Cryptocurrency Explained: How to Spend Bitcoin
Last week, Tesla announced that it invested $1.5 Billion in Bitcoin, and the internet went wild. Within the announcement came another major decision from the electric car manufacturer led by Elon Musk - Tesla also plans to start accepting Bitcoin as payment for their cars. This announcement led many people to ask questions; namely, would you ever sell your increasingly scarce BTC for a new car?
Many people see Bitcoin as a hedge against inflation, which means that they would prefer to HODL or "Hold On for Dear Life." Another implication of using Bitcoin as a form of payment is its price volatility. BTC's price is subject to drastic price change. Trading your BTC for a new Tesla could mean that you either get a great deal on the car if the BTC price dips. On the other hand, you could end up spending way more than a Tesla's market value if the price triples — which it totally could. In the last year alone, Bitcoin's value has increased by 343.4%.
With that being said, Tesla is not the first business to accept Bitcoin as payment for products and services. In fact, there are more than 20,000 businesses worldwide that will take your BTC. If you are looking for ways to spend your Bitcoin, then you're in the right place. This guide explains everything you need to know about spending Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.
Spending Bitcoin vs. Other Cryptocurrencies
As it stands, many people who have Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies see them as long-term investments. Despite this, most cryptocurrencies were not designed to be long-term investments. Instead, they were created to tackle particular financial, identity, and accessibility problems and provide people with a practical solution.
Like Bitcoin, most cryptocurrencies were designed to create an alternative to the current centralized monetary system, free from the oversight of big banks and governments. The idea was to create a new way to make personal and business transfers, pay for goods and services, and make international remittances without relying on any third parties. Because cryptocurrencies eliminate the need for banks, transactions can be made with lower associated fees and faster transaction times.
However, as Bitcoin's price continues to increase drastically, its use-case as an asset class may be outshining its ability to make payments. Historically, it's been more profitable to hang on to any bitcoins you have than to let them go in exchange for goods and services. Due to Bitcoin's ability to hedge against inflation and its price volatility, you may want to consider using other cryptocurrencies to make purchases. Coins like Ether, Litecoin, Dash, and others may be stable in value and allow for faster transactions compared to Bitcoin.
Some believe that Bitcoin's steadily increasing value makes it the right choice for everyday transactions. Historically, it allows you to increase your spending power while providing increased value to the store owners that accept Bitcoin. From this perspective, Bitcoin can be great to use in your community because you are transferring value within your community.
How Can You Spend Bitcoin and Other Cryptocurrencies?
As cutting-edge technology for the future of payment methods, cryptocurrencies can be a great solution to cutting down on expensive payment processing charges, international remittance fees, foreign exchange rates, and the long wait times associated with some money transfers. While not every business accepts cryptocurrency as payment just yet, there are several popular alternative solutions to spending cryptocurrency on everyday transactions.
Online Businesses That Accept Bitcoin
As Bitcoin and cryptocurrency have grown in popularity, many businesses have already committed to accepting them as payment forms. Some companies have been accepting Bitcoin payments for years, like Microsoft and Overstock.
Other businesses have hopped on the BTC bandwagon more recently with the launch of BitPay - a payment processing company dedicated to making it easy for retail establishments to accept various blockchain payment options. One popular BitPay user is AT&T, meaning that if you're an AT&T customer, you can use your crypto to pay your bill.
Here is a list of some popular online businesses that accept crypto payments:
Some Etsy Vendors
Some Shopify Shops
Businesses in Your Community That Accept Bitcoin
If you're looking for ways to support your local economy by using Bitcoin, then coinmap.org has got you covered. This tool allows you to filter through businesses in your area that accept cryptocurrency. Just add what you are looking for using the filters on the left side of the screen. You can select from food, grocery, lodging, shopping, and more. Then, click on the magnifying glass on the right side of the screen to enter your location. Coinmap makes it easy to find crypto-friendly businesses in your area. Plus, with Coinmap, you can also easily find your closest CoinFlip ATM. Just select the ATM filter, and look for the yellow location markers.
Alternative Ways to Spend Your Bitcoin
CoinFlip offers a couple of alternative options for spending your Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.
Gift Cards - With CoinFlip, you can use your crypto to buy gift cards for hundreds of businesses. You can select from options like food and dining, electronics, movies and entertainment, and more!
Cash - Some CoinFlip Bitcoin ATM locations allow you to withdraw your Bitcoin and Litecoin for cash. To find your closest ATM that will enable you to sell your crypto for cash, type your zip code into the ATM Locator online, and be sure to apply the filter "Buy and Sell."
The Bottom Line
Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have created new and exciting ways to store, send, and spend money. Although many brick-and-mortar stores do not yet accept crypto as payment, there are numerous ways to use it in your everyday life. Plus, now that Apple Pay will begin supporting Bitcoin payments via BitPay, using your Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies for transactions will be even easier. BitPay is expected to support Google Pay and Samsung Pay beginning in March.
Are you looking to buy Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies and top up your crypto wallet so you can use it for everyday transactions? Head to your closest CoinFlip ATM today to get the crypto you need safely, conveniently, and fast!