The opportunities to pay using bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are growing. With so many people now owning digital assets, brands and outlets around the world are accepting crypto instead of cash. The number of industries that recognize bitcoin as a means of payment is also expanding, so now is the time to start spending crypto for individuals and businesses. Here’s an overview of the methods you can use as well as where you can go to spend your digital cash.
Paying with cryptocurrency these days is as easy as paying with your credit card. You just need to have some amount of bitcoin or another crypto in your wallet. You can use the wallet on your phone or computer to make a purchase conveniently in any situation.
You will also enjoy the advantages that come with crypto transactions. Apart from low transaction costs, you won’t need to give much personal information, depending on what you’re buying and who you’re buying it from. Name and address are enough to make a physical purchase. And in online deals, you just need an email.
If you have crypto in your wallet ready to pay, it’s as simple as scanning a QR code to make a transaction. Open the crypto wallet or payment application and choose the ‘Pay with QR code’ option. Scan the code with your camera and your crypto transaction information will be auto-filled by the merchant, including the bitcoin payment address and requested amount. Ensure this info is correct and send it to complete your payment.
If you don’t want to pay using a QR code for some reason, you can complete this same process by manually entering the crypto address and transaction amount. Simply type or paste in the payment destination address given by the merchant and the payment amount. Be careful to get this information correct, as once the payment is finalized, there’s no going back.
Many times, you may not even have to scan a QR code to make a payment. There are now bitcoin payments services integrated into various platforms (e-commerce), payment through in-store point-of-sale systems, and direct payments from within the popular billing and accounting solutions.
These services typically follow a similar pattern. During ordering, select that you want to pay in bitcoin. The amount of the purchase will be locked-in with a fixed exchange rate for your checkout, and the money gets added to the seller’s account into the currency of their choice. These payment platforms allow merchants to accept BTC without needing to receive bitcoin as payment. The transaction processing happens through the payment servicer, and the merchant doesn’t need any crypto payment infrastructure.
Crypto owners can purchase a variety of goods and services with their crypto coins. You can pay for online services and subscriptions or buy commodities online on exchanges. You can also pay for food, video games, flights, small gadgets, and even real estate and cars. There’s also a growing movement of people giving away their cryptocurrency to charity. Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin donated $1 billion in cryptocurrencies to the India COVID Relief Fund.
One of the most exciting developments in the crypto payments space was when PayPal announced its checkout with crypto feature in 2021. It allows you to pay any of the 29 million online outlets that accept cryptocurrency with your bitcoin. You simply choose the option to pay with Ethereum, Bitcoin (Bitcoin Cash), or Litecoin upon checkout, and all the transaction details are handled by PayPal.
Some merchants accept crypto payments directly, instead of a payment service provider like PayPal. Overstock is a huge online furniture retailer based in the US that has allowed customers to pay with crypto. The company even launched its own cryptocurrency in 2017.
You can also pay for your next vacation with cryptocurrency too. Travala.com allows you to book flights and accommodation around the world with bitcoin. It works much like Google Flights or Hotel.com, where you can search and compare multiple suppliers to get the best price. If you want to go way upmarket, Concierge.io is a specialist crypto luxury travel company for exclusive vacation experiences. However, be prepared to pay upwards of $100k for Concierge’s premium service.
If you’re feeling generous, you can also donate to the Wikimedia Foundation (the group that runs Wikipedia) with cryptocurrency. If you have, like many others, received tremendous value from the information given freely by Wikipedia, sharing some of your crypto gains is a great way to give back to this globally important organization.
There are many other companies that have announced they accept, or may soon accept, cryptocurrency payments. Microsoft, Pizza Hut, Tesla, Expedia, and Burger King have all announced at some point in the last few years they will join the crypto community. Some of these projects have been shut down due to legal or technical difficulties with implementing crypto payments. But, keep an eye out as many more are likely to start soon.
Blockchain technology has huge benefits over traditional internet infrastructure. It allows for efficient, safe, cheap, and decentralized transactions and value exchanges between anyone in the world. Just now, it is becoming practical to pay for things with cryptocurrency. By joining the movement at this stage, you can benefit from low transaction fees, network transparency, and having safe control and ownership of your money. Despite all the doubters, cryptocurrency has grown immensely stronger in the last year. Now, it’s time to start benefiting from crypto payments.