Debate over whether bitcoin is a digital revolution or a virtual currency rages on, and likely will for some time. The fact of the matter is that there are good arguments and indications in both directions. Bitcoin may ultimately be most significant as a technological development; it may be most useful as an investable commodity. However, despite its failure to catch on the way many of us thought it might as a functional currency, it’s still useful in this sense as well.
Contrary to popular criticism, bitcoin spending isn’t dead. So, a quarter of the way into 2019, we’re providing an updated overview of some of your best chances to make use of it as money.
One of the wisest things that’s been said lately about bitcoin’s status as a currency is that (as stated above), payments aren’t dead – they’ve just gone niche. This is true in a broad sense, as there are fairly specific categories like the ones listed here within which the digital currency is more useful. It’s also true in retail specifically though, where most of the big, all-encompassing platforms do not accept bitcoin, but there are plenty of opportunities to buy the products you want, with cryptocurrency, at more specific stores. For instance, Newegg is a popular option for buying electronics with bitcoin; sites like SpendaBit give you the chance to search for most anything you want and find direction to an opportunity to buy it with bitcoin.
Travel has been the most consistent, steadfast category for bitcoin spending. While some platforms that once accepted digital currency no longer do, there are still some very active and useful booking and arrangement services that allow you to make purchases with bitcoin. CheapAir, BtcTrip, and Destinia are just a few of the names to know in this category. Basically, if you want to, you can find a way to pay for a trip with cryptocurrency.
Betting & Games
Online betting and real-money gaming are very popular activities across large parts of the world, but the payment side of things can be fairly complicated. A lot of people would rather not spend money or open accounts at all on these sites, which is why they rely on welcome incentives and cash bonuses to attract bettors and gamers in the first place. Many others seek out particularly well-known and secure processors (like PayPal) so as not to have to open accounts with their credit cards. Bitcoin, though, has become another option, and provides people with means of making deposits that they feel safe with at a number of smaller betting and gaming sites.
Gift cards may be behind only travel as a category known for fairly regular, visible bitcoin activity. It’s a little bit of a strange category just because it’s essentially an excuse to use bitcoin to buy cards with which you can make purchases at stores that don’t actually accept bitcoin. On the other hand, perhaps that’s sort of an ideal way for those who would prefer to use the currency to find ways of doing so. eGifter and Gyft are among the companies that will allow this kind of activity, and sell gift cards to any number of popular stores.
Perhaps because of how smoothly it can operate across borders and go around red tape, bitcoin has also become a very useful alternative currency for those who would like to contribute to charitable endeavors. Of course there are innumerable charities and foundations in the world, and it’s not as if they accept cryptocurrency universally. However, with just some light searching around, you can find opportunities to contribute to children’s education, assist with healthcare opportunities, help people gain access to water, and even support online resources like Wikipedia. Charity might not necessarily be what people have in mind when seeking ways to spend bitcoin, but it’s definitely another nice option.