 2013! There’s one issue though, as not all franchises accept it as payment. It depends on the individual location, making it a little tricker.

Another company that has dabbled in cryptocurrency is Burger King, with outlets in Venezuela accepting Bitcoin since 2019. This shows perhaps one of the most powerful ways that cryptocurrencies can be used; Venezuela isn’t exactly a stable country, and using Bitcoin instead of the local Bolivar is perhaps a safer way for citizens to protect their assets.

Tech: Namecheap and Microsoft

One of the leading domain name companies accept Bitcoin as a way to fund your account, allowing you to convert the currency into its dollar equivalent. You can then use your balance to buy domain names.

Microsoft almost deserves its own headline, being one of the largest tech companies around. Microsoft was one of the early adopters, accepting cryptocurrencies for payment on the XBox network. However, it’s still somewhat limited, with not all Microsoft products offering Bitcoin as a payment method.

Gaming and Casinos

best casinos in Ireland

Photo by Aperture Pro on Pexels

The gaming and online casino industry is usually ahead of the curve when it comes to technology. It’s no surprise that many companies accept Bitcoin as a form of payment. We’ve already mentioned Microsoft with XBox, but it also extends to the iGaming industry.

This is particularly pertinent for users in developing countries like India, South America, or the African continent where it can be a little harder to pay using local currencies; Bitcoin isn’t just an alternative form of payment or a curiosity, but has a legit utility that opens up options for more people. In South Africa, for example, players turn to Bitcoin casinos because of how safe the process is. It may take just a bit longer to make deposits and withdrawals than using traditional methods (it can take up to 10 minutes per transaction), but the safety and potential that come with it are exceptional.

Travel Industry: Flight Centre and Expedia

Flight Centre and Expedia are just two major companies that now accept Bitcoin as a payment method. Expedia is particularly interesting, as it has an established relationship with Coinbase, the most popular crypto exchange at the moment. This is important, as it makes the buying process easier, a hurdle that is sometimes still a little too complex for the average user.

Other companies such as airBaltic, PrivateFly, and JetFinder are also expanding their payment methods to include cryptocurrencies. While these aren’t necessarily household names, they’re nevertheless significant players in the travel industry. Expect other companies, such as AirBnB and Booking.com to join the fold in the coming years.

Will Bitcoin Become Legal Tender?

Various cryptocurrency on table

Photo by Roger Brown on Pexels

It already is. On 9 June, El Salvador announced that Bitcoin would become legal tender. The country’s Congress approved the proposal with a significant majority, with 62/84 voting in favor. This law is significant, as it means businesses must accept Bitcoin as legal tender, alongside the US dollar.

This is a landmark moment for cryptocurrencies, and it is likely that El Salvador will be the first of many countries to make the move. Does Bitcoin have a future as currency, however, or will it become the store of value of choice? That’s a question for another day.

But there’s one thing we can say with certainty: Bitcoin’s chances as a legitimate form of payment and/or store of value look very good indeed. Sotheby’s step to accept it for one of its biggest auctions is just one bit of evidence that Bitcoin has arrived into the mainstream.

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Blockchain Media Firm Acquires Bitcoin Documentary

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Blockchain Media Firm Acquires Bitcoin Documentary.  Slate Entertainment Group announced during Cannes film festival that it has agreed to a seven-figure deal on purchasing rights to a documentary all about the blockchain. Slate plans to broadcast the new doc, Beyond Bitcoin, on Binge, its blockchain-based web streaming platform. The platform provides high-definition, high-speed, and low-cost access to media for consumers worldwide, according to its press release.

Blockchain Media Firm Acquires Bitcoin Documentary

“Silver Bitcoin” (CC BY 2.0) by wuestenigel

Front and center

During this year’s Cannes festival, Slate took centre stage when it came to blockchain and the potential that exists for it to change entertainment as we know it. Slate announced in Cannes that its new partnership with Sitges International Fantastic Film Festival will see Sitges incorporate its digital ticket platform Slatix for purchasing both festival passes and individual tickets. The platform is powered by the cryptocurrency SLATE SLX. The press release said that this will be the first time that a film festival has accepted cryptocurrency alongside more conventional payment methods.

Bitcoin is having quite a year, having passed a significant test. After it recovered from a major decline earlier in 2018, many experts went on to advise that the digital currency is here to stay. As such, Bitcoin doesn’t seem to be slowing down on its mission to disrupt industries. One sector where it’s proving successful is the charity sector, particularly in countries where their traditional currency is close to being worthless. United Way and Human Rights Foundation are just two charities that accept bitcoin. The cryptocurrency is also making waves in the online gambling space, with casinos such as 32Red jumping on board. In addition to accepting bitcoin, gamers can click here to see that the casino backs up its diverse payment methods with a wide range of games and a $10 award to new players: two more incentives for gamers to start spending their currency. It appears that making its mark on the film industry is next on bitcoin’s agenda.

Blockchain Media Firm Acquires Bitcoin Documentary

“Bitcoin Wallpaper (2560×1600)” (Public Domain) by PerfectHue

Loyalty benefits

Slatix is a low-cost, blockchain-based tokenised ticket system that provides consumer benefits based on loyalty. The press release claims that both small and medium-sized companies have something to gain from Slatix’s minimal setup and running costs, while the app is designed to simplify DIY ticket redemption and distribution. Based in Los Angeles and Toronto, Slate Entertainment Group has developed multiple media platforms on its blockchain, such as Slatix and Binge. Slate went into resale mode in May of this year, with an end date of June 9th. It passed its soft cap target having raised more than $20 million.

One of the world’s top 10 cryptocurrency exchanges, Hong Kong’s HitBTC, will be including SLX on its exchange. HitBTC will be hosting SLX with trading pairs against Tether (USDT) and Bitcoin (BTC). Slate Entertainment Group spoke in its press release about how happy it was to reveal news of the partnership while the resale was active, as it could provide confidence to buyers that they could trade SLX on the open market. The release went on to say that the inclusion in a major exchange will expand SLX’s reach into new markets, as well as increase distribution, post-initial sale.

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