If cryptocurrencies are ever going to become truly mainstream, or even useful, there needs to be places where you can spend them. For users of Monero’s XMR the possibilities are quickly increasing. In the last week online retailer FastTech and VPN provider NordVPN have added XMR as a payment option.
FastTech describes itself as a “techno-centric destination for all your geeky needs and more”. In practice this means very low prices for electronics, gadgets and other goods, shipped worldwide from Hong Kong. Though a concern with privacy does not mean that you have anything to hide, the platform does stock, among many other products, various items that people might be more comfortable having away from their credit card statement, such as sex toys and “dry herb” vaporizers.
NordVPN also appears a good fit for Monero’s user base. NordVPN offers a subscription service for VPN services, enabling users to “keep your browsing history to yourself”. Using their VPN “protects your IP address, so your online activity is out of sight of your Internet service provider and any creepy snoopers”; which is very much inline with Monero’s privacy focus.
The Monero community has been fighting against a perception that wanting your transactions to be private means that you must be doing something illegal. Increasing the number of legitimate use cases for Monero helping to combat the perception that privacy coins are by definition suspicious. Last December 45 musicians including Mariah Carey, Sia and Fallout Boy offered discounts on their websites for Monero purchases. That initiative was driven by Monero lead developer Riccardo “Fluffypony” Spagni, but now community members are responding with initiatives of their own.
Reddit user “Katsura9000” has persuaded his family, owners of the La Pergola restaurant in Vienna, to accept XMR.
My family runs an authentic Italian restaurant in Vienna, Austria . After talking about it and explaining them what monero is and why it is better than other crypto coins we decided to accept monero payments starting next week! from r/Monero
His announcement has been applauded by other Monero users, though many wondered how easy payments would be in practice. There is a sense that POS and wallet technology is not quite ready for these kinds of transactions.
While it might take some time for the user experience around this cryptocurrency to improve, legitimate transaction opportunities are coming fast. As of this week you’ll be able to buy a laptop on FastTech through a VPN provided by NordVPN, before going out for an Italian meal (provided you’re near Vienna): all paid for with XMR.
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