Since the main purpose of Bitcoin was having an unregulated currency, using it to buy a cup of coffee in Starbucks or pay for your weekly shopping was never going to come easy. Legitimate companies accepting Bitcoin as a method of payment in exchange for their goods and services has been a slow road.
However, more than a decade on from Bitcoin’s start, and while the list of places you can use your crypto is still relatively small, it is getting longer each year.
If you are a Bitcoin owner, you should set your expectations knowing that you won’t be able to freely spend your currency like you can your fiat currency. As long as you know this is the case, you’ll avoid a lot of hassle or disappointment when shopping or paying bills.
Additionally, if you’re a Bitcoin owner and are wanting to increase your assets, you can use our mining calculator and work out how much crypto you could make mining with us. There’s no doubt that soon, other countries will follow El Salvador in making BTC legal tender, and more businesses than ever will start accepting BTC as a payment method.
What Are the Problems with Bitcoin as Currency?
Before we get into all the things you can buy with your crypto, let’s take a quick look at the problems of using BTC as currency and why it’s been slower to take off than originally planned.
1. Unregulated Currency
As you all know, the main point of Satoshi Nakamoto creating Bitcoin in the first place was for people to have a currency that didn’t have to be regulated by any governments or authorities. This in many ways, is a positive aspect.
However, this also comes with its own downsides. One of them being many companies are hesitant to deal with a payment method that comes with no protection and is not recognized as “real” money.
If a company was scammed using BTC, there is no financial authority they could report it to and no way of getting their money back.
Furthermore, reporting the income of your business and including crypto adds a few more headaches that most businesses don’t want to deal with.
2. Limited Transactions
Visa can process 1,700 transactions per second. Bitcoin’s network can process 7 transactions per second. This means that the network is slow, gets clogged up easily, and causes frustration for many people who have to wait hours for their transaction to go through.
The easiest way to avoid slow processes is to just not use it in the first place leading many to not use their crypto for payments or accept them.
3. Cost of Fees
The cost of making payments using BTC fluctuates. You could pay 0.5% in fees one day, then 0.25% in fees the next day for the exact say process. The price is set according to how busy the network is, and how busy trading is.
For example, during a particularly high trading period in 2017 when the price of BTC soared, the cost of fees did too. You’ll never know how much the fees are until you go to make the transaction and for some people, and businesses, the extra cost isn’t with it.
4. Fluctuating Value
This is a similar problem to the above, only much worse. You might lose out on a couple of hundred bucks due to the fluctuating cost of fees.
However, you can lose out on thousands of bucks due to the fluctuating value of BTC. Because the price is volatile and hard to predict, not all companies are happy at taking the risk. They could sell you a car, for example, then lose, say, $20,000 over the next few months if BTC loses value.
Of course, they can wait for the value to increase again, but this method doesn’t make for a viable income for many.
What Can You Buy with Bitcoin?
Now we’ve looked at why people and companies might avoid using Bitcoin as a payment method, let’s look at the things you can buy with your crypto. Fortunately, the list is a decent size so you have plenty of options to choose from.
1. Service Providers
A few companies that offer services are eager to expand their client base and are therefore accepting Bitcoin as payment. The companies currently allowing this around the world are:
- AT&T - mobile network provider
- Reddit - social media platform/forum website
- Namecheap - domain supplier and web hosting option
- NordVPN - Maltese VPN company use over the world
- ExpressVPN - another VPN option used globally
- Twitch - live stream platform
- Dish Network - satellite service in America
- Bloomberg - option to subscribe to this news outlet
- Vultr - web hosting service
- WordPress - service where anyone can create a blog or website
- ProtonMail - end-to-end encrypted email service
2. Travel Companies
The list of travel companies is relatively small. However, this may expand in the future especially when the travel industry becomes more stable. If you want to book your dream vacation but only have BTC to spend, then check out these companies that can help:
- Expedia - currently only accept BTC for hotel bookings through them but they have stated they are looking to include flights shortly
- AirBaltic - the world’s first airline to accept crypto for flights all over the world
- Virgin Galactic - billionaire Richard Branson’s space company will accept Bitcoin for their space flights… if that’s your idea of a dreamy vacation
Unfortunately, because most food places are franchises, it depends on the location as to whether BTC will be accepted as payment or not.
