Wanna buy marijuana online? What about cocaine and other drugs? What about guns and ammunition? Do you want to finance terrorists? Is this what bitcoin and cryptocurrencies were created for? Hell no! The inventors of crypto, are just anonymous but not crooks. If you wanna buy these stuffs use the old rusted dollar. Even before crypto, these stuffs were being purchased.
Don’t use crypto for these, leave crypto for the beautiful world it is meant to unveil.
For the financial inclusion it is meant to create across the world.
For the reduced remittance costs putting money into the pockets of the poor that it brings.
For the speed of transactions.
For the peer to peer trust that it creates.
For the openness and finality of transactions that is its hallmark.
The main aim of their creation was to transform the regular financial transactions to using blockchain technology. A technology with no borders, space or time.
You may be wondering what next after buying cryptos. Apart from trading and speculating, what can you do with your bitcoins or altcoins? Spending digital currencies is more of the same thing we do with traditional currencies. The fast the masses accept the new technology, the faster we realise its objectives.
Where to Spend Cryptocurrencies
Currently, you cannot walk to the grocery shop and exchange your bitcoin with a banana or