About 16% of all Americans have invested in bitcoin to some degree. The reason why is most likely due in part to the fact that using cryptocurrency to buy the things that you use every day comes with some level of anonymity. Transactions can’t be traced back to you.
As long as you have an internet connection, you can trade in bitcoin, and it’s so simple to do that anyone can take part in it.
The only real struggle that many have with digital currency is figuring out how to pay with bitcoin. Getting started takes quite a bit of setup, and not every store takes crypto.
Luckily for you, we’ve got a guide that will make paying with bitcoin easy. Keep reading to learn more.
Why Pay With Bitcoin?
Before we talk about how to buy bitcoin, let’s discuss why you should. The main reason why anyone gets started is the availability and anonymity cryptocurrency offers.
All bitcoin transactions are anonymous. Once you buy something, it will be almost impossible for someone to trace it back to you. Hackers will have to put in some serious work if they want access to your confidential information.
As long as you have an internet connection, you can buy and sell bitcoin. The only time when availability becomes a bit complicated is if you want to use a bitcoin ATM to complete your transaction. You may have to drive long distances to find one.
You don’t have to be tech-savvy to deal in cryptocurrency. The process is pretty straightforward.
Most banks require you to pay some kind of fee to use them. For example, you can’t move money from your PayPal account to your bank without a charge.
There are still often fees associated with cryptocurrency, but there aren’t quite as many of them.
Set Up Your Wallet
Before you start making bitcoin payments, you’ve got to set up a wallet. The concept works the same as the physical wallet you carry around with you. The main difference is that it holds digital currency instead of paper money.
There are many different types of wallets out there, but they all fall into two categories.
If you have a hot wallet, you won’t be able to access it without an internet connection. Mobile wallets are the most popular option in this category because of their flexibility. Once you download the wallet app, you’ll have access to your bitcoin no matter where you are.
Desktop apps work sort of the same way as the mobile ones do. After you download the app to your computer, you’ll be able to use it to buy and sell bitcoin. The problem is that it’s a bit harder to lug your laptop around than your phone.
Web wallets allow you to deal in cryptocurrency without downloading a program to your phone or computer. You do everything right in your web browser.
Keep in mind that if you go the web wallet route, you won’t have control over your crypto keys. The site will.
With cold wallets, you won’t need to have a web connection to make bitcoin payments. They can be just as convenient as hot wallets, and they don’t come with the same amount of security risk since you’re not putting your information online.
Paper wallets are the most popular in this category. It’s nothing but a single piece of paper with your crypto keys on it. The downside is that if you lose the paper or your child colors on it, you’ll lose access to your funds.
If your paper wallet falls into the wrong hands, they’ll have everything they need to steal your bitcoin.
Hardware wallets are a little sturdier than paper ones. You can still break a flash drive or external hard drive, but it’s a lot harder to do.
Buy Your Bitcoin
Now that you’ve got your wallet all set up, it’s time to buy some bitcoin. For this purpose, you can go to an ATM, buy from another bitcoin owner, earn your cryptocurrency, go through a stockbroker, or visit cryptocurrency exchanges.
Cryptocurrency exchanges are platforms that allow users to buy and sell bitcoin. You can also trade your bitcoin for another form of cryptocurrency if you would like.
What cryptocurrencies the platform has available varies from company to company.
Stockbrokers are dedicated dealers that help people purchase cryptocurrency and other assets. Many stockbrokers also offer financial management services.
Bitcoin ATMs are most likely the easiest way to buy and sell cryptocurrency. The only thing that you have to worry about is finding a legit one in your location. They’re more popular in large cities than in rural areas.
Using one is about as simple as using a regular bank ATM. Walk up to the machine and set up/login into your account. From there, most ATMs will prompt you to confirm your identity by scanning your driver’s license.
After you’ve put in your ID, you’ll need to scan the QR code on your wallet or type in your information manually before you can select how much bitcoin you want to buy.
Your funds should show up in your wallet within ten minutes or so. You will have to pay a small fee to use the machine. For more information on that, check out this interesting read.
Peer-to-Peer Bitcoin Owners
If you feel better dealing in bitcoin with your peers, it works a lot like buying items from an online marketplace.
Before you give someone your wallet information, be sure to do your research.
Earn Your Bitcoin
There are casino apps that will allow you to earn bitcoin by playing games. You can also get your cryptocurrency by doing an actual job online.
Some companies will pay you in bitcoin to take surveys and bring attention to their social media posts.
How you pay for goods and services all depends on the merchant you’re buying from. They may allow you to use a QR code or pay directly with your wallet. In some cases, you’ll have to enter all the info manually.
Pay With Your Wallet
If the merchant works with your particular wallet, paying for goods and services is a snap. You only need to open your wallet and confirm your purchase.
After the payment processes, the seller will get a confirmation message, and you’ll be good to go.
Use a QR Code
Some merchants have QR codes you can scan after opening your wallet. It will auto-fill all of the seller’s information for you.
If the amount you’re paying and the recipient’s address is correct on the app, they’ll receive the money once you hit the send button.
Enter Everything Manually
If the merchant doesn’t have a QR code available, things get a little tricky because you’ll have to type everything in yourself.
You’ll need the address associated with the recipient’s digital wallet and know the amount that you need to send them.
Before you hit the confirm button, double and triple-check that you got the right address. If there’s a single letter or number out of place, the seller won’t receive your payment, and there’s no way to cancel the transaction and try again.
Stores That Accept Bitcoin
Cryptocurrency is rising in popularity, but we’re not at the point where everyone takes it yet.
This being said, there are some huge corporations that are jumping on the bandwagon. For example, you can buy games with Microsoft or get a coffee at Starbucks.
Microsoft started accepting bitcoin back when it began picking up in 2014. During this time, cryptocurrency was only about 5 years old, so some were still a bit skeptical about it.
You could and still can use bitcoin to buy games and apps in the Microsoft store.
Despite Microsoft jumping in on the bitcoin bandwagon pretty fast, there was still one company that beat them to the punch. That company was Paypal.
Paypal adopted cryptocurrency about three months before Microsoft. You can use the app to buy the things you use every day with bitcoin or accept payments from other people.
Flexa was a huge game changer for the cryptocurrency market. It’s a program that converts bitcoin into dollars by using the same technology that goes into phone-based payments.
One of the first major retailers to adopt Flexa was Whole Foods. You can use bitcoin to pay for your entire grocery order!
You can’t go in and buy your favorite coffee using your bitcoin wallet. What you can do is use cryptocurrency to purchase a gift card that you can then use to get your frappuccino.
Using cryptocurrency on Etsy is doable, but a bit complicated. Like with Starbucks, you can’t use your wallet to pay for your goods outright. You’ve got to jump through a few hoops.
When you’re choosing your payment option at checkout, click other. This will allow you to contact the seller to ask if they accept bitcoin. If they do, they’ll message you with the information you need to proceed with the transaction.
As you’ve noticed, most retailers require you to convert your cryptocurrency into cash or buy a gift card in order to buy from them. Newegg is a bit different in that you can buy a laptop with your digital wallet, no questions asked.
If you’re purchasing electronics using your computer, the site will walk you through the entire process.
Buying with your phone is just as easy. All you have to do is scan the QR code Newegg sends you.
AMC theaters will allow you to buy movie tickets using any form of online payment. That includes bitcoin.
If you don’t use bitcoin, that’s no big deal. AMC takes several forms of cryptocurrency.
AT&T was the first mobile phone carrier to allow customers to pay their bill using bitcoin.
Log in to your account and select the BitPay option when you’re checking out.
Are There Any Cons?
With how easy it is to buy and sell bitcoin, you might be wondering if there are any cons to worry about. While cryptocurrency is convenient, it’s not without its flaws.
One of the major setbacks of cryptocurrency is the fees. In the past, the costs were pretty minor, but they’ve risen as bitcoin has gotten more popular.
The best way to combat the fees is to do your research. Find operators that are within your budget.
Bitcoin isn’t regulated. This means that if the exchange you’re using goes out of business, your wallet will be nothing more than a paperweight.
If someone scams you out of your cryptocurrency, there will be no way for you to get it back.
Transactions Aren’t Reversible
Once you purchase bitcoin or sell it to another person, that’s it. Due to the nature of the blockchain, all transactions are final.
That’s why it’s always important to double-check a recipient’s address before you send them anything.
How to Pay With Bitcoin and Get the Things You Need
Back in the day, you couldn’t use bitcoin to pay for much. Everything has changed as it’s gotten more popular, however.
Now, if you know how to pay with bitcoin, you can buy yourself a coffee, order a pizza, or purchase airline tickets. There are a few fees associated with buying and trading cryptocurrency, and there’s no regulation on it, but you’ll find that the benefits of using it outweigh these cons.
For more tips that will help you manage your digital currency, visit the Crypto & Tradiing section of our blog.