The Biggest Retailers Accepting Bitcoin

The following list details the biggest companies in bitcoin. These are companies accepting bitcoins from consumers. With millions of customers who use traditional payment methods only, these companies were on the forefront of introducing non-bitcoiners to the future of payments. And they are:

CheapAir

CheapAir.com is a privately owned company, and, according to Travel Weekly, it is ranked #48 on the 2013 Power List of Travel Agencies in the United States.

The company was founded in 1989 by CEO Jeff Klee from his University of Michigan dorm room. It was originally known as 1-800-Cheap-Air until the website launched in 2000.

In 2011, CheapAir unveiled its Price Drop Payback program, which guarantees reimbursement of any price difference before a flight. Later it would become the first travel agency world-wide to accept bitcoin as an alternate form of payment for flights. In February 2014, CheapAir became the first travel agency world-wide to accept bitcoin as an alternate form of payment for hotels. In November, the CheapAir wrote on its blog:

The idea came to us a few months ago, and we’re proud to say it ignited directly from a customer inquiry to one of our Travel Advisors: Can I pay with bitcoin for my flight?’

Dell

An American privately owned multinational computer technology company based in Round Rock, Texas, United States, Dell develops, sells, repairs and supports computers and related products and services. The company is one of the largest technology corporations in the world, employing more than 103,300 people worldwide.

Dell sells personal computers, servers, data storage devices, network switches, software, computer peripherals, HDTVs, cameras, printers, MP3 players and also electronics built by other manufacturers. The company is well known for its innovations in supply chain management and electronic commerce, particularly its direct-sales model and its “build-to-order” or “configure to order” approach to manufacturingdelivering individual PCs configured to customer specifications.

Dell is listed at number 51 in the Fortune 500 list. In 2013 it was the third largest PC vendor in the world after Lenovo and HP. Dell is currently the #1 shipper of PC monitors in the world and the sixth largest company in Texas by total revenue, according to Fortune magazine. It is the second largest non-oil company in Texas  behind AT&T  and the largest company in the Greater Austin area. It was a publicly traded company (NASDAQ: DELL), as well as a component of the NASDAQ-100 and S&P 500, until it was taken private in a leveraged buyout which closed on October 30, 2013.

When Texas-based computer technology giant Dell became the largest merchant to join the bitcoin ecosystem, Paul Walsh, CIO of Dell Commerce Services, told CoinDesk this:

We’ve got to ensure we know where the market is going and what’s happening everywhere. We have regular communication with our customers, we understand exactly what they’re looking for [and] where they may have friction in their path, we look to see if there are ant big innovations that would benefit our customers.

Dish

Dish is an American direct-broadcast satellite service provider, which, as of November 2013, provided services to more than fourteen millions subscribers with about 34,000 employees.

Dish Network announced this year it will begin accepting bitcoin payments in the third quarter of 2014. Subscribers will be able to make one-time bitcoin payments at mydish.com. Dish is the No. 2 satellite company in the world. Bitcoin is becoming the preferred way for some people to transact and we want to accommodate those individuals, says Dish COO Bernie Han. Dish’s decision is a large step forward in the growing momentum of customers paying companies in bitcoin for things we do everyday, like watching premium TV.

Expedia

Expedia, the internet-based travel website company headquartered in Bellevue, WA, offers localized sites for 30 countries: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Indonesia, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Philippines, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan, Thailand, UK, US, Vietnam, but only the US site, so far, accepts bitcoins.

Expedia books airline tickets, hotel reservations, car rentals, cruises, vacation packages and various attractions and services via the World Wide Web and telephone travel agents. The site uses multiple global distribution systems like Amadeus or the Sabre reservation systems for flights and for hotels, Worldspan and Pegasus, along with its own hotel reservation system for contracted, bulk-rate reservations. This last is shared with other Expedia, Inc. sites.

Expedia was started by Microsoft and later spun off as a multi-billion dollar company because it was “no longer about software intensive technology” and they were “concerned that they would not do their best at this.

In June 2014, Expedia started accepting bitcoins. Expedia’s executive vice president of global product Michael Gulmann declined to release firm figures regarding the total bitcoin sales the company has seen so far, but reported that they have exceeded estimates.

It was the perfect combination of the ability to do something really, really interesting from a technology standpoint, work with our hotel partners, really close that gap between customer demand and helping fill hotel rooms for our hotel partners, Gulmann added.

Foodler

Foodler.com, an online food ordering service, connects consumers to a wide variety of restaurants that deliver. The company’s website ranks the restaurants based on consumer feedback with recommendations based on order history, user ratings, discounts and free delivery. Foodler also remembers users favorite foods, addresses, payment, and tip preferences to speed up the ordering process. In April 2013, Foodler began accepting bitcoin payments.

More than 12,000 restaurants in 48 states are found on Foodler, with 1,200 restaurants available on the platform in the Boston area. Other locations include Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Miami, New York City, Orlando, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Washington DC, and in Canada, Vancouver.

Our bitcoin integration was written with Thai food, said Dumontet, a former Cisco System software engineer who says he did most of the coding over the course of a week.

In each of the first three months, bitcoin payments on the food delivery site grew by 30 percent each months since Foodler began ofering the option. Dumontet said at the time:

We’re software enthusiasts…that was the initial motivation. There are good business reasons for it, but given that its such a small percent of our revenue, that’s not that big of motivation.

Ultimately, or so one might argue, this last sentiment, imparted by Dumontet, underscores the motivation of many businesses which have adopted bitcoin. It is, for many, not so much a matter of profits in the now, but, rather, speculation on the future viability and relevance of bitcoin. Indeed, perhaps one day, bitcoin will be a driver for many businesses which choose to accept the nascent technology.

