How to Spend Bitcoin: A Beginner’s Guide

Bitcoin has evolved as a store of value over the last decade, including advancements to its transaction processing capabilities. Bitcoin (BTC) is currently accepted as a payment option by a variety of companies, both in-person and online.

Despite the fact that BTC has greater costs than many other cryptocurrencies, it might be useful for bigger transactions, particularly given its remarkable security. The Bitcoin community has put a lot of hope in the cryptocurrency being a viable alternative to many centralized payment methods on the market for a long time. BTC, on the other hand, is presently mostly utilized as a long-term investment, similar to gold or equities.

The fundamental issue is the network’s ability to handle transactions: Bitcoin’s absolute maximum capacity is just seven transactions per second. Visa, on the other hand, processed over 185 billion transactions in 2019.

It is important to know that credit card transactions are not immediately resolved. In other circumstances, such transactions are waited for days, but Bitcoin is chastised for delaying transactions for hours during periods of high congestion. People commonly confuse pending and finished transactions with Bitcoin, much as they do with credit cards.

The network grows bloated as more individuals begin to use Bitcoin and submit transactions. During periods of network congestion, waiting times and, most crucially, transaction costs rise and decrease in tandem with the volume of transactions.

In 2017, when BTC’s transaction fees jumped owing to increasing use and trade, the token’s price skyrocketed, this was a typical example. People began to doubt Bitcoin’s validity, and numerous prominent businesses stopped using it as a payment mechanism as a result.

The Lightning Network, which employs state channels to process transactions very fast and with little costs, is a scaling solution for Bitcoin that attempts to fix that. After transactions are completed, this network changes the status of Bitcoin’s blockchain.

The Lightning Network’s adoption is hampered by its lack of user-friendliness. Before they can perform a transaction, users must first establish and deposit to their Lightning channels. They must also maintain the communication line open until the transaction is completed.

Taproot, a Bitcoin upgrade that increases privacy by making Lightning transactions indistinguishable from traditional BTC transactions, will benefit the Lightning Network. There will also be wallets that attempt to make it simpler for consumers to purchase products with Bitcoin using Lightning, which is a hopeful potential for the future of Bitcoin.

The most important issue that Lightning addresses is making BTC usable for small transactions like buying a cup of coffee. High Bitcoin fees might double costs if Lightning is not utilized for these tiny, frequent transactions.

Transaction time at brick-and-mortar establishments is the second most important problem. For example, standing in line behind a Bitcoin user and waiting over 10 minutes for a transaction to complete would be quite inconvenient.

If Lightning becomes more user-friendly, it may be able to alleviate both of the aforementioned difficulties. Bitcoin proponents believe that if fully deployed, it will give Visa a run for its money.

Online transactions, on the other hand, are still simple with Bitcoin owing to the absence of lines – particularly if you’re paying using a QR code from your mobile wallet. The rise of online purchasing may have an influence on the feasibility of BTC payments, particularly if the number of brick-and-mortar retailers continues to diminish.

Bitcoin-accepting Online Retailers

  • Overstock, a well-known online shop, accepts Bitcoin payments and actively supports them.
  • Home Depot is the biggest home improvement retailer in the United States.
  • Newegg is an electronic retail behemoth that accepts Bitcoin payments for the majority of its inventory.
  • Shopify is an e-commerce platform comparable to Etsy and eBay that allows users to construct their own online businesses.
  • Microsoft, one of the world’s most powerful corporations, now enables customers to deposit money into their accounts using Bitcoin.

Although most large online stores still do not accept Bitcoin as a means of payment, there is a way to purchase things from them using the digital currency: gift cards.

Gift card purchases account for a large share of Bitcoin transactions. Gift cards are the most straightforward method to use cryptocurrencies to purchase goods from both large corporations and tiny local businesses, both online and offline.

