Blockchain & Crypto

Bitcoin-Accepting Merchants Grew 174% in 2023

The number of merchants accepting Bitcoin payments increased almost threefold last year, with a notable concentration in Europe and Latin America.

Bitcoin-Accepting Merchants Grew 174% in 2023

The latest data from Bitcoin merchant mapping provider BTC Map has shown that the number of restaurants, bars, shops and other services listed to accept Bitcoin reached 6,126 by the end of 2023, surging from 2,207 merchants registered at the start of the year.

Moreover, in September 2023, the number of Bitcoin-accepting merchants peaked at 6,590. BTC Map resource leverages open-source mapping data from OpenStreetMap. It allows businesses and users to tag places where people can pay with Bitcoin. Therefore, the increase may be attributed to both newly arriving players and the growing number of users more actively adding businesses to the database.

In both cases, such significant growth may reflect an increase in both vendor and customer awareness of Bitcoin’s potential and utility. At the same time, it is also a question of the public awareness of BTC Map’s existence.

According to the mapping data, larger concentrations of BTC-accepting merchants appear in Central and South America, with fewer merchants present across Africa and Asia. The United States and Europe also showed higher numbers of merchants accepting cryptocurrency.

The Philippines hosts the most merchants in Southeast Asia, while there are virtually no vendors registered across China, India and Russia, at least, according to the map.

We have recently reported that UK Customers now have the option to pay for their purchases using the Bitcoin Lightning network alongside conventional cash and card methods at all Lolly tills and kiosks. There is a growing trend of businesses choosing to accept cryptocurrency payments in the UK. Some of the main reasons are crypto’s decentralisation, anonymity, speed, transparency, low transaction fees and accessibility.

Other perceived benefits of accepting crypto payments on websites and physical stores are as follows:

  • there are no restrictions from international payment systems like SEPA and SWIFT;
  • payments can be accepted from any country and any cryptocurrency wallet;
  • there are no chargebacks;
  • the transfers cost less;
  • you are independent of the banking system and red tape.

Nina Bobro

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Nina is passionate about financial technologies and environmental issues, reporting on the industry news and the most exciting projects that build their offerings around the intersection of fintech and sustainability.