March 8, 2022
Once considered to be little more than a fad, the cryptocurrency market – despite its tumultuousness – appears to be here for the long haul.
The global cryptocurrency market cap stands at roughly $2 trillion, and even politicians recognize its power. During the 2021 New York City Mayoral election, candidate Eric Adams tweeted, “In New York, we always go big, so I’m going to take my first THREE paychecks in Bitcoin when I become mayor. NYC is going to be the center of the cryptocurrency industry and other fast-growing, innovative industries! Just wait!” Adams won 67% of the vote, becoming the 110th Mayor of New York City and announced in January 2022 that his first paycheck was converted to Ethereum and Bitcoin.
Publicly-traded corporations have long since jumped on the crypto bandwagon, including Etsy, Inc. (Tii:ETSY), Starbucks Corporation (Tii:SBUX), AMC Entertainment Holdings, Inc. (Tii:AMC) and The Home Depot, Inc. (Tii:HD), all of which accept the digital currency. Restaurant chain Shake Shack Inc. (Tii:SHAK), looking to entice younger customers, is experimenting with issuing Bitcoin as a reward for purchases using Cash App, a digital payment platform. Microsoft Corp. (Tii:MSFT), which began accepting Bitcoin way back in 2014, is searching for a Director of Business Development for Cryptocurrencies to help the company integrate blockchain and cryptocurrencies in its business structure.
Customers using AT&T (Tii:T) products and services can pay their bills using cryptocurrency through BitPay, a crypto payment processor. When AT&T announced the agreement in 2019, the telecommunications giant became the first major U.S. mobile carrier to provide such an option. Another early adopter, Tesla, Inc. (Tii:TSLA), announced it would accept Bitcoin to purchase its electric vehicles but stopped last year, citing the rapidly increasing use of fossil fuels for Bitcoin mining. However, according to disclosure documents filed with the SEC, the automaker still held some $2 billion worth of the cryptocurrency at the end of 2021. CEO Elon Musk said he would allow Bitcoin purchases once more than 50% of its mining is powered by renewable energy.
While the crypto market is continuing its rollercoaster ride, let’s take a look at some of the other public companies steeped in the space.
Through a partnership with Paxos Trust Co., a New York-based financial institution and technology company specializing in blockchain, users of the PayPal Holdings, Inc. (Tii:PYPL) platform can track the performance of and trade Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, and Litecoin. The Paypal app also allows users to read articles and how-to basics on crypto and how they work. PayPal also allows users to make payments in cryptocurrency. Similarly, Overstock.com, Inc. (Tii:OSTK) customers may also opt to pay using cryptocurrency. Beyond that, the internet retailer owns a stake in Medici Ventures, which invests in companies that build solutions utilizing blockchain technology, and launched tZero. This blockchain-based asset exchange allows companies to register and issue tokenized assets onto a blockchain.
While rumors swirl around when Amazon.com Inc. (Tii:AMZN) will launch its own cryptocurrency – said to be later this year – the e-commerce giant is already in the space through its Whole Foods and video livestreaming service Twitch subsidiaries. Through a partnership with the SPEDN app, which facilitates crypto transactions, Whole Foods customers may pay for their organic foods needs with crypto. In addition to hosting cryptocurrency channels on its platform, Twitch signed an exclusive multi-year deal in which Singapore-based cryptocurrency exchange Crypto.com would serve as its official global cryptocurrency platform and marketing partner. As part of the agreement, the Crypto.com brand will appear in over 250 Twitch broadcasts in a year.
While skeptics remain, the scores of established publicly traded companies that have either dipped their respective toes or dove headfirst into the crypto market illustrate the simple truth that the digital currency isn’t going away any time soon.