Things You Can Buy With Cryptocurrency

Authored by Makara
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Makara

Published June 3, 20217 min
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On May 18, 2010, a Florida-based computer programmer named Laszlo Hanyecz was hungry. He wanted pizza, and he wanted to pay for his pizza with Bitcoin. So he went online and made an offer:

“I’ll pay 10,000 bitcoins for a couple of pizzas,” Hanyecz wrote on a Bitcoin forum called Bitcointalk. “You can make the pizza yourself and bring it to my house or order it for me from a delivery place, but what I’m aiming for is getting food delivered in exchange for bitcoins where I don’t have to order or prepare it myself.”

A man in Britain accepted. In exchange for 10,000 Bitcoins, which were then worth about $41, he ordered two large pies from Papa John’s to be delivered to Haynecz’s home, completing what was likely the first real-world purchase made with Bitcoin. (In the 11 years since, as Bitcoin’s value rose, the crypto Haynecz spent on those first two pizzas could have been worth as much as $640 million. So maybe not the best financial decision, but he did accomplish the goal he stated that day: “I just think it would be interesting if I could say that I paid for a pizza in bitcoins.”)

More than a decade later, Haynecz would have no trouble buying his Bitcoin pizza today. Crypto coffee shops and other crypto-accepting businesses have popped up around the world. And with the launch of exchanges like Coinbase and Bitpay, along with the recent acceptance from stock market investors and major financial institutions, the number of places that take crypto are growing every day. Here are just a few of the things you can currently buy with crypto:

  • Anything you can find on Amazon, using an app called Purse

  • Anything you can buy on Overstock.com, no app required

  • Certain artwork, including a Banksy, auctioned off by Sotheby’s

  • A COVID-19 test house call from New York City doctor Alexander Goldberg

  • Gift cards from Cabela’s, Gap, CVS, Uber, and 200 other retailers through Gyft.com

  • A space flight on Virgin Galactic, whenever it actually takes place

  • The right to send payloads to the moon through SpaceX

  • Lottery tickets through the Jackpocket app

  • Cab rides

  • Silverware, sneakers, or linens from The White Company

  • A Kia from Carriage Kia in Woodstock, Georgia

  • Face-lifts, tummy tucks, and other plastic surgeries at New York City’s bodySCULPT

  • A $248 million apartment in London

  • Vending machine items in Australia and New Zealand

  • Goat milk, lavender, and hemp oil soaps from bitsoaps.com

  • A macchiato, flat white, or anything else at Starbucks through the Bakkt app

  • Oakland A’s tickets

  • Dallas Mavericks tickets

  • Lollipops at Lolliphile.com

  • Mattresses, pillows, sheets, and bed frames from Ghostbed.com

  • Cable and Internet, thanks to a partnership between The Dish Network and Coinbase

  • A selection of handguns and rifles, or the class required to get your Texas License to Carry (which includes breakfast tacos and range fees) at Central Texas Gun Works in Austin

  • Airfare on Expedia.com and CheapAir.com

  • Crafts from Etsy

  • Electronics from Newegg.com

  • Help building your own website on Wordpress.com

  • A Lamborghini from Lambo Newport Beach

One thing you can no longer buy with Bitcoin is a Tesla, once a popular big-ticket purchase for Bitcoin believers. In May 2021, Tesla’s chief executive, Elon Musk, announced that the carmaker would stop accepting Bitcoin because he was concerned about [the effects of Bitcoin mining on the environment](/blog/worried-about-bitcoin-environmental-impact). The move contributed to a huge swing in not just the Bitcoin market but all of cryptocurrency. It also showed, once again, how influential Musk’s tweets can be on the entire crypto universe.

Even without the ability to purchase Teslas, the boom in cryptocurrency’s acceptance that’s occurred since those Papa John’s pizzas in 2010 would make Bitcoin founder Satoshi Nakamoto very happy. When he introduced Bitcoin, he hoped that it would one day serve as a medium of exchange, completely replacing the need for government-backed currencies. What might not make Satoshi happy is that Bitcoin has evolved beyond that. Many investors see Bitcoin as an aspirational store of value—an investment akin to gold. If Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies continue to rise in value, their role in an investment portfolio may change, and investors will choose to use other means to buy those lollipops, sneakers, and A’s tickets.