Gyft

Founded by South African Internet entrepreneur Vinny Lingham, Gyft is a mobile gift card company. With backing by Google Ventures, Gyft has proved a big success. Gyft incorporated bitcoin payments in 2013. In an open letter from Gyft to the Bitcoin Subreddit.

Big news came in March when Gyft officially added US retail giant Walmart to its merchant network. Gyft CEO Vinny Lingham told CoinDesk:

I think it’s pretty clear that we’ve built a great interface, we have great customers and we offer a great user experience. [&] We’ve built a brand, and retailers see that we have a very valuable position as an alternative to the plastic gift card on the rack model.

Lord & Taylor

Lord & Taylor, known as L&T, is the oldest luxury, specialty-retail department store chain in the US. Based in New York, most of L&T’s operations are concentrated in the eastern US. The company is wholly owned and operated by NRDC Equity Partners.

Lord & Taylor consists of 50 stores and lordandtaylor.com. Lord & Taylor’s lead competitors are Barneys, Neiman Marcus and Bergdorf Goodman, as well as Bloomingdale’s, corporate cousin Saks Fifth Avenue and Nordstrom department store chains.

In January 2013 the department store teamed up with Pounce, an app that allows shoppers to snap a picture on their smartphones of an item from the retailer’s catalog, and complete the transaction via mobile checkout. Pounce’s partnership with Coinbase means shoppers can now pay in bitcoin.

Microsoft

Microsoft announced on December 11 in its blog that customers could use bitcoin to purchase certain products via BitPay. For now only some of the content in the Windows Store, or in store with XBox Games, XBox Music or Xbox Video can be purchased using bitcoin. Users do not pay directly, but add money to their Microsoft accounts. The service thus far is only available in the US.

Bill Gates said in October 2014 that he liked Bitcoin: Bitcoin is better than currency in that you don’t have to be physically in the same place and of course for large transactions currency can get pretty inconvenient.”

BitPay stated that “Microsoft has a long-term vision for bitcoin, BitPay and the blockchain. Starting with digital goods in the US is the logical first step, however, they want to expand to Europe and globally and add support for other products as part of that rollout.”

Microsoft termed the decision a toe-dip more than an aggressive adoption.

Newegg

Newegg.com Inc. is an online retailer of computer hardware and software based in City of Industry, California, United States. The company was founded by Taiwanese immigrant Chang. Newegg.com was named one of the internet’s Top 10 retailers by Internet Retailer Magazine, with 2004 sales revenue of just under $1 billion.

Newegg attempts to play a role in the technology industry events and PC gaming tournaments titles. Newegg’s name has a meaning behind it, as, traditionally, the egg is a symbol of birth and unlimited potential. Newegg signifies new hope for e-commerce during a period when e-commerce businesses were struggling to survive. On September 28, 2009, Newegg Inc filed for an initial public offering (IPO) with the US Securities and Exchange Commission. The IPO is being managed by JP Morgan, Bank of America, Merrill Lynch and Citi.

The computer hardware and software retail giant began accepting bitcoin in the summer of 2014. In a statement, the company’s Chief Marketing Officer, Soren Mills noted how Newegg and bitcoin fit together:

Newegg’s customers are among some of the earliest bitcoin miners and are enthusiastic proponents of the cryptocurrency. Adopting bitcoin as a payment method is another way we’re responding to our customers diverse needs.

Overstock

Overstock.com, Inc. made perhaps the most noise among the companies on this list when it began accepting bitcoin. The American online retailer, headquartered in Cottonwood Heights, Utah, is run by CEO Patrick M. Byrne, who launched the company in May 1999.

Overstock.com initially sold only surplus and returned merchandise on an online e-commerce marketplace, liquidating the inventories of at least 18 failed dot-com companies at below-wholesale prices, and in recent years has expanded to new merchandise.

Overstock relied first and foremost solely on word-of-mouth marketing from customers, later turning to distinctive television advertisements. In 2011, revenues dropped 5 percent over a two month penalty period imposed by Google. According to the Associated Press, Overstock set up fake websites linking back to its own site. Overstock said it was penalized, in part, for a practice of encouraging college and university websites to post links to Overstock pages so that students and faculty could receive discounts. As a result of the Google penalty, search results for certain products dropped in Google rankings.

Byrne has always been very positive about his company’s experience with bitcoin. The company hasn’t had a hiccup since [they] started.

We’ve integrated with all kinds of payment systems and this is the first that I can think of where there’s been no hiccups at all, Byrne added.

Byrne later revealed that the company is now issuing refunds in bitcoin, and that its customer service agents have been facilitating the offering for one month. Byrne went on:

We like to think that we broke the ice, I think before us the biggest merchant was about $1 million, so by us doing it, we’re a billion-and-a-half-dollar merchant, we like to think we saved [bitcoin] about four to five years of evolution.

We got fantastic PR from [accepting bitcoin], Byrne said. Now, that it’s broken into the billion-dollar vendor market, it’s just a matter of time before the other dominoes fall.

At the 2014 Amsterdam bitcoin conference, Byrne gave a well-attended keynote address.

Shopify

Founded in 2004, Shopify was envisioned as a tool for online merchants to run custom stores. This meant that all of their 75,000+ merchants can now start accepting Bitcoin. The company offered the integration via BitPay. One of the main reason the companies made the move was due to merchant demand. As the company wrote on the blog:

The main features are:
Customers from around the world can check out with digital currency.
The currency works just like cash.
Transactions cannot be reversed by the buyer (unlike credit cards or PayPal).
You can choose to receive your payments in Bitcoins (paid into your Bitcoin wallet) or paid in your local currency directly into your bank account every business day.
Transactions are secure and meet the highest standards for ecommerce security.

*This list will be updated as more merchants accept Bitcoin.

Did we forget a company? Let us know in the comments.