We talk a lot about bitcoin gambling because it is a big part of the business we are involved in. Be that as it may, cryptocurrencies go well beyond the gambling space.
What began as a project to prove the viability of the cryptocurrency principal more than 10 years ago has grown into a worldwide movement that seeks to take financial control away from central banks and governments and give it back to the people. Thousands of cryptocurrencies now exist across the entire global financial world, led by big names like Bitcoin and Litecoin.
From our perspective, cryptocurrency is becoming increasingly more ubiquitous with each passing quarter. Everywhere we turn we see people investing in cryptocurrencies, buying and selling with them, and telling others about the most exciting aspects of getting involved in the crypto market.
If you are curious about cryptocurrencies above and beyond bitcoin gambling, there is plenty to take note of. We have put together a list of 10 signs that demonstrate crypto's growing ubiquity in modern life. Perhaps you have even observed some of these things in your own daily routine.
1. Merchants Accepting Bitcoin
Bitcoin currently qualifies as the most popular cryptocurrency for average users. Part of that is due to bitcoin's history, the other part is just good marketing. Either way, growing numbers of merchants are accepting bitcoin payments in lieu of fiat currencies. Take coffee shops, for example.
Coffee shops tend to be frequented by millennials and their younger counterparts. It turns out that this core demographic group is also the most likely to dabble in crypto. It makes sense for a thriving coffeehouse to explore other forms of payment that will keep millennials coming back. Bitcoin is at the top of the list.
2. 'Now Accepting Bitcoin' Signs
Hand-in-hand with merchants accepting bitcoin are the signs, placards, and window decals advertising their decision to do so. If you don't know what we're talking about, pay attention to the door next time you enter a local business in your town. If that business accepts major credit cards like Visa and MasterCard, you should see decals on the glass or a sign in the window.
More and more businesses are beginning to display signs and decals letting their customers know they now accept bitcoin. This is a big step. Once those signs in decals start going up, you know that cryptocurrency has found mainstream acceptance.
3. Vending Machine Advertising
Advertising on blank vending machine space is big business in some places. In Taiwan, vending machine operators sell the blank space just above the product display area. Taiwanese vendors are gradually seeing more cryptocurrency advertisements as a result.
Advertisers tend to be exchanges looking to get more customers to purchase Bitcoin, Litecoin, etc. from them. But you might occasionally run across a retailer that purchases the advertising space as a way to let potential customers know they now accept cryptocurrency.
4. Other Forms of Advertising
Cryptocurrency advertising is not limited to vending machines and merchant window decals. Ads are starting to show up in other places, too. For example, the Bitpanda exchange is now advertising significantly at the Vienna airport. Stroll through one of the baggage claim areas and you'll see numerous electronic Bitpanda signs. In the New York City subway system, it's common to see signs from local investment advisors who specialize in cryptocurrency.
5. Public Education Efforts
Getting bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies into the hands of average consumers requires a tremendous educational effort. Around the world, that's just what we're seeing. One example is the BitBrighton conference that took place in Brighton, England in late October 2018. The single-day event offered free entry along with very reasonable workshop prices for all attendees.
6. Charities Are Accepting Crypto
If there's one sign of cryptocurrency's ubiquity that rises above them all, it has to be the fact that charities are gradually beginning to accept it for donations. A good example is the Lupus Foundation of America. The Foundation recently announced they would be accepting donations via Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, Ethereum, and Ethereum Classic.
You can donate to the Foundation via crypto by visiting their website and clicking on the 'Donate' link. Along the left side of the page is a dedicated link for cryptocurrency donations. Click that link, fill out the information, and you're done. It's pretty simple.
7. Investors Recommending Crypto
Next, investors are starting to recommend cryptocurrencies as a means of expanding one's portfolio. This is a big step. All along, some of the most respected investors in the world have stayed away from cryptocurrency due to its perceived instability. But that instability is gradually evaporating as time marches on. This has more and more investors embracing cryptocurrencies as inflationary hedges, much like gold and silver.
Financial advisors are looking at crypto, too. They have to. If investors are pushing crypto as a new investment tool for enhancing a portfolio, their advisers have to get on board or be left behind.
8. Cryptocurrency in Pop Art
The same people who brought Brighton residents the recent BitBrighton conference are also likely behind a number of pop art posters seen around town. The posters combine images of World War II with bitcoin as a means of advertising cryptocurrency among average consumers. The posters are actually quite aesthetically appealing.
According to a great article published by Crypto News, crypto in pop culture has even strayed into literature. Bitcoin has apparently been mentioned in the Goosebumps series of kids' books. Crypto News published a picture in a recent post showing a page from a Goosebumps book where one character explains bitcoin to another character. It's actually pretty cool.
9. Bitcoin Fashion
Watch out all you fashionistas, crypto is coming to your market too. Crypto News showed another picture in their post featuring a beautiful pair of brand-new shoes from Andres Sandra. The shoes were created with intentional patina and, wait for it... the bitcoin logo imprinted on each shoe.
We're guessing the shoes were custom-made for one buyer in particular. However, it wouldn't surprise us to see them go mainstream pretty quickly. Once people know they can buy bitcoin shoes, you can bet they will start doing so.
10. Taxi Drivers Accepting Crypto
The taxi industry in most countries has long relied on cash payments. Taxi drivers in major cities reluctantly began accepting credit and debit cards about a decade ago when it became apparent that people were carrying less cash in their pockets. Unfortunately, accepting plastic almost always comes with fees and charges that eat into a driver's income. Cryptocurrency is a great alternative.
Both independent taxi owners and large taxi companies are beginning to embrace crypto and its no-fee platforms. Crypto News offers a video from one Puerto Rican taxi driver whose company accepts Bitcoin, Litecoin, and Ethereum. You can see the logos of all three cryptos emblazoned on the side of the company's taxis.
We talk a lot about bitcoin gambling because that is where most of the action is in the online gambling space. But trust us when we say that there are other cryptocurrencies in play.
It's true that bitcoin gets most of the press. But that's not because bitcoin is necessarily superior to all other cryptocurrencies out there. All cryptocurrencies work on the same basic principle. As such, value is determined mainly by supply and demand. And believe it or not, it is the forces of supply and demand that are leading some casino operators to look at other cryptocurrencies above and beyond bitcoin.
Litecoin is gradually becoming a favorite among casino operators. Many of them are looking at Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, XRP, and Monero as well. Why does this matter? Because cryptocurrencies make it easier for online casinos to navigate the regulatory waters in some jurisdictions where gambling with fiat currencies can be difficult. The fact that casinos are branching out to accept more cryptocurrencies shows that they are more comfortable with them.
We would not go so far as to say that cryptocurrencies are poised to eclipse fiat currencies as the preferred way of paying for things - at least not right now. Remember that crypto is not considered legal tender in any country at the current time. Japan is moving that way, and a few countries (Canada, the UK, and the U.S.) are looking at developing their own cryptocurrencies, but replacing their fiat cousins is still a long way off.
The point here is to say that the world is gradually waking up to cryptocurrencies and all the benefits they offer. Crypto is gradually becoming more ubiquitous in everyday life as a result. So next time you are walking down the street and you see a bitcoin sign in a merchant window or a crypto ad on the side of a bus, remember that the bills and coins in your pocket represent only one way to pay for things.