Cryptocurrency may be known by some as a speculative investment asset, but let’s not forget about the ‘currency’ part of its name. People worldwide spend cryptocurrencies to buy new computers, airplane tickets, or just pay their bills.
Using crypto as a currency dates back to 2010 when a user offered 10,000 BTC for two pizzas. Someone accepted, and the first peer-to-peer payment transaction with Bitcoin became a crypto legend (those pizzas are worth approximately EUR 200 million today).
Since then, Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have gained steady popularity as a payment method. While many investors wish to buy low and sell high, others like to use virtual currencies for commerce.
Today, we’re going to discuss a few different ways to use cryptocurrencies to make a variety of purchases. You can pay directly with retailers, buy gift cards, or even use debit cards to spend crypto nearly anywhere. Read on to explore each option.
What You Need to Know Before Spending Cryptocurrency
There are two essential things to know before conducting your first cryptocurrency purchase:
1. You Need a Real Cryptocurrency Wallet
Some services allow you to invest in cryptocurrency, but you cant actually spend your investments. Instead, they’re treated like stocks, and you can only buy and sell your crypto within their platforms. To spend your crypto, make sure you’re using a cryptocurrency wallet, which can be a custodial wallet or a non-custodial one.
2. Cryptocurrency Transactions are Irreversible
You cannot reverse any cryptocurrency transaction. Once you send your crypto, it’s gone forever. If you don’t receive what you paid for, you’ll be stuck working with that company’s customer service to resolve your problem.
Additionally, triple-check wallet addresses when transacting. If you send your crypto to the wrong address, it’s gone forever, and even reputable stores won’t be able to help.
Reputable Businesses that Accept Cryptocurrency
Several major businesses accept cryptocurrency directly from your wallet. Some reputable options for spending your favorite crypto are:
- Newegg: One of the most popular electronics retailers was early to embrace cryptocurrency as a payment method.
- Expedia: Planning a trip? Fund it with crypto.
- Namecheap: Register your next domain or buy hosting with Bitcoin.
- Overstock: You’ll need a supported crypto wallet, but the massive discount retailer accepts crypto. They provide international shipping to many European countries.
- Microsoft: The software giant accepts Bitcoin payments for many of its services, such as Xbox Live and Skype credits.
There are plenty more retailers that accept crypto payments directly. It’s worth checking if your favorite online retailer accepts crypto payments. Remember, you cannot reverse transactions, so be sure that you trust the business first.
Pay with Crypto via Popular Payment Processors
Thanks to payment processors that have integrated cryptocurrency into their services, you can pay even more businesses with crypto. Some notable examples include:
- Shopify: While the company is known for its eCommerce platform, it also operates a payment processor that store owners can use. The payment processing platform can accept cryptocurrency if the store owner enables it.
- PayPal: Sadly, only U.S. customers can spend crypto through the payment processor right now. Customers in the United Kingdom recently gained access to buying and holding crypto but cannot yet spend it. It’s expected that the processor will roll out access to more European countries in the future.
- CoinPayments: Like Shopify’s crypto option, CoinPayments integrates with nearly every eCommerce platform and allows even more businesses to accept cryptocurrency. An online directory shows that 639 stores use CoinPayments.
Other payment processors have been rumored to be exploring crypto payments, such as Stripe and Square. Square’s CashApp has cryptocurrency integration, but the Square payment processor for businesses has yet to embrace crypto.
Buy Gift Cards with Cryptocurrency
You can reach even more businesses thanks to services that allow you to buy gift cards with cryptocurrency. Some popular options are:
- Bitpay: The company offers a suite of solutions for both personal and businesses, including gift cards. You’ll instantly receive your gift card and be able to spend it immediately. In addition, Bitpay offers gift cards for companies that don’t accept crypto, such as Amazon and Uber, making it a workaround to spending crypto with them.
- Coingate: Like Bitpay, Coingate allows you to buy gift cards for over 1,500 businesses. You’ll receive your gift card instantly.
- Paxful: As a peer-to-peer marketplace, Paxful is different from the above options. You can ‘buy’ crypto with gift cards you don’t want or ‘sell’ your crypto for gift cards. In addition to gift cards, Paxful offers other ways to cash out your cryptocurrency to the platform of your choice, such as CashApp or Western Union.
There are a few other options to explore, like CardCash and Bitrefill. But, it’s worth repeating, that once you send your crypto to any of these services, you depend on them to honor their end of the transactions.
Spend Cryptocurrency Almost Anywhere with Crypto-Powered Debit Cards
Some companies are now offering debit cards connected to cryptocurrency wallets. This option allows you to spend your cryptocurrency anywhere that accepts the debit card. Some popular options are:
- Coinmotion: Our crypto-powered debit card is accepted anywhere that accepts MasterCard. You can sell any crypto in your wallet for Euros available on your prepaid MasterCard. The debit card is available in multiple European countries, and we are working on expanding access to even more.
- Coinbase: The Coinbase Visa card allows you to select the crypto you want to spend. The platform converts crypto to your local fiat currency on-demand with every transaction. You’ll need to know the current price of the chosen crypto before you spend it. Alternatively, you can set the card to spend fiat currency. This card is available in the U.S. and many European countries.
- Bitpay: We talked about their gift card offering, but they also have a prepaid Visa debit card. It works similarly to Coinbase, converting your crypto on-demand when it’s spent. This card is presently only available within the U.S., but it plans to expand to other countries in the future.
Kickstart Your Crypto Portfolio with Coinmotion
Are you ready to start spending your cryptocurrency? You know how to use your crypto to pay for everything from your next Amazon purchase (gift cards) to your utility bills (crypto debit card).
Create your account with Coinmotion today to start investing and spending cryptocurrency.
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