Despite the controversy over bitcoin, the cryptocurrency that has been regularly on the world agenda in the recent period because of its stratospheric price increase and wild daily gyrations, the number of businesses making sales with this type of digital payment is increasing throughout the world.
In Turkey, shopping with bitcoin is possible in areas ranging from real estate to e-commerce, and from curtains to book sales. The number of Turkish businesses that accept bitcoin as a payment tool has increased. Currently, 40 to 50 businesses are accepting payment with digital currency, according to a report in the Milliyet newspaper.
Ankara-based Miavita is one of the companies making sales with bitcoin in the real estate. Erdal Daldaban, the owner of the project management company, said that they accept bitcoin in sales.
"We have not made sales yet, but there are interested parties. There is an interested consumer from Japan, and one from Turkey," Daldaban said. "We determine the bitcoin price depending on the size of the apartment. A TL 360,000 ($93,220) apartment corresponds to 5.3 bitcoin. Apartment prices can go up to 15.30 bitcoins."
E-commerce site Binbircesit.com also accepts shopping with bitcoin. Founder İlhan Gülenç stated that they have been making sales with bitcoin since 2014, informing that their customers can buy the products they want with bitcoin on the site and choose to pay with bitcoin when the order is completed.
"When we see payment in our online wallet, we confirm the order and pack the product. There is no risky situation. It is like making payment to a normal account," Gülenç said, recalling that so far, 7,000 different orders have been made with bitcoin, while the figure was 100 units in the first year.
"Every year the rate is increasing. With bitcoin, more consumer electronics and grams of gold have been purchased from our site," he said, stressing that the largest demand comes from Istanbul, Ankara and İzmir, followed by Malatya.
"Bitcoin is a person-to-person payment method. We are happy to use it," he noted.
Meanwhile, Daldaban stressed that there is no risk in making sales with bitcoin, recalling that when they sold an apartment to a client in Australia, they had to wait three days to get the Australian dollar.
"Such a formula came to us when we were thinking about how to accelerate this waiting period and we decided to make sales with bitcoin," he said, highlighting that there is no obstacle to use bitcoins in shopping.
"We can receive it as bitcoins from the exchange rate of the date on which it was sent. We accept the Turkish stock exchange rate. We convert it to TL in return," he continued. "It poses no risk and it is very convenient. The dollar comes from Australia in three days, while the process with bitcoin takes 5-6 minutes."
There are many brands in the world that accept cryptocurrencies, including WordPress, Subway, Microsoft, Reddit, Dell, Expedia, Zynga, Whole Foods, Virgin and Shopify.
İrfan Taş, a partner at Armoni Perde, a company that specializes in custom made window furnishings, stated that he has been interested in bitcoin and always followed the innovations in this regard.
"I had purchased bitcoins before. When people started to talk about it a lot, we also included it in our payment tools. Many people called and asked if they could buy curtains and drapes with bitcoin," Taş said.
However, he said that they have only made one sale with the cryptocurrency so far.
"People want to keep it in their hands because it is appreciated a lot. They don't use it much for shopping. But in the future, this will increase," he said. He also added that a TL 1,000 curtain corresponds to 0.068 bitcoin and other than bitcoin, Armoni Perde also accepts other cryptocurrencies, such as Ethereum.