Although much of the focus in the cryptocurrency world is often on the price particular cryptocurrencies are fetching and the state of the market more generally, in many respects this is actually the least interesting aspect of cryptocurrencies.
In our opinion, the much more interesting topic for discussion is what uses cryptos have across various sectors and industries. This is a particularly interesting topic of conversation, as it gives us some insight into both the potential this technology holds and what the future might look like.
There are numerous benefits to cryptocurrencies, many of which have direct applicability to businesses of all shapes, sizes and functions. For example, the open-ledger technology underpinning the blockchain system allows for transactions to be verified almost instantly in a way that is safe, secure and decentralized, while certain other cryptocurrency features make them privacy friendly.
With that said, it is clear that there are many benefits to using cryptocurrency in business. Of the many thousands of businesses that have adopted this revolutionary technology, however, what industries or sectors have proved the most willing to take advantage of them?
Perhaps somewhat surprisingly given the almost constant Ethereum price fluctuations, the travel industry has been incredibly crypto-friendly since this technology first emerged on the scene.
Travel companies such as Expedia have been leading the way in the adoption of cryptocurrencies and have allowed customers to pay for hotel bookings with Bitcoin. This is in addition to the several large airline companies that have initiated the process of integrating cryptocurrency payment systems. This includes companies such as LOT Polish Airlines, Norwegian Air and AirBaltic.
Charities and non-profits
Another strong supporter of cryptocurrencies has been the charity and not-for profit sector.
According to a recent article by Coin Desk, cryptocurrency is “changing philanthropy” by allowing for the easy transfer of funds anywhere in the world. This allows charities and other non-profits to work with donors globally and with much greater ease than ever before.
Interestingly, not only are cryptocurrencies allowing for the easy transfers of charitable donations, but cryptocurrency users themselves are more likely to make charitable donations. According to a report by Fidelity Charitable, around 45% of crypto investors donated to charities in 2020, as compared to 33% of investors in general.
Exemplifying this, leading figures in the crypto world such as Ethereum creator Vitalik Buterin have turned into prominent philanthropists. Buterin himself has made a number of large charitable donations, which includes donating $1bn to a Covid-19 relief fund in India, in addition to $100m to various other Covid-19 relief projects worldwide.
Prominent organizations in the charity and non-profit space have been quick to identify this trend. We have seen organizations such as UNICEF, Red Cross and Greenpeace all either start accepting cryptocurrency donations or set up crypto-specific funds.
stingly, it is not only large industries and sector giants that have been quick to hop on the cryptocurrency support train. In fact, a significant amount of support for cryptocurrencies comes from small businesses.
A surprising number of small businesses have started accepting crypto payments — around 28% according to one recent article — with many more expressing a desire to integrate crypto payments in the near future. If this trend holds, you will be more likely to pay for your morning coffee and bagel with ETH rather than your Tesla, with the car manufacturer recently having pulled support for cryptos!
iGaming and online entertainment
Another industry that has, in general, proved to be a strong advocate of cryptocurrencies is the entertainment sector. The iGaming sector in particular has been one of the earliest and most committed adopters.
Cryptocurrencies offer many benefits that are desired by the major players in the iGaming and online casino sector. This includes transactions that are not only incredibly fast, but which also offer their clients a higher degree of privacy. As the iGaming sector services a highly international clientele, cryptocurrencies are also well-suited to the industry.
Due to these advantages, we have seen a widespread shift in the iGaming sector, with many major online casinos and gambling platforms offering cryptocurrency support as standard. Some platforms have even developed their own bespoke digital currencies to speed up the process of adoption.
In many respects, cryptocurrencies have helped to revive the iGaming industry, which is undergoing a significant growth phase if recent reports are anything to go by!