In 2023, global Bitcoin merchant listings experienced a notable surge, almost tripling, according to BTC Map, a Bitcoin merchant mapping provider. The data revealed a rise from 2,207 Bitcoin-accepting venues at the beginning of the year to 6,126 by the end, spanning restaurants, bars, shops, and various services.
Although there was a slight decrease from the September peak of 6,590 merchants, the expansion indicates a growing acceptance of Bitcoin. The trend is global, with concentrations in Europe, the United States, and Latin America, especially in the Philippines. However, East Asia, particularly China, exhibits limited adoption due to regulatory restrictions.
BTC Map, utilizing open-source mapping data from OpenStreetMap, allows users to tag locations accepting Bitcoin payments. The increase in merchant numbers may be attributed to users actively contributing to the database. Despite Bitcoin's price volatility in 2023, the growing acceptance suggests a positive trajectory.
The data, reliant on volunteer contributions, might not capture all vendors but reflects a broader trend in Bitcoin adoption. This development aligns with discussions at the Plan B conference in October, where Bitcoin leaders highlighted challenges and opportunities in global Bitcoin adoption. They emphasized the importance of education, user-friendly applications, and simplifying technologies for mainstream adoption.