Bitcoin & Dating: Dating Apps, Romance Scams, & Last Minute Gifts
It's the most beautiful time of the year, at least in my opinion. Granted, I am a sucker for Valentine's day aesthetic (how could you not love glittery hearts). I also willingly accept any opportunity to tell my loved ones how I feel about them.
As someone who is not a fan of generic Valentine's gifts like Hallmark cards and stuffed animals, I would not oppose it if my husband decided to give me a bitcoin this weekend. However, I would undoubtedly wonder where he got that kind of money. While most people won't be able to flex on their partners with a whole BTC this Valentine’s day, Bitcoin does have a place in the dating world in ways you might not expect. In this article, I'm taking a look at all things Bitcoin and dating. First, let's start at the beginning: dating apps.
What Dating Sites Accept Bitcoin?
If 8% of Americans own any crypto, and 45% of American adults are single, does that mean there are 13.2 million single crypto users out there? Mathematical correlations are not my strong suit, but I'm sure it's safe to assume that there are plenty of single BTC daddies and mamas out there looking for love.
Some dating websites let you pay for a membership with Bitcoin. Here's a look at two crypto-friendly dating sites you can use to find your next special someone:
OkCupid - OkCupid is one of the biggest online dating platforms there is and has been supporting Bitcoin as a form of payment for a long time - since 2013, to be exact. OkCupid does have a free account that allows you to see matches, send and receive likes, and use their messaging service. For those who need that extra oomph, you can use some of your BTC to access its paid features, including profile boosts, read receipts, and more, starting at $9.99 per month or 0.00022 BTC. OkCupid is one of the more inclusive dating sites, allowing users to select 22 gender and 13 orientation options. They also ask you literally thousands of questions to help set you up with the perfect match.
Luxy - Luxy is allegedly the "best elite and millionaire dating site in the world." Access to the site caters to only "sophisticated, successful and people of quality" to join the platform. In terms of inclusivity, I'd say Luxy is a no go. But, if you happen to be a millionaire looking for love, then look no further. A Luxy membership starts at $99.99 per month (0.0022 BTC) and goes all the way up to $999/mo (0.022 BTC) with their platinum membership. Are you a millionaire looking for a person of quality to enter your life and sweep you off your feet? Then, I guess Luxy is for you. However, I'm still wondering what "person of quality" means precisely.
In all honesty, researching Bitcoin-friendly dating apps brought up many questionable search results, including some genuinely clickbaity links that took me to sites I was not trying to visit. While a mild inconvenience, I do think this experience is the perfect segue to the dark side of Bitcoin and dating: romance scams.
How to Prevent Romance Scams
As someone who has been in the financial services industry for a decade, scams are something with which I am all too familiar. Sadly, romance scams are some of the most common. A romance scam is when a criminal adopts a fake online identity to prey on lonely people looking for love and gain their affection and trust. The scammer uses the illusion of a romantic relationship to manipulate victims into sending money under false pretenses. These scammers often find their victims through dating sites and social media.
When preying on their victims, romance scammers act extremely sweet. Despite never actually meeting in person or even seeing each other in a video chat, the relationship moves quickly. Loneliness is difficult and can be especially challenging for older generations, which are not as savvy with technology and therefore more susceptible to scams.
Many want to shine a bad light on Bitcoin, saying that it is more commonly associated with scams than other financial services. That is not true. Whether through retail banking, international remittances, or our beloved cryptocurrency, scammers find a way.
Don't Fall for Investment Advice from a Tinder Match
Recently, a scam involving Bitcoin took place on the popular dating app Tinder. The fraud involves women (or individuals posing as women) gaining their victim's trust via the Tinder app and then moving the conversation to Whatsapp or WeChat. After the conversation moves to the new platform, the scammer will discuss "insider tips on crypto" or their rich uncle who invests in blockchain technology. The scammers convince their victims to take part in what appears to be an exciting opportunity. The victims send the money, and then the woman they put their trust into vanishes. All Bitcoin transactions are permanent. Once your BTC goes off into another wallet, nothing can be done to reclaim your funds.
Tips for Avoiding Romance Scams
Here are some tips from the FBI to avoid romance scams:
Be careful what you post and make public online. Scammers can use details shared on social media and dating sites to understand you better and target you.
Research the person's photo and profile using online searches to see if the image, name, or details have been used elsewhere.
Go slowly and ask lots of questions.
Beware if the individual seems too perfect or quickly asks you to leave a dating service or social media site to communicate directly.
Beware if the individual attempts to isolate you from friends and family or requests inappropriate photos or financial information that could later be used to extort you.
Beware if the individual promises to meet in person but then always comes up with an excuse why he or she can't. If you haven't met the person after a few months, for whatever reason, you have good reason to be suspicious.
Never send money to anyone you have only communicated with online or by phone.
If you’ve ever used a CoinFlip ATM, then you know that we try to make it the risk of scams as clear as possible. All bitcoin transactions are final and non-refundable. While Bitcoin allows you the power to be your own bank, that also means staying vigilant to avoid being scammed.
Last Minute Valentines Day Gift Ideas
Let's move onto a lighter topic within Bitcoin and Dating: gifts. Can't afford to give your Valentine a whole Bitcoin this weekend? Here are a couple of Bitcoin-related gift ideas for your honey:
Cryptocurrency - Who doesn't love money? You don't need to buy a whole coin to get some BTC. Bitcoin can be broken up into fractions so you can buy as much as you can afford. You can also impress that special someone with your crypto knowledge by giving them altcoins like ETH or LTC. Head to your closest CoinFlip ATM to get that last-minute crypto gift today - just make sure you actually know the person you're sending coins to.
Gift Cards - Did you know that you can buy gift cards with crypto on the CoinFlip website? It's true. Check it out here. The options are endless, from restaurants to wellness and even lingerie ;). You can buy the gift card for yourself or slide it straight into your crush's DMs.
In my opinion, nothing beats a hand-made card when it comes to Valentine's day (unless you want to give me this heart-shaped lasagna). One of the most beautiful things about love is appreciating our differences. Whether you plan on spending the weekend scrolling through dating apps, eating heart-shaped treats, or nothing at all because you don't like Valentine's day, I hope your weekend is full of love - whatever that looks like for you.