As the marketing hype behind Bitcoin has started to wear off, people have begun to wonder if there’s any point to Bitcoin beyond speculation and its beauty as a protocol. And the skeptics have a point: despite all the hoopla, involving everything from space flight to a pro sports team, Bitcoin is just not that practical for buying and selling things. It takes too long to complete a transaction compared to credit cards or good old cash and, in any case, most merchants don’t know what the heck Bitcoin is in the first place.
It is getting harder to keep up with the number of consumer-oriented businesses starting to accept Bitcoin as a payment platform. There is Overstock.com, of course, which rang up $500,000 in Bitcoin-paid purchases within weeks of its announcement. Malwarebytes has just announced it is accepting Bitcoin for its consumer products via Coinbase, claiming it is the first major security company to do so. Also, in the “first” category is CheapAir.com, which says it is the first U.S. online travel agency to accept Bitcoins, at least for hotel reservations. Also Mint, a personal finance app whose brand screams out financial responsibility and transparency, is also partnering with Coinbase to allow its users to integrate Bitcoin transactions into their traditional accounts.