Cryptocurrency has been big with investors trading the digital currency but it has yet to break through with consumers as a mainstream way to buy and sell goods.
That may be changing, as more companies are now embracing Bitcoin.
When baseball recently welcomed back spectators, it marked the start of something new at the home of California’s Oakland A’s. Fans watched from a season suite paid for with Bitcoin. This was the first time that cryptocurrency was used to buy a Major League Baseball ticket.
“We thought, starting with the suite sale, which is typically about $65,000 for a year and bitcoin was approaching 60,000 — we said it’s a perfect time to demo this and to see if it has any traction,” says Oakland A’s President Dave Kaval.
Given where the team is located, Kaval says, it makes sense that they are the first professional baseball team to be trying this out. “Our fans are all over the Bay Area in Silicon Valley. I think there’s an opportunity down the line, where even sponsors could theoretically pay with Bitcoin and, and we can use other aspects of cryptocurrency in our business.”
Other businesses are also embracing the change. Elon Musk recently announced people can use Bitcoin to drive away with a Tesla, and in Nashville, TN, the Bobby Hotel says it now accepts cryptocurrency for weddings.
Recently, the Venmo payment app is also now letting customers buy and sell cryptocurrency.
San Francisco doctor Paul Abramson started accepting Bitcoin nine years ago, but he says it has not been easy. “It’s kind of hard for us right now to convert it into dollars in an efficient way,” he says, “and the tax consequences are a little less clear these days, so we’re trying to really just sort of limit our exposure to bitcoin transactions right now.”
Cryptocurrency’s wild swings in value is keeping many people from jumping on the bandwagon, so it is not clear if the use of digital money will ever become as widespread as dollars and cents.