Bitcoin-accepting Service Providers

The adoption of Bitcoin as a payment method varies per firm. As a result, there are no markets where Bitcoin is generally recognized. Instead, a number of businesses across a range of industries are aiming to increase their customer bases by providing digital currency as a new payment option:

  • AT&T is a cellular phone company.
  • Twitch is a live-streaming service.
  • Dish Network is a direct-broadcast satellite service provider based in the United States.
  • ExpressVPN is a safe, high-speed VPN network.
  • NordVPN is a no-log VPN service based in Malta.
  • ProtonMail is a secure email service that encrypts messages from beginning to finish.
  • Vultr is a web hosting service.
  • WordPress is an open-source content management system for building websites and blogs.
  • Reddit – premium features may be purchased with Bitcoin.
  • Namecheap is a company that provides web hosting and domain names.
  • Bloomberg, Chicago Sun-Times – To subscribe to an online news site, utilize Bitcoin.

Using Bitcoin to Purchase Video Games

To buy a video game in the past, you had to go to a real shop. However, nowadays, the majority of gamers purchase online. Video games, like digital currencies, are becoming into digital possessions. As a result, it’s only logical that an increasing number of top game-selling sites accept Bitcoin.

  • Xbox – pay for games, add-ons, and Xbox Live memberships using Bitcoin.
  • Humble Bundle is a digital retailer that donates a percentage of its profits to charity.
  • Big Fish Games is a Seattle, Washington-based casual gaming startup.

Bitcoin-accepting Travel Agencies

There are several competing travel-related services, and the most of them provide quite comparable toolkits. Providing several payment options is an excellent strategy to attract new consumers. The following are some places where you may book your fantasy vacation and pay using Bitcoin:

  • Expedia, one of the world’s leading online travel booking firms, presently takes BTC for hotel reservations and plans to include it as a payment option for flights, activities, and other services.
  • AirBaltic is the world’s first airline to accept Bitcoin for a range of flights.
  • Virgin Galactic, the world’s first commercial spaceline, is now accepting Bitcoin. It is owned by billionaire business entrepreneur Richard Branson.

Bitcoin-accepting Non-profit Groups

  • The Wikimedia Foundation is a non-profit committed to the growth, creation, and distribution of free, multilingual educational resources.
  • Wikileaks is a non-profit organization based in the United Kingdom that distributes secret material, news leaks, and classified media obtained from anonymous sources.
  • The Giving Block is a platform that allows non-profit organizations and individuals to receive and send bitcoin gifts with ease.

Often, donating money to charity comes with a hefty cost. Furthermore, for various reasons, some individuals might wish to keep their gifts secret. Donating money using Bitcoin allows you to avoid both of these issues.

Bitcoin-accepting Restaurants and Supermarkets

  • Subway – at certain places throughout the globe, you can purchase sandwiches using Bitcoin.
  • Burger King is an international fast food business that serves burgers, fries, and other items.
  • Whole Foods Market is a grocery chain that specializes on organic foods.

Taxis

Bitcoin is accepted as a payment mechanism by a number of taxi dispatch and airport transportation providers throughout the globe.

Education

  • Treehouse is a Bitcoin-accepting interactive education company that offers a range of courses.
  • Curtin University is a significant Australian university that offers programmes in architecture, business, engineering, information technology, and other fields.
  • The King’s Institution is a New York City-based Christian liberal arts college.
  • ESMT (European School of Management and Technology) is a German institution with a large foreign student population.The Institution of Nicosia, a private university in Cyprus, was the first to offer a Master’s degree in Blockchain and Digital Currency in 2013. Your tuition costs may, of course, be paid in Bitcoin.

Aggregators of Bitcoin Stores

  • Where Can I Spend My Bitcoins? U.K. Is a list of Bitcoin-accepting stores, bars, websites, and other locations in the United Kingdom.
  • useBitcoins Is a platform with over 5,000 BTC-accepting companies.
  • Coinmap is a global map of companies that take Bitcoin.
  • Spendabit is a search engine that can locate particular things that may be purchased with Bitcoin.

Bitcoin may be Spent in a Variety of Opulent Ways

  • BitCars is a Bitcoin-based online marketplace for automobile sales.
  • AutoCoinCars is a website that sells automobiles and publishes their values in BTC, as well as other crypto and fiat currencies.
  • Bithome is an online real estate marketplace established in Switzerland where you can buy and sell real estate using Bitcoin.
  • Prestige Cars Kent is a dealership that accepts Bitcoin for automobile purchases.
  • Prestige Time is a Bitcoin-based marketplace where you can buy premium timepieces.
  • Denison Yacht Sales is a firm that lets you buy yachts with Bitcoin.
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