After 12 years of market growth, that same amount of Bitcoin is worth nearly $474 million.* The booms (and bears) of cryptocurrency have kept their position in the media since 2010, and what was once worth $0 has become a $2 trillion value market.
Since the first crypto transaction, products such as digital artwork, vintage items and a working gold mine have been sold through blockchain technology. As people continue the limits of blockchains and smart contracts, here are some of the products you can buy using cryptocurrencies today:
Expanding your sock collection? Unisocks is a line of socks sold through Uniswap, an open-sourced token exchange system that uses smart contracts to keep track of transactions. There are 500 tokens — named $SOCKS — available on Uniswap, each of which can be redeemed for a physical pair of socks. Every time a $SOCKS token is bought, the value of each token increases. The tokens started at $12 and in only three years have reached $101,700* in value.
$SOCKS tokens can be resold and exchanged through Uniswap but once a token holder exchanges the token for the socks, that token and a pair of socks is now off the market. Nearly 200 socks have already been redeemed.*
This past April, Swiss watchmaker Franck Muller launched the “Free the Money. Free the World” Vanguard Encrypto watch line, a timepiece that also functions as a cryptocurrency wallet. With this watch, you can check the time and your Bitcoin wallet with only a simple twist of your wrist.
You can only purchase these watches with CHF, a payment token equal to the value of the Swiss Franc. Currently, watch prices range from 12,000 to 74,000 CHF.*
The online fake ID market has taken great advantage of cryptocurrencies, due to their decentralization and small paper trails. Many fake ID producers give discounts to people who pay with crypto or even exclusively take crypto as payment.
In 2018, a man who was thought to be the most popular fake ID manufacturer in the U.S. was arrested, ending a multi-year investigation. Investigators found $4.7 million in Bitcoin stored on a USB in his home, along with several gold and silver bars and coins. He marketed the IDs through Reddit and Twitter and accepted Bitcoin as payment.
Even though the IRS views cryptocurrencies as property (not currency), multiple real estate agents and websites accept cryptocurrencies as a form of payment. The first-ever Texas home bought with BitPay made the news in 2017, along with news of Bitcoin-priced real estate development in Dubai soon after.
Due to the volatility of cryptocurrencies, many estate agents and firms have hesitancy around accepting cryptocurrencies. With the rise in uncertainty, companies such as SafeWire have begun to provide platforms that protect estate agents, firms and clients from any wire fraud during transactions.
To this day, cryptocurrencies are still unstable and unpredictable. Crypto experts and investors believe that there may be a day when cryptocurrencies may be used as a dominant form of payment, but this most likely will not happen without government regulation and price stability. In the meantime, what’s the harm in gawking at how much some people will pay for a pair of socks?
* Numbers based off the September 2021 market.