Voice of the Industry

An overview on cryptocurrencies usage in payments, ecommerce, gaming, and travel

Monday 15 October 2018 11:17 CET | Voice of the industry

Sonny Singh, CCO of BitPay, presents an overview on the cryptocurrencies usage in payments, ecommerce, gaming, and travel industries

One of the biggest headaches merchants have today is chargebacks and for online merchants this headache is compounded with the added risk identity theft and fraud. Credit card chargebacks associated with traditional credit card purchases cost merchants almost USD 19 billion in 2017.

The promise of cryptocurrency is that it provides incredible transactional transparency as it is impossible to use the cryptocurrency for fraud, as every transaction is verified, recorded, and stored on the blockchain. The transaction itself contains no sensitive information. One of the most critical elements about the blockchain technology is that when the transaction has been reported in the ledger, it cannot be changed. Further as a push transaction, similar to taking cash out of a wallet, the user sends the exact amount of bitcoin needed to pay the bill. This eliminates traditional credit card fraud and identity theft risks associated with credit cards. As a result, there are no chargebacks.


Cryptocurrency is an ideal payment method for ecommerce and industries like technology, electronics and jewelry where the risk of chargebacks, fraud and identity theft is high. These industries are among the early adopters of cryptocurrency. Gold Bullion, travel, philanthropy, and gaming are part of the next group of early adopters for cryptocurrency.

Sharps Pixley, a gold bullion dealer, supports using bitcoin to purchase gold as well as trades the other way from Gold-To-Bitcoin, making the trade reversible and allowing clients to trade either way between these two important assets. Since Sharps Pixley initially offered clients the opportunity to trade between gold and bitcoin, it has seen strong demand and recorded its best ever monthly sales totaling GBP 10M sales in March 2018 .


Travel is another area that just makes sense as there is no currency conversion. Bitcoin can be used to buy airline tickets, pay for hotels, events and other expenses, much of which is purchased online. As a category, usage is up almost 300% over the past year. Destinia, booking site for flights and hotels, shared that from 2014 to Q1 2015, Destinias bitcoin customers spent 35% more than credit card users and 50% more than PayPal users.

Non-profits and philanthropic organisations

Non-profits and philanthropic organisations benefit from cryptocurrency through accepting it as donations to sending money internationally. St. Mary’s Healthcare System for Children, a long-term care to children with medically complex conditions and Operation Smile, who help children suffering from a cleft condition, recently began to accept bitcoin. Recently, a donor from the Pineapple Fund to donate a total of USD 5 million worth of bitcoin to the Open Medical Foundation, which funds research for chronic complex diseases .


As regulators are starting to open up to digital currency presenting a huge opportunity to those in the gaming industry. Companies like Skrill, Pinnacle Sports and NetBet are taking advantage of this and already accept bitcoin. Gaming is forecasted to see some of the highest growth for customers spending cryptocurrency.

Cross-border payments

One last area that is gaining attention is for businesses with cross-border payments. Using bitcoin to pay for cross-border payments enables businesses who need to send and receive international payments to do so directly and more economically than traditional bank wires.

Bitcoin usage

Bitcoin is widely used across North America and Europe and growth is seen in South America and Asia Pacific. Customers in these developing parts of the world are able to take advantage of buying and selling goods on a global scale thanks to the blockchain. Many have no access to a bank and thus the ability to accept credit cards. However, with access to the Internet, often through mobile phones, the business owner can sell goods via an ecommerce web site expanding to into countries previously unavailable to them. Likewise, consumers can use bitcoin to make purchases where credit cards are not accepted.

About Sonny Singh

Sonny Singh is one of the leading fintech executives in Silicon Valley and is currently the Chief Commercial Officer at BitPay. Sonny has spoken at numerous fintech conferences throughout the world and has published several articles on fintech. He is a Venture Advisor for Lumia Capital and is also an angel investor in several companies including TubeMogul (IPO), Estate Assist (acquired by DocuSign), Getaround, and Jumio. He is also an advisor to Civic Technologies which had one of the first successful ICOs. Sonny has an MBA from Thunderbird, is a graduate of Binghamton University (NY) where he played collegiate tennis.

About BitPay

BitPay is the largest processor of bitcoin in the world and has raised over USD 60M in funding from top investors like Founders Fund, Richard Branson, Aquiline Capital Partners and Index Ventures. BitPay processed USD 1.2 billion for 2017 and Q1 + Q2 2018, processing volume is USD 591M, up 40% from last year Q1+Q2. Large businesses around the world have signed up with BitPay to accept bitcoin payments, including popular brands like Microsoft, Newegg, Namecheap, Gyft, Takeaway, and Virgin Galactic.

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Keywords: BitPay, Sonny Singh, cryptocurrency, PayPal, payments , blockchain, Bitcoin, ecommerce, credit card, bank, merchant, chargeback, Skrill, Pinnacle Sports, NetBet, gaming payments, travel payments, cross-border payments
Countries: World