How Can You Spend Your Bitcoin?
Crypto users are so caught up on what Bitcoin could be – a digital asset they could trade, an investment, technology that could revolutionize entire sectors – that they ignore that it’s also a coin, as its name states. Form of currency they could use the same as they use traditional currencies.
Satoshi Nakamoto created it to upend government money and become a worldwide used currency. Indeed, blockchain is a vital technology nowadays, but Bitcoin was designed to enable internet users to purchase things without the involvement of banks or other third parties.
So, can you use bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies for shopping? And what can you purchase?
Bitcoin or altcoins won’t take over traditional currencies anytime soon. Still, you can use it as the payment method in various situations, regardless if you buy or mine it. Unsurprisingly most of the providers that accept bitcoin payments are online. Therefore before converting cryptocurrency to traditional cash to purchase services or goods, look for a bitcoin-accepting store that provides them.
However, you shouldn’t expect your local stores to adopt crypto payment methods because Bitcoin has a long way before becoming widespread. Its volatility in price makes it more challenging for merchants to accept crypto payments.
The same volatility could also make you as a consumer wary of spending Bitcoin because who would you spend $50 worth of Bitcoin now when the price is low instead of waiting for the market to bounce back into the bull phase and gain a return on investment?
A crucial facet of digital currency adoption is practicality. Bitcoin can become a widely accepted currency only if adopters feel encouraged to use it. Merchants also need proof that their target audience uses Bitcoin, so the costs of introducing it will be worth it.
However, progress is being made in the sector as more and more companies are adding Bitcoin and altcoins as a form of payment. For example, PayPal created a crypto checkout service that over 29 million companies use globally. Tesla also introduced the BTC payment option in 2021.
Online exchanges like Binance make buying and selling Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies easy. However, if you want to use Bitcoin for online shopping, you need more than a portfolio.
Fortunately, cryptocurrency is easy to purchase goods and services because similar to fiat money, you can choose from several options. You store your fiat money in a bank and usually use your credit card to make purchases. Or you use your online banking app to spend money digitally. Also, you can withdraw your money and carry it in your wallet to consume it when you need it.
You cannot store Bitcoin in a physical wallet because it’s digital cash, but you can use a digital wallet to carry it with you. You can install a wallet on your smartphone and carry the finances everywhere or install it on your desktop to access it from home. You can also get a physical wallet, a USB device that stores your Bitcoin electronically.
You’ll have no issue buying services and products online from providers that accept Bitcoin if you have a crypto wallet with a browser extension. Suppose your wallet lacks an integrated browser extension; it will have a SegWit with a QR code you can use to complete online transactions.
If you want to pay for services or goods with Bitcoin, research if the merchants you want to shop from have crypto payment integrated at the moment. Some companies like Steam used cryptocurrency payments for a while but paused it for an undetermined period due to the increased volatility of digital currencies.
Dell also stopped accepting Bitcoin because its users weren’t interested in purchasing products using digital coins. However, many other companies continue to allow crypto payments because their target audience is enthusiastic about them.
What can you purchase with Bitcoin? Depending on the merchants, a lot of things. Suppose you want to buy home décor, furniture, or apparel. You can purchase from brands like Overstock. Electronics provider Newegg also supports and promotes crypto payments. You can buy gaming consoles, televisions, and even computers with Bitcoin from the website.
Even if Bill Gates’s thoughts on digital currencies have shifted over time, Microsoft has welcomed the idea of incorporating Bitcoin into the payment system. Microsoft clients can add Bitcoin from their digital wallets to their Microsoft account and use the funds to make purchases in the Windows Store and Xbox Store.
Several other brands are adopting an attitude similar to Microsoft and are dipping their toes in the crypto waters. Most allow a single digital currency like Bitcoin and only for special payments. For example, Expedia enables people to book vacation rentals, cruises, flights, and hotels but allows Bitcoin payments only for booking accommodation. The users who opt for this payment method need to create a wallet with the partner exchange platform and pay a transaction fee.
Crypto users can also use digital coins to make donations. Wikipedia is known for functioning based on the users’ donations, allowing Bitcoin payments. Other online sites that allow Bitcoin payment are:
- Etsy (some Etsy sellers accept Bitcoin)
- Dish Network
You can also spend Bitcoin in the physical world. While there aren’t as many merchants as online, multiple companies are accepting crypto payments.
- Whole Foods
- Crate + Barrel
- Home Depot
As crypto enters the mainstream, more companies are expected to join the movement. To find out which stores accept Bitcoin payment, search online or check their website.