How to spend Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies

Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are confusing to the average American to say the least. These currencies –these aren’t really currencies– It can be interesting to invest in them. But they are also very difficult to spend.

It gets a little easier to spend, however. It can still take a few days for all transactions with Bitcoin, Ethereum or other cryptocurrencies to be completed. Buying them can be difficult. You need to register on an exchange, deposit funds, check your details, wait, and then buy and withdraw your currency.

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With that said, things get a bit better when the spending ends. Here we summarize how and where to spend your cryptocurrencies and how to transfer the currencies to a MasterCard that allows you to spend more like a credit card.

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Saving the cryptocurrency

Before we dive into how to use your cryptocurrency, let’s briefly cover how to store it. You have a few different options, just like good old American USD. You can save your “normal” money in a bank and spend it digitally via bank transfer or PayPal. Or you can use a card like a debit or credit card to spend money. Of course, you can also keep cash in your wallet and spend it from there.

This is similar with cryptocurrency. You can get a “wallet” for your cryptocurrency. You can use a software based wallet on your desktop or an online wallet that you can access from anywhere. Mobile wallets allow you to transfer and spend cryptocurrency from your phone. Another option is a hardware wallet, which is a USB device that electronically stores your cryptocurrency keys.

Finally, some outlets offer wallet services that are similar to cash. This gives you a piece of paper with two QR codes. For one thing, you get cryptocurrency and for another, you spend it.

Cryptocurrency debit cards

One way to spend your cryptocurrency is to connect it to a debit card. This way you can spend it much like cash. The cards are issued by major credit card companies, including Visa and MasterCard. You can spend your cryptocurrency wherever a visa is accepted.

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Different cards are available for different types of cryptocurrency. Many of them are associated with specific cryptocurrency stores and marketplace options. So keep this in mind when deciding how to spend your cryptocurrency.

More of these cards are available for Bitcoin as it is still the most popular form of cryptocurrency. But other currencies are also catching up.

Debit cards and prepaid cards for Bitcoin

Here is a short list of the debit cards you can use with cryptocurrency:

  • Shift card: This Visa card allows you to connect to your Coinbase account to issue cryptocurrency online and offline.
  • CoinsBank: This cryptocurrency exchange offers four different cards, each with different functions and fees. The cards automatically convert Bitcoin to various currencies, including US dollars and UK pounds.
  • Xapo: This card links your Xapo account to a card that you can use to pay in stores or online, or to receive cash. It also comes with an app that allows you to keep track of your spending and the current Bitcoin value.
  • Uquid: This card is intended for authorized users of a Uquid account. It works with GBP, EUR and USD.
  • This is a prepaid card with low commission fees. It comes with both a plastic and a virtual version so you can choose which is best for your current needs. This card also works with GBP, USD and EUR.
  • Coinizy: This is a virtual Visa card that you can use with PayPal or pay directly online. You buy the card and then load it with bitcoins.
  • SpectroCoin: With this prepaid card you can redeem Bitcoins at any ATM worldwide. You can also use it like a debit card. Cards can be used in USD, EUR or GBP.
  • Bitpay: With this Visa card you can load your bitcoins from your virtual wallet. You can then withdraw cash or use the card in retail stores.
  • Wirex: This card has a robust online banking app specifically for Bitcoin. You can keep your bitcoin in a digital wallet and then use the card to spend it as dollars.
  • Bitstamp: This is another virtual wallet option that also offers a plastic prepaid debit card that you can top up with Bitcoin.
  • TenX: This is another virtual wallet that allows you to spend Bitcoin in real life too.
  • SatoshiTango: With this car you can buy bitcoins and then transfer them to a debit card.

Altcoin debit cards and prepaid cards

The cards listed above are usually only valid for Bitcoin, although some that we highlight here also work with other cryptocurrencies as well. If you’d like to use other altcoin options, you can check out the list of prepaid and debit cards below:

  • Uquid: This card, which also supports Bitcoin, also works with 89 other cryptocurrencies including Ethereum, ETC, Augur, Emercoin and more.
  • TenX: As mentioned above, TenX currently supports Bitcoin. Beta testing is currently supported for Ethereum, ERC20 and DASH.
  • Polybius: This is an emerging project that requires Bitcoin as well as a variety of other cryptocurrencies.

Places where cryptocurrency can be spent directly

Overall, probably the easiest option for using Bitcoin is to go with one of the wallet and debit card combinations mentioned above. However, these are associated with fees. So if you want to spend your cryptocurrencies directly, several online retailers actually accept this as a means of payment.

According to this articleMany retailers that accept cryptocurrencies use third-party processors such as Bitpay and Cryptopay. As always, it is wise to understand how the payment system works and what fees may apply before jumping in.

  • Overstock: This online retail giant was one of the early adopters of Bitcoin-based payments. It processes payments through Coinbase and you can spend money from your Bitcoin virtual wallet at the checkout.
  • Microsoft: You really can Store your Microsoft account with Bitcoin. You can only use these funds in the Windows and Xbox online stores. They cannot be used to purchase items from the Microsoft Online Store.
  • Virgo Galactic: This company wants to make everyday space tourism a reality. Since it’s inherently futuristic, it’s no surprise that you can also buy its products using Bitcoin.
  • Save the children: if you feel idealistic, you can Use Bitpay to donate Bitcoin direct to save the kids, an organization dedicated to meeting the basic needs of vulnerable children around the world.
  • eGifter: You can buy all kinds of gift cards online on this website and buy most of them using Bitcoin.
  • NameCheap: Getting a domain name is important when starting a new brand or website. Now you can pay in Bitcoin with NameCheap.
  • Wikimedia: You can donate the company behind Wikipedia with Bitcoin.
  • This site is like social media for shopping. It displays items for sale in a Pinterest-meets-Facebook-like feed. And you can buy straight from the feed, with Fancy acting as an intermediary between you and the seller. It accepts Bitcoin as a form of payment.
  • Expedia: This popular travel booking company allows you to pay for hotels with Bitcoin.
  • NewEgg: This is a great place to test out new tech and more, and it accepts Bitcoin through your digital wallet.
  • PizzaforCoins: Do you have a little more Bitcoin due to a price boom and are hungry for pizza? PizzaforCoins can turn your cryptocurrency (they accept more than 50) into a hot cake from one of your favorite pizza places.

Payment processors that accept cryptocurrency

The list above includes larger companies (and some newer startups) that are known to accept cryptocurrency. But we can see this trend of cryptocurrency as a form of payment that is increasing. This is because several payment processing systems popular with nonprofits, small businesses, and even larger retailers are now accepting Bitcoin.

Shopify, a processing system used by many small local businesses, enables businesses to accept bitcoin payments. And the popular payment app square Introduces Bitcoin marketplace options that allow customers to purchase products and services using cryptocurrency. Finally, the payment processor Stripes enables companies to integrate a Bitcoin payment form directly into their websites.

With these popular payment processing systems on board, you may be able to spend your Bitcoin in many local and online stores.

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