Two or three years ago it was not so simple to go buy a slice of pizza or a cup of coffee using Bitcoin. While it is still a foreign concept to many, there are plenty of ways to use Bitcoin on your day-to-day purchases.
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Today's advancements, like crypto cards and the lightning network, make it relatively easy to use Bitcoin for everyday activities. Not only that, but people could live their entire lives using nothing but Bitcoin if they wanted to. So, how do you make everyday purchases with Bitcoin?
- Crypto debit cards allow you to spend your cryptocurrency at any location that accepts Visa or Mastercard by instantly converting crypto in your account to dollars.
- There are a number of services that let you convert your Bitcoin into gift cards for purchases or even pay others Bitcoin to make purchases for you.
- Some businesses accept Bitcoin directly without the need for cards or conversion to dollars.
- If you don't wish to use a card, there are many sites that let you find businesses that accept direct payments in Bitcoin in close proximity to you.
Many services offer crypto debit cards where every purchase converts crypto you hold with the platform to dollars for purchases. This allows you to effectively spend your crypto at any location that accepts Mastercard or Visa.
Crypto cards are offered by almost every leading exchange including Coinbase, Gemini, BlockFi, Crypto.com, Nexo and more. The card serves as a middleman between your crypto account and the merchant. When you go to make a purchase, crypto in your account is converted to dollars, allowing you to make use of your crypto whether the store actually accepts crypto or not.
There are also various services that allow you to use Bitcoin for payment in roundabout methods. Some of these involve first buying gift cards with Bitcoin that you can then use anywhere or paying others looking to earn Bitcoin to make a purchase in dollars for you.
Bitrefill is a service that lets you buy gift cards with your crypto with over 4,000 different retailers and businesses. This works with everything from DoorDash to Amazon. You can simply buy a gift card or refill an existing on with Bitcoin. The site also accepts lightning network payments.
Purse.io is an Amazon-only system that works by matching those who wish to spend Bitcoin on something with those who are looking to earn Bitcoin. You select a product you want to buy and then send Bitcoin to a "purse" that acts as an escrow account. When the buyer has received the order the Bitcoin within the purse is released to the earner who bought the product with dollars.
Locating Businesses That Accept Bitcoin
Some Bitcoin users prefer to keep their Bitcoin in self custody and off of third-party platforms that may offer cards. If this is your preference, you'll need your own wallet and to find store locations that will accept Bitcoin directly. Stores like this are rare, but it's becoming increasingly common.
There are a number of sites that actually make this very easy. One site, called coinmap, lets you enter your address and see store locations that accept Bitcoin within close proximity.
Another site, spendabit.co, lets you enter in any product you are looking for, from coffee mugs to sweatpants. The site then shows you all of the merchants that are willing to accept Bitcoin in exchange for the product.