How to Spend Bitcoin and Other Cryptocurrency on Everyday Purchases
Bitcoin has been around for over a decade. Nonetheless, there are still only a handful of major retailers that accept cryptocurrency as a payment method. Fortunately, there are several ways to spend bitcoin that enable anyone in the world to make everyday purchases with crypto.
In this guide, you will learn how to spend bitcoin (and other cryptocurrencies) on day-to-day purchases.
Top 4 Ways to Spend Bitcoin (And Other Cryptocurrency)
When bitcoin first launched, it was considered peer-to-peer digital money for the Internet. Today, bitcoin is primarily regarded as an investment asset that investors purchase with the anticipation that it will continue to increase in value over time. However, that does not mean that bitcoin has stopped being a digital currency that allows anyone in the world to make digital payments. In fact, many bitcoin users use cryptocurrency to make their day-to-day purchases.
The four main ways to spend cryptocurrency are:
- Shopping at crypto-only retailers
- Shopping at crypto-friendly retailers
- Using gift cards bought with crypto
- Using a crypto debit card
Now, let’s explore each one in more detail.
Shop at Crypto-Only Retailers
Arguably the easiest way to spend bitcoin is to shop at crypto-only retailers that specifically target the cryptocurrency community as their user base. Examples include the auction platform Bitify, the art and merch seller 21X, and the decentralized marketplace OpenBazar.
These vendors accept cryptocurrency and typically also hold these funds in cryptocurrency. Unfortunately, crypto-only retailers are few and far between.
Shop at Crypto-Friendly Retailers
In addition to crypto-only retailers, there are thousands of online vendors that accept cryptocurrency via crypto merchant payment services, such as BitPay or BTCPay Server.
According to data collated by SimilarTech, over 133,000 online retailers and platforms accept bitcoin as a payment method. That includes the likes of Lush, Microsoft, Namecheap, Overstock, and the Dallas Mavericks.
Moreover, leading online shop hosting platform Shopify has enabled cryptocurrency as a payment method. Any Shopify-hosted online shop can accept bitcoin and numerous other digital currencies simply by switching on this feature to the delight of crypto users.
Buy Gift Cards With Bitcoin and Pay Using Gift Cards
Alternatively, you could purchase gift cards using bitcoin from platforms such as BitRefill or Gyft. They enable users to pay for gift cards from retailers such as Amazon, BestBuy, and Starbucks using cryptocurrency. The gift cards can then be used to make the purchase in-store or online.
While this is a bit of a go-around, it was one of the most popular ways to spend bitcoin in the early days of the digital currency when the bitcoin acceptance rate was still very low.
Pay Using a Crypto Debit Card
Arguably the most convenient way to spend bitcoin, however, is using a bitcoin debit card.
Crypto debit cards, such as the BlockCard Visa Debit Card, allow cryptocurrency users to top-up their cards using a range of digital currencies that can then be used to spend anywhere bank cards are accepted.
Unlike with any of the other ways mentioned above, crypto debit cards enable bitcoin holders to spend crypto anywhere in the world as easily as fiat.
BlockCard Visa Debit Card: The Market-Leading Crypto Debit Card
If you want to start paying with cryptocurrency anywhere where Visa is accepted, grab yourself a BlockCard.
The BlockCard Visa Debit Card allows you to fund your card with over a dozen digital currencies, including Bitcoin (BTC), Litecoin (LTC), and USD Coin (USDC). What’s more, unlike other crypto cards, it allows you to hold your funds in crypto so you can benefit from potential capital gains on your coins while holding them in your BlockCard-linked wallets. Only when you make a payment, your crypto is converted into fiat currency.
Moreover, BlockCard charges no fees for transactions, exchanges, or deposits. Instead, BlockCard only charges a monthly flat rate. However, if you spend more than $750 per month with the card, the monthly fee is waived.
BlockCard also allows you to earn up to 6.38% crypto-back rewards in the form of TERN. Every time you spend using the crypto debit card, you earn TERN rewards. TERN is the native cryptocurrency of the BlockCard ecosystem that is used as a crypto-to-fiat bridge as well as a staking asset for cardholders who want to boost their crypto-back rewards.
If you want to be able to seamlessly integrate crypto payments into your day-to-day financial transactions, using a crypto debit card is arguably the most viable solution. By being able to pay anywhere where Visa is accepted, BlockCard holders can effectively spend cryptocurrency wherever they want – from buying a cappuccino at Starbucks to purchasing a new iPhone at the Apple store.
Sign up for a free BlockCard account and grab yourself a crypto debit card today!
How to Convert Crypto to Cash
If you’re more comfortable spending cash, as most of the world, there are options for converting your cryptocurrencies to cash that you spend anywhere. To simplify the process, you will find a broker and sell your cryptocurrency for its cash value. Ultimately cryptocurrencies will replace traditional currencies, but for now, cold hard cash is still the easiest to spend.
The process is very similar to converting your money to a different international currency when traveling abroad. The key difference is that a country’s government does not determine exchange rates. Instead, cryptocurrency exchange rates are determined by demand.
And right now, demand is high, making it advantageous for some people to sell their cryptocurrency for cash. The high demand for cryptocurrency means that a profit on the transaction is likely. But before you commit, here is what you should know:
- Your profits are subject to taxes.
- There will be fees.
- Third-party brokers may tie your funds up for a few days.
Since cryptocurrencies are not government-controlled, these transactions take place through private transactions. This means that you could avoid the marketplace feel altogether by using a peer-to-peer platform.
Related: Understanding the Tax Implications of Digital Currency
These platforms offer more flexibility, faster results, and fewer fees, albeit more risk. Check out platforms like LocalBitcoins for an example of a peer-to-peer platform. Using this method, you will most likely receive your cash payments through an online payment vendor like Paypal.
Donating Cryptocurrencies to Charities
The BitGive Foundation provides a benevolent outlet for your cryptocurrency earnings by making it simple to use your crypto for digital philanthropy. The foundation was established in 2013 with Bitcoin and Blockchain technology to facilitate charitable transactions.
The platform is called GiveTrack, and it’s lifting the veil between non-profits and donors by providing transparency and accountability by sharing real-time results so donors can see what their money is used for. If you’re interested in giving to inspiring non-profits like Code to Inspire, Save the Children, and the Water Project, among many others, you now have a feasible, transparent way to do so.
Right now, the BitGive Foundation focuses on public health and environmental interests. But they are only an early pioneer in digital philanthropy. Soon enough, crypto donations will become the norm. The problem with cash donations has always been the potential for fraud. Not only does digital philanthropy eliminate those risks, but it also reduces the risk of delays or fees that keep money from being accessible to its intended recipient.
For larger donations, the only proof that your money went to its intended cause comes from an annual donor report sent out 12-18 months after you sign the check. But thanks to Blockchain technology, digital philanthropy platforms like GiveTrack can provide real-time reporting via the platform for complete transparency.
Related: Will Amazon Start Accepting Crypto?
Smartphone Apps to Spend Crypto in the Real World
One of the best things about cryptocurrency is that it is a secure, digital currency, and this makes it uniquely suited for the convenience of smartphones. This means that there are plenty of apps available on Android and iOS to help you buy, trade, and use your cryptocurrencies.
Some of these apps function as the stock market, allowing users to track investments and prices and receive alerts when it might be a good time to buy or sell. Some apps are crypto wallets that show your balances and facilitate transactions with everyday retailers. When you go to spend your cryptocurrency on a car rental at Expedia or a duvet at Overstock.com, you’ll be provided with a QR code or link to facilitate that transaction from the merchant’s end. But the funds actually come out of your crypto wallet.
The top cryptocurrency payment apps are currently:
- Coinbase Commerce
These platforms help more than 2,300 merchants, and their customers facilitate cryptocurrency transactions. From hosted checkout pages to simple invoicing integrations, the technology is available, and the commerce world is wading into the future of cryptocurrency transactions.
Related: Earn Free Cryptocurrency in 5 Easy Steps
Benefits of Using Cryptocurrency
While cash is still easier to spend, there are many benefits to embracing cryptocurrency. We think that crypto will be the financial framework of the future, so you’re probably going to have to make the switch sooner or later. Crypto offers greater transparency in transactions. Modern consumers clearly value a connection between their values and where they spend their money; this transparency is essential.
For larger financial transactions, the lack of government interference makes the process a lot simpler. And all that interference usually translates to more fees. So, aside from a fear of something new–we’re unsure who would balk at the idea of a system that costs less and is easier to use. While there may still be external fees involved when using third-party services, you’re likely paying less than you would for a government to tell you how you can spend your money.
For many people, this may provide greater access to credit. It’s estimated that there are around 2.2 billion people worldwide who have access to technology, but not traditional banking. It’s a fundamental problem that is keeping people poor, and crypto can be the solution. It’s strong, secure, and adaptable, and it is changing the way we think about money.
15 Places You Didn’t Know You Could Spend Cryptocurrencies
The good news about spending your cryptocurrencies is that it is becoming easier than ever with more businesses getting in the game. Did you know that you can get tickets to a Dallas Mavericks game with crypto? Probably not.
Here are some other lesser-known options for spending your newfound fortune:
- Gentlemen’s Clubs
- Plastic Surgery
- Burger King (at least in the Netherlands)
- Rolex Watches
- Real Estate
- Home Goods (at Overstock.com)
- Lottery Tickets (Minnesota or New Hampshire)
- Video Gaming
- Home Renovations
The list of everyday businesses that accept cryptocurrencies is growing exponentially. Any retailer or restaurant chain that has an app potentially accepts crypto payments. For retailers who embrace the crypto trend like Starbucks and select Subway locations, you can use your crypto directly in their app with an automatic conversion integration.
Unbanked is the easiest way to send your cryptocurrencies on everyday goods. Our Visa debit card swipes just like your regular cash bankcard. Learn more today!