Cryptocurrencies might seem intimidating or unlawful to people when they first hear about such things. How can digital money, that’s technically not legal tender, be used to make purchases?
Whether you agree with it or not, digital currencies are here to stay. And not only that — the number of them only keeps growing. With more than 5,000 cryptocurrencies in existence, there’s an obviously high demand for such an unusual means of exchange.
Suffice it to say that bitcoin is the most popular and valuable digital currency out there. Most people who want to get into the whole digital currency market first set their eyes on bitcoin. And that’s quite understandable.
The main reason that people cite for getting bitcoin is that they see it as an incredible long-term investment. Investing in bitcoin is smart and safe (security-wise), but the currency itself is quite volatile. Even if you don’t look at bitcoin as an investment, its API allows for infinite possibilities and use cases.
Ever wondered how to get your hands on some bitcoins? Read on to find out how to earn (and spend) your valuable bitcoins.
Get Started With Bitcoin
Before you start hoarding bitcoins, you’ll need somewhere to store them first. For that purpose, you can use one of the most common eWallet services. And there are plenty to choose from.
The best place to start is usually Coinbase. It’s a digital currency exchange where you can get some of the biggest digital coins on the market using fiat currency. However, you shouldn’t rely on crypto-exchange alone. To ensure you’ll have access to your bitcoin in case of high traffic or site closure, set up a wallet that’s not linked to the exchange website.
Some of the top-rated bitcoin wallets include Electrum, Exodus, Mycelium, and Bitcoin Core. Exodus seems to be the best choice for beginners, but you should look into others as well.
How to Get Ahold of Bitcoins?
You can get your first bitcoin in one of the following ways:
- Mining. Mining for bitcoins involves a lot of specialized hardware that’s not very cheap to obtain. It’s called ASIC, or Application Specific Integrated Circuit. It’s also a process that takes quite a bit of time, and the bar just keeps rising. If you plan on mining for bitcoins, get ready for constant investment into cutting-edge gear.
- Exchanges. Exchanges such as Coinbase are a great place to start collecting bitcoin. As we’ve already mentioned, exchanges are platforms that let you purchase cryptocurrencies using some other legal tender (fiat currency).
- ATMs. Bitcoin ATMs allow you to make smaller bitcoin purchases. They’re mostly confined to metropolitan areas and are currently very difficult to find. Even if you do come across one, keep in mind that you can only get a very small amount of bitcoin. You will also likely be asked for your phone number, and in some cases, other information as well.
Spending Your Hard-Earned Bitcoin
At first, the biggest problem with bitcoin was that there was nowhere to send it. It took quite a bit of time for various vendors and service providers to warm up to the idea of using digital coins as a means of exchange.
We’ve come far today, as bitcoin has become a well-known and fairly accepted payment method. It’s got a lot of weight (and value) to its name, which is something that a wide variety of industries recognize.
So what are some of the businesses that will allow you to pay them with bitcoins?
Buying Gift Cards of Popular Services
As many cryptocurrency experts postulated, the first businesses to accept bitcoin would be the sizeable ones. It’s quite understandable, really. Industry leaders were the ones who had the means to risk profit for the sake of this new digital trend. And they’re now much wealthier for it.
Of course, it’s still highly unlikely that you’ll find many small business owners willing to accept bitcoin. It will probably take some more time (and more digital currencies) before we see that day.
For now, you can get gift cards from various popular services such as Amazon, Apple store, Spotify, etc. The same goes for Target, Macy’s, and Uber, among others. You can then either use these gift cards yourself or give them to your friends and family.
Buying gift cards is the number one recommendation of the bitcoin community.
Start Your Own Website
It wasn’t long before tech giants caught up on the growing potential of cryptocurrencies. Microsoft, for one, accepts bitcoin as a form of payment.
But it’s not just the tech industry leaders that realized the importance of bitcoin. Plenty of other companies in the tech space acknowledge the intrinsic value of digital currencies.
Hosting companies are an excellent example, particularly the offshore hosting providers. Some of the biggest advantages of offshore hosting include more anonymity and security for the clients. Hosting providers such as AbeloHost already offer bitcoin hosting, giving their customers yet another layer of anonymity.
It’s perfect for future webmasters who plan on setting up adult, gambling or even launch a movie streaming website in a few steps with some free movie website templates.
Travel the World
This point should be largely self-explanatory.
Bitcoin’s ability to be almost any currency you like makes it the best friend of world travelers. With bitcoin in your virtual pocket, you can go anywhere in the world and do anything. But it’s more than just an excellent, safe monetary option for frequent travelers.
You can actually pay for flights and bookings with bitcoins, allowing for ease of access and a VIP experience. Some of the finest examples of travel companies that accept bitcoin include Expedia, CheapAir, AirBaltic, and Destinia. And the biggest names in the industry such as Etihad Airways and Lufthansa are also considering adding bitcoin to their list of accepted payment methods.
It’s Just the Beginning
These are just several examples of industries that accept bitcoin, but there are many more. Not only that, but the number of bitcoin uses grows on a daily basis.
Besides paying for the aforementioned services, you can also donate bitcoin to charities (e.g. Save the Children), buy luxury cars (Aston Martin), and even gamble it. And soon, you’ll be able to do so much more with it.
It is getting more and more popular with each passing day, as many businesses incorporate bitcoin payment into their payment options.
Don’t forget to open an eWallet account before you dive into the world of bitcoin mining and trading. You’ll soon be a part of one of the greatest digital innovations that have graced the world.
Of course, just like with any other business venture, it’s crucial to set some goals. Know what you want to achieve with bitcoins and work towards that goal. The fact of the matter is that bitcoin’s still highly volatile. Its value can fluctuate suddenly and without warning. That can be a great opportunity for you, but there’s a lot of inherent risks.
Given the current economic climate, storing some of your wealth in the form of a digital currency might be the smartest move.