For example, just because Subway in one city in the world uses it, that doesn’t mean all Subways do. These are the current options depending on location:
- Burger King
- Whole Foods
4. Online Stores
One of the advantages of paying with Bitcoin online is that it’s incredibly convenient. Paying using your BTC account is far quicker and easier than filling out forms with your credit card numbers and billing address. As of now, these online stores will take your Bitcoin from you in exchange for their goods:
- Shopify - this eCommerce platform allows users to pay their subscription fees using crypto
- Home Depot - the biggest home improvement store in the U.S
- Microsoft - add money to your Microsoft account
- Overstock - this online seller has been one of the first to use Bitcoin payments for their goods
- Newegg - an electronic store that has all the parts you need
- Gift Cards - while most online stores still don’t accept Bitcoin as payment, some are willing to sell gift cards bought using Bitcoin. You can’t buy physical products from them but you can buy gift cards for yourself or as gifts which can then be used as you would a regular gift card. Both large stores and small businesses use this option occasionally so check with your favorite shops if they are running this option.
5. Schools and Universities
If you want to go to university but don’t have enough spare cash the use some of your Bitcoin and head to one of these Unis listed below:
- The University of Nicosia - Cypriot private university that accepts tuition fees in Bitcoin. It is also the first university in the world to provide a Master’s in Blockchain and Digital Currency program
- European School of Management and Technology (ESMT) - German university for international and national students
- The King’s College - arts college in NYC
- Curtin University - university in Perth, Australia
- Treehouse - online school for anyone
6. Luxury Goods
If your Bitcoin career has been particularly successful, then why not splash the cash and treat yourself to one of the luxury options below:
- Denison Yacht Sales - yachts
- Prestige Time - watches
- Prestige Cars Kent - cars
- BitCars - cars
- AutoCoinCars - cars
- Bithome - real estate agency based in Switzerland
7. Video Games
While physical copies of video games are still sold, much of the gaming world is moving online. Since so much of it is exclusively online nowadays, it’s no surprise that some video game companies are happy to use Bitcoin as a method of payment. Check out what your options are below:
- Xbox - the world’s largest console seller lets you pay for online games, add-ons, and subscriptions with Bitcoin
- Big Fish Games - Seattle based gaming company sells games for everyone around the world
- Humble Bundle - not only can you buy their online games using BTC but they also donate part of their profits to charity
Speaking of charity. If you find yourself, now and then, in a giving mood and want to help various charities around the world, you can do so with your Bitcoin.
While the list would, of course, be better if it were bigger, there are still a few options for you to consider the next time your crypto is having a good run.
- The Giving Block - this charity describes itself as the #1 crypto donation solution, which provides an ecosystem for nonprofits and charities to fundraise Bitcoin and other cryptos. Donate your crypto and support countless charities of your choice
- Wikimedia Foundation - multilingual educational content is incredibly important for tens of millions of kids and adults globally. Supporting charities that provide education and educational resources has a major impact on many people
- Wikileaks - we know from past news stories and supposed scandals that Wikileaks can bring to light secret data, classified documents, and news that citizens should be aware of. Wikileaks helps anonymous sources tell the world the things they should know
9. Online Indexes
To further help you discover all the places you can now spend Bitcoin, there are a few sites below that have put together online indexes. We cannot list them all, so instead, head to their websites and scroll the lists:
- Where to Spend Bitcoins U.K - a U.K directory that lists all the pubs, shops, and retailers who will happily accept your BTC
- useBitcoins - check out this site’s list that has more than 5000 businesses
- Coinmap - a simple, easy to read map of the world’s companies that take Bitcoin as payment
- Spendabit - this search engine will find the places you can buy your chosen items with crypto
Get That Bitcoin
To spend Bitcoin, you first need to own Bitcoin. Nowadays, with competition so high and the costs of rigs soaring, the best solution is to join a mining pool. With a mining pool, you can put down only the money you can afford while still reaping all the benefits.
Get Started with Bitcoin with Mining Syndicate
If you would like any more information about starting or expanding your Bitcoin horizon; reach out to us at Mining Syndicate. Our mission is simple: Strengthen the Bitcoin network by enabling small-scale miners to affordably purchase and reliably host miners.
As a small miner, Chris became frustrated by the lack of hosting options available for miners with under 100 units. As luck would have it, he found a 2.5MW mining facility for sale right down the road, and thus, Mining Syndicate was born. Facilities #2 and #3 are already in the works.
Why is Mining Syndicate so successful? Because we have a team of people who are just like you, eager to be a part of the future of mining. If you would like more information about how you can be a part of Mining Syndicate, how our facility works, or the products we sell, you can reach out to us here.
We look forward to hearing from you - together we are stronger!