An Official Guide To Where You Can Spend Your Hard-Earned Bitcoins
People are thinking and writing about bitcoin less frequently as a currency these days, and more as a commodity. It’s true that with a value now consistently in the thousands of dollars, bitcoin can be somewhat unwieldy as an everyday currency. Its most interesting potential may now be as a long-term investment. Despite this evolution in thinking, however, bitcoin is still a functional digital currency, and there are opportunities to spend it if you know where to look.
For simple everyday purchases, and for in-person retail opportunities, you can actually run a search and find out how to buy just about anything you might want or need via cryptocurrency. This can be a useful tool, or even just a fun exercise if you happen to harbor an interest in bitcoin’s development and usefulness. For the purposes of this article, however, we’ll be looking a tad more broadly, not at specific stores or websites but at some of the larger industries and areas in which you can spend bitcoin.
Gift & Spending Cards
One of the most interesting options that have emerged as a consistent means of spending bitcoin is buying gift cards and cash cards (which are effectively debit cards). Sites like eGifter and Paxful allow people to purchase gift cards to any number of stores that don’t accept bitcoin directly, and there are various ways to secure a sort of spending card that effectively translates your bitcoin back into ordinary currency when you wish to spend it. This is perhaps not the most progressive avenue for bitcoin spending in that it doesn’t necessarily further bitcoin’s spread to new merchants, websites, etc. However, it’s a very convenient way for people with bitcoin holdings to put their cryptocurrency to use, and it can also eliminate the step of plugging in regular credit card information online, which a lot of bitcoin users are looking to avoid.
The idea of spending bitcoin to book travel is a little bit in flux because some major sites (like Expedia) have been sort of in and out on Bitcoin. However, there is still a nice list of travel agencies that accept bitcoin, which makes it fairly easy for those who are interested to organize and pay for travel via cryptocurrency. It’s nice to have universal costs associated with travel booking given the otherwise complex issue of exchange rates, and some also simply appreciate having the ability to use a secure digital currency when dealing with what can often be fairly hefty prices involved with travel. To date, this has been one of the most consistent ways to spend bitcoin online.
Online Gaming & Betting
What we’re talking about here is effectively online casinos and sportsbooks. Already, there are several casino gaming platforms across the internet that have welcomed bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies as new payment methods. In other cases, new online casinos have been built from scratch to support cryptocurrency payments, and in some cases even to introduce new games revolving around bitcoin. The betting side of casino culture is less closely tied to bitcoin for the time being but is certainly a natural next step. And this seems particularly worthwhile to mention giving the massive, impending expansion of online betting as a global business. Sports betting has been made legal in the U.S., and with states now working to implement it, some analyses suggest the U.S. could have the world’s biggest market by 2023. By that time, should betting platforms and more casinos be accepting bitcoin, this could be the single biggest avenue for spending cryptocurrency.
To suggest bitcoin can be spent on mainstream retail is somewhat vague, but not inaccurate. While we’re still waiting on the granddaddy of all online retailers, Amazon, to incorporate cryptocurrency (and it’s a possibility), there are plenty of very busy product selling sites that have welcomed bitcoin. Shopify, Newegg, and Overstock are among the bigger names, and in some cases you can also find more specialty retail locations that are also taking bitcoin. The point here is not to guide you to specific sites however, but rather to remind you that if you’re looking to buy a given product online and you’d like to use bitcoin, it’s worthwhile to do a little bit of searching around to see if there’s a particular store that can suit your needs.