In 2013 there were numerous reports of people living off Bitcoin, and charities & donations based on the virtual currency. A couple of months back, Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic announced that they would accept Bitcoin payments for those interested in buying a commercial trip to space. It seems that it is becoming increasingly plausible to get by or survive, just with Bitcoins. On 3rd February 2014, CheapAir.com began accepting Bitcoins to make reservations at over 200,000 hotels in its network.
In November 2013, CheapAir.com had begun accepting Bitcoins for flight purchases due to which there was an increase in their customer base according to the company. "We've been really pleasantly surprised by the response. We're making a lot more Bitcoin sales than we expected to make," said Jeff Klee, CEO of CheapAir.com. He will not call Bitcoin a ‘game-changer’ as of yet, but that may change with more users.
In order to process transactions, CheapAir has to accept Bitcoins and exchange them for fiat currency(U.S Dollars for now) before paying the hotels. Certain hotels, such as those that require its users to pay at checkout, will not be available to Bitcoin users. “Once in a while you’ll see a hotel on our site that won’t have a bitcoin logo by it, but that the majority of properties on the site will see the bitcoin logo clearly displayed on its listings,” said Klee.
Some Other Bitcoin Merchant Pioneers
Virgin Galactic: Richard Branson announced in November 2013 that his company, would be accepting Bitcoins as payment for space Travel. “Virgin Galactic is a bold entrepreneurial technology driving revolution – bitcoin is doing just the same,” he said.
Melanie Brown: Fomer Scary Spice, Melanie Brown partnered with CloudHashing and BitPay to enable Bitcoin payments on her website homepage.
Snoop Dogg: HipHop Royalty, Snoop Dogg tweeted “My next release will be available in Bitcoin and delivered in Drone.
International Academy for Musical Arts: Founder of IAMA Zou Lunlun became the first business owner in North Point to accept Bitcoin payments for her online music lessons. She began accepting the virtual currency in September 2013.
Sean’s Outpost: This charity began accepting Bitcoin as early as mid-march in 2013. It has been successful in raising the number of meals served to homeless people from 50 per week in March to 900 per week in November. They also have a project called Satoshi Forest underway, which is a 9 acre property for its clients to live in a completely self sustained environment.
eBay UK recently added a cool development with regards to Buying and Selling of Bitcoins, by announcing the addition of a new ‘Virtual Currency’ category to the classifieds section of its marketplace. “To promote a trustworthy marketplace and ensure compliance with applicable regulations, eBay is currently updating its Currency Policy. The updated policy will clarify that listings for Bitcoin and other similar virtual currencies must be listed in the Virtual Currency Category in the Classified Ad format,” said Ryan Moore, Manager at eBay.
"Were going to see an ever-growing number of merchants begin to accept Bitcoin," he says. "Bitcoin is a network … Facebook is a network. Why do you join Facebook? Because everyone else is on Facebook,” says Jerry Brito, Senior Researcher at George Mason University. “The more people will own and spend the Bitcoin, the more merchants will accept them, and more people will use them."