When Spendabit launched its platform to help crypto-enthusiasts "spend" in 2014, Bitcoin was the only game in town. Today, it's rare to find a business that doesn't accept other crypto-currencies -- like Ethereum and Bitcoin Cash -- alongside their Bitcoin payment option.
Now, after more than five years of helping people find places to spend BTC, the "Bitcoin Product Search Engine", Spendabit, is extending its functionality and catalog of merchants to include products and services that are offered for other crypto-coins -- or 'alt-coins', as they're often called.
Making Crypto 'Normal
A central part of Spendabit's mission is to demonstrate that "crypto is real money". "It's important for people to have easy access to crypto-currencies for investment purposes, but if there's no demonstration of utility beyond that, there's a risk Bitcoin and other crypto-coins are relegated to the role of 'trading sardines' in the minds of the public," says Chris, Co-Founder and CTO at Spendabit. "We want people to see the everyday utility of Bitcoin in addition to its role as a form of savings. We want them to see that they can spend BTC (or ETH, or LTC) just like they do US dollars, or euros."
"We think crypto-currency is real money, and as such, it should play two roles: as a store of value (savings), and as a medium of exchange -- a currency," he added.
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Spendabit decided this move was overdue not just because there was a growing number of merchants accepting multiple crypto-currencies, but because the demand by users to spend non-Bitcoin tokens was growing as well.
"We saw that our merchants were accepting a range of different crypto-currencies," started Co-Founder Devan Calabrez, "but we were also seeing an increasing number of user inquiries about finding places to spend their Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash, and others."
In addition to a growing openness to alternative crypto-coins, Spendabit has also seen a growing breadth amongst the types of products and services offered on Spendabit. A recent analysis of merchants by sector found a flatter-than-expected distribution across over 15 industries. Some of the top categories were Clothing & Accessories (12%), Electronics (10%), and Food/Grocery (7%). Although Spendabit focused exclusively on listing ecommerce-type businesses for the first several years, they've also begun branching out from that limitation as well.
"We've also done a lot of work in recent months to better support service-style businesses," Devan added. "Spendabit now has limited support for crypto-enabled hosting providers, lawyers, travel agents, and about any service provider you can think of."
Although Bitcoin remains king in the eyes of Spendabit's founders, their support for alternatives is a sign of a growing diversification -- and maturity, we should hope -- in the crypto-currency space.
Spendabit is a search engine that helps people find places to spend bitcoin and other crypto-currencies. Started in 2014, Spendabit grew its partnerships organically with larger companies like Overstock who had the foresight to recognise the trend towards spending in crypto-currencies. Since then it has expanded into over 15 countries with plans to grow in Europe, it is pleased to currently offer products and services from hundreds of validated suppliers across a wide range of industries.