Over the last couple of years, Bitcoin has managed to make an impressive price recovery. More businesses are now adopting blockchain technology, and the popular cryptocurrency has proved its ability to survive both the downturns of the market, as well as Black Swan events.
With this, many users find themselves at a profit and are now wondering how to spend Bitcoin. The money they invested a while ago is now worth a lot more, proving the coin’s potential as a store of value.
Now, it’s time to explore Bitcoin as an alternative form of payment. See how easy you can use it for digital payments. But is this really better than HODLing on even longer?
Why you should use your Bitcoin
Bitcoin is a great way to pay for things on the web in a fast and easy way. While the majority of investors prefer to HODL, Bitcoin’s primary use case is its function as an alternative currency.
By sending BTC from one wallet to another, a tiny fee is paid to the miners in the network. The more transactions made on the network, the higher the amount these miners receive. As a result, the Blockchain is supported by more nodes, which in turn increases the security of Bitcoin.
So let’s see how to spend Bitcoin, exploring the different possibilities available. Further below, we will show you the steps required to actually spend your coins, so make sure you read until the end.
Where to spend Bitcoin – All your different options
Back in Bitcoin’s early days, the only thing you could do was send Bitcoin directly to others. As time went on, more and more platforms started offering the opportunity for users to start exchanging Bitcoin for products and services, as was the case with Silk Road.
Those early days are now long gone, and Bitcoin has evolved massively. Currently, there are many more different ways to spend your Bitcoin. While, in essence, you still send your BTC to other wallets, there are not systems in place to allow a larger variety of options. Let’s take a look at the different ways to use your funds.
1. Send it to friends or family
Have you ever wondered how to send Bitcoin to a friend? What about a family member? Sending BTC to others is a great way to get them interested in the concept of cryptocurrency. When a financial reward is highly likely to occur, people will show more interest and follow the news of the market. Didn’t we all start this way?
If you decide to send BTC to others, make sure they understand how to properly store it. Show them how to create a wallet and save the seed phrase. Otherwise, there is a high chance of them losing access to the Bitcoin you send them.
2. Donate it to charity
While there is no chart that illustrates the amount of BTC donations year over year, it has been observed that there are more donations when the cryptocurrency is performing well. In 2017, Fidelity Charitable received more than $69 million in donations from cryptocurrencies.
This, in turn, motivated several big organizations to structure an easy way to donate crypto for a broad number of causes. Websites like Binance.charity and GiveCrypto are some of the most popular options when looking to donate Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.
Additionally, you may often see non-profit organizations accepting direct BTC donations for their services. Popular examples include Wikipedia, Wikileaks, and others. Even the world’s most popular charities, like Unicef, and the Red Cross are now accepting BTC.
Ideally, you’d want to perform some preliminary research into the organizations that you’d like to support, and see which accept BTC.
3. Use it on retailers that accept BTC
One of the biggest improvements for Bitcoin in the last two years is the possibility for merchants to accept Bitcoin payments. This happens in two ways:
- The merchant wishes to receive Bitcoin for their product/service, and thus allows their customers to send BTC to their wallet address. We have previously created an extensive list that outlines many different stores that support BTC payments. You can check the 160+ stores here.
- The merchant wishes to receive fiat currency but implements a payment gateway, allowing customers to pay using cryptocurrency. The coins will then automatically convert into FIAT currency, which the merchant receives in their bank account. This is possible through widgets like Coinbase Commerce and Bitpay.
The number of merchants and retailers that are accepting BTC is constantly growing. We expect to see a lot more platforms adopt cryptocurrency payment gateways in the short-term future.
4. Exchange BTC with gold and other precious metals
If you have been holding Bitcoin for its investment potential, you probably know about the importance of diversification. In essence, the risk is decreased by investing your money into several investment options. If one of your investments ends up performing badly, your overall portfolio will not be affected that much.
This is where gold, silver, and other precious metals come in. When wondering how to spend Bitcoin, you will also be able to exchange your digital coins for precious metals. This will effectively turn your investment from a “high-risk high-reward” option, into a more stable store of value.
We recently published a guide that educates people on different ways to purchase gold. In it, you will also find a number of platforms that accept Bitcoin payments in exchange for precious metals.
5. Use it for traveling
Apart from products and services, you can also use Bitcoin to buy experiences – more specifically traveling.
You can purchase plane tickets, train tickets, bus tickets, and any other means of transportation, by using your BTC.
You can even book hotel rooms or cruises. Once again, you can start by checking this list. In the next section of this article, we will give you an overview of the steps you need to follow to purchase a plane ticket using BTC.
6. Dip your toes in online gambling
For those that like to enjoy some gambling in a responsible manner, there are several online casinos that accept BTC deposits. Users can use their crypto to place bets, play poker, or try their luck on digital slot machines.
Here is a short list of trustworthy gambling platforms:
Note that most platforms will offer a lucrative starting package, which usually multiplies the amount of BTC you choose to deposit. Make sure you check all the platform shown above and decide which fits you best.
7. Get gift cards
Another great way to spend your Bitcoin is by getting yourself some gift cards. The options are literally endless, and there are several websites that list all the available options. To get started, head over to eGifter.
Once there, scroll down, and you will see 100’s of different options, across several industries. Choose the gift card you like most and buy it using BTC. You can now redeem the card or give it as a gift.
Other websites that support this function include:
How to spend Bitcoin – The process explained
Obviously, when looking for a definite guide on how to spend Bitcoin, it will look different depending on the type of product (or service) you wish to buy. When buying electronics online, the process will look different that the process you follow when making a donation to charity.
In this article, we will give a brief explanation of the steps you need to follow to buy plane tickets using Bitcoin. The process is just as easy as buying with another payment method. Let’s see how it works.
Step 1 – Have some Bitcoin in your wallet
Before you are able to pay with Bitcoin, you first need to have some BTC in your possession. To do this, you will first need to create a wallet and buy some Bitcoin. We recommend Electrum or Bitpay, as they are both popular and easy to use by beginners.
- Download the wallet and follow the on-screen instructions to install it on your device. In our case, we are using Bitpay, which can be downloaded both as a desktop and mobile wallet option.
- Once the wallet is set up, head over to Paybis, and buy any amount of Bitcoin using your preferred payment method.
- Enter your Bitcoin wallet address (public address) to indicate where you wish the BTC to be sent.
- As soon as you make a payment, the Bitcoin will be sent to your wallet.
- Once the funds become visible, you will be able to use them as you please.
Step 2 – Decide how you want to spend your coins
In the section above, we showed you where to spend Bitcoin. While these are certainly not all your options, they are a great place to start. Choose how to spend Bitcoin by picking one of the options.
Head over to the website of your choice and make a new order. In this example, we want to buy plane tickets. Therefore, we will give you a brief step-by-step on how to buy tickets using airBaltic. Note that the process will look similar for all airlines that accept BTC.
Step 3 – Make a Bitcoin payment
As soon as you select the flight of your preference, and arrive on the payment page, select cryptocurrency as your payment method.
The moment you arrive at checkout, you will be able to select which cryptocurrency you want to pay with. Choose Bitcoin.
Select the wallet you want to use for this transaction. The system will ask you this question to later offer you the possibility of a payment request. While you don’t need to pay directly from your wallet, you will need to select the wallet you are paying from.
As soon as your Bitcoin wallet is selected, you will proceed to the payment page. Once there, you will see the amount you need to pay, a QR code of the wallet address and an option to send a payment request directly to your wallet.
The most common way to complete the payment is by doing so manually. Copy the BTC wallet address by clicking on the orange BTC symbol in the middle of the QR code. Then, head back to your wallet.
You will now need to send the coins from your wallet to the wallet of the recipient. As soon as the transaction is completed, you will receive a payment confirmation and your plane tickets.
Bitcoin was created as an alternative way to store and use your money. While there are many benefits – mostly profit-oriented – in storing your Bitcoin away for a long time, this is not your only option. You can spend Bitcoin in many different ways and on many different things.
In this article, we looked at the most common options, but these are certainly not the only ones available. To sum up, here is what we looked at:
- Sending your BTC to friends and family
- Making donations to charity
- Paying at stores that accept Bitcoin
- Exchanging Bitcoin for precious metals
- Spend your Bitcoin on traveling expenses
- Use your funds for online gambling
- Buying gift cards for yourself or loved ones.
Now that you have a better idea of the different options, as well as the steps involved, you can go ahead and use your coins. Doing so empowers the blockchain and shows the unlimited potential of Bitcoin, not only as a store of value but also as an alternative currency.
As always, make sure to let us know what you think and, in case of questions, leave a comment in the section down below.