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Bitcoin is the King of Cryptocurrency. But What Can You Actually Buy with It?

Dan Schatt is the CEO of Earnity, the world’s first community-based crypto platform and marketplace. Earnity was created to take the complexity out of crypto, making it more accessible and secure to manage. Earnity combines a social media community with a cryptocurrency and decentralized finance (DeFi) marketplace to give users a place to earn, learn and collect crypto assets. The platform connects creators, educators and other enthusiasts to share knowledge and grow audiences – and is now available in the App Store.

A fintech veteran and cryptocurrency expert, Schatt’s mission is to convert the next 900 million users to cryptocurrency. To do so, Schatt believes that education is key, and he’s sharing his insights on the most talked about cryptocurrency topics. Here he is discussing what users can actually buy with Bitcoin.

Bitcoin is the undisputed king of the cryptocurrency world. From market capitalization to media mentions, it’s the most familiar and most talked about crypto on the market. To be sure, there are numerous other cryptocurrencies and platforms, but when it comes to the general and beginner market, most people have at least heard of Bitcoin. Most cable news chatter revolves around investment returns or anonymous transactions, but at the heart of it, Bitcoin is a currency, just a digital one.

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So, what exactly can you buy with Bitcoin? Probably a lot more than you realize. No longer a niche currency, Bitcoin can be used to purchase everything from travel accommodations to real estate. And more companies are starting to offer Bitcoin as a form of payment.

What exactly is Bitcoin?

Bitcoin is a decentralized currency built on blockchain technology. It uses cryptography (the crypto part in cryptocurrency) to secure and verify transactions over a peer-to-peer network. Unlike dollars or euros, Bitcoin exists separately of any government or financial institution.

The blockchain part is similar to a public ledger that is stored on thousands of computers worldwide. All of the computers—called nodes—contribute to the verification of the transactions, making it secure and transparent. This allows for faster and cheaper transactions than traditional methods.

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Where can it be used?

Bitcoin, of course, can be used in many digital transactions to settle transactions. The most common is the use of exchanges for investing. However, Bitcoin is also now moving to in-person usage. These are just a few examples of what Bitcoin can buy.

  1. Travel
    From hotel stays to flights, Bitcoin can be used to pay for that long getaway or a weekend trip. For flights, CheapAir takes the cryptocurrency on its website.
  2. Household goods
    One of the largest online retailers for home goods is now accepting Bitcoin. Overstock.com allows you to use your Bitcoin to purchase directly on the site. Overstock has been an early adopter of Bitcoin dating back to 2014 when it first started accepting the token.
  3. Video games
    This might seem like a no-brainer, but video games have readily embraced Bitcoin. Digital currencies and digital worlds go hand in hand, and platforms like Microsoft along with Coinmall, Zygna, and Big Fish Games, allow you to pay for that video game in Bitcoin. It’s rumored the PlayStation will start allowing Bitcoin transactions.
  4. Cars
    Have some Bitcoin laying around? How about buying a Lamborghini? Car dealers are increasingly adding Bitcoin payment to their offering with perhaps the most visible being Tesla. But don’t worry. It’s not all supercars, companies like Subaru are also adding Bitcoin options to their sites.
  5. Service Providers
    Twitch, the live-streaming website and hub for content creators, accepts Bitcoin for donations. AT&T, Reddit and WordPress allow for the use of Bitcoin.
  6. Watches
    Luxury good makers have recently started to accept Bitcoin for payment. Rolex, Patek Philippe, and Franck Muller can be bought with Bitcoin at various marketplaces.
  7. Food
    Some grocery stores like Whole Foods are accepting Bitcoin as payment. Fast-food restaurants like Burger King and Shake Shack have offered Bitcoin as a reward promotion. From cheap eats to stocking the pantry, Bitcoin is increasingly becoming integrated in the food scene.

Workarounds and the Marketplace

Perhaps mostly notably absent from this list is Amazon. Even though they are the parent company of Twitch and Whole Foods, they have been resistant to adding Bitcoin as payment for several reasons. However, there are workarounds. Gift card hubs like Gyft and BitPay let you pay for their gift cards with Bitcoin to use on Amazon. A special payment app called Bakkt can translate Bitcoins to Starbucks Cards that you can use to buy coffee. Even if a retailer or service provider doesn’t directly accept Bitcoin, there are some steps you can take to still convert your Bitcoin to buy what you want.

The places accepting Bitcoin are diverse and range from travel to luxury cars to video games. As more users adopt Bitcoin and retailers become more comfortable transacting with the currency, expect even more direct options for purchase in the future with fewer workarounds, faster settlement times, and even better security.

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[To share your insights with us, please write to sghosh@martechseries.com]

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