How to spend Bitcoins
Paying for a product or service using Bitcoin can be compared to sending an email, only that in this case, instead of sending a message to an email address, you will be sending money to a Bitcoin address. One of the upsides of using Bitcoin to pay for goods or services is that minimal personal information is required. If you are purchasing a physical product, you only need to provide your name and address for shipping purposes. For digital items, your email address will be enough. In cases where you are making donations, no personal information will be required.
Once you have provided any required information, you will be asked for Bitcoin payment information instead of your credit card number. In most cases, Bitcoin payment information will be either a Bitcoin address, a QR code or a link, depending on the type of wallet you have. If the merchant has provided a Bitcoin address, you simply need to enter the Bitcoin address and the amount in your Bitcoin wallet and click on send.
In most cases, merchants will provide a QR code on the checkout page. The QR code represents a Bitcoin address and the amount payable. QR codes provide a very easy and fast way of paying from your Bitcoin wallet using your smartphone. You will simply need to scan the QR code using your wallet’s mobile app, which will then prefill the vendor’s Bitcoin address and amount payable. From there, you only need to tap on send to complete the transaction.
Another easy way of paying using Bitcoins is to use a Coinbase wallet. You will find that most merchants are using Coinbase. If the vendor you are buying from uses Coinbase, you simply need to login to your Coinbase account and confirm your order. That will complete the checkout process and the vendor will receive a notification of your payment.
Well, making payments using Bitcoins may be fast and easy, but where exactly are you going to spend your Bitcoins? Turns out, there is no shortage of places where you can spend your Bitcoins. During its early days, only a few tech savvy retailers and sellers of illegal goods and services accepted the currency. Luckily, things have changed greatly and a huge number of retailers now accept the cryptocurrency. Heck, even the Japanese government recently approved Bitcoin as a legal currency. Below are some places you could choose to spend your Bitcoins.
- Online retailers: Hundreds of online retailers now accept Bitcoins, with the number increasing each and every day. Some of the major companies that allow you to pay for goods and services using Bitcoin include Subway, Microsoft, Overstock, WordPress, Virgin Galactic, TigerDirect, Dell, Zynga, Tesla, Bloomberg, Gap and many more.
- Flights and Hotels: Yes, you can now pay for your entire vacation using Bitcoin. Some of the popular flight, hotel and tours companies that accept Bitcoin include CheapAir, AirBaltic, AirLituanica, BTCTrip, Expedia, the Holiday Inn in Brooklyn, the One Shot chain of hotels and many more.
- General services: Bitcoin can also be used to pay for a number of services, including but not limited to paying for Chicago Sun-Times subscriptions, paying for advertisements on Renthop, paying for Treehouse subscriptions, paying for OKCupid subscriptions, paying for services on Fiverr, buying domains and web hosting on Namecheap and paying for Virtual Private Networks (VPNs).
- Bitcoin gift cards: Though not all businesses accept Bitcoins, a number of gift card makers accept the cryptocurrency, including Gyft, GiftCardZen, iTradeBTC and eGifter. You can use Bitcoin to buy gift cards for retailers like Walmart, Nike, Amazon and Target. However, it’s good to note that when buying gift cards using Bitcoin, you might have to pay a higher price.
- Physical retailers: A number of physical retailers are increasingly accepting Bitcoin as a means of payment for goods, including popular retailers like REEDS Jewelers, CeX and the Medicover Group Hospital. You can also use Bitcoins to buy tickets for San Jose Earthquakes soccer team and the Sacramento Kings NBA team matches.
- Gambling sites: If you would like to give a try at turning your Bitcoins into more Bitcoins, you can try your luck on Bitcoin gambling sites such as Primedice, PeerBet or SatoshiDice.
- Concrete assets: You can also turn your Bitcoins into more concrete assets by exchanging them for Gold Bullion from Amagi Metals, an online resource trader.
- Charity: You can also donate your Bitcoins to charity, with certain charities accepting Bitcoin donations. Examples include Sean’s Outposts, a Pensacola based homeless shelter and the London based Sri Lanka Campaign for Peace and Justice. Reddit also has a system that allows people to donate to other Redditors.
- Hundreds of other smaller retailers: The popularity of Bitcoin is growing rapidly and depending on the part of the globe you are, you will find more businesses that accept the virtual currency, with many more – both online and offline – joining the bandwagon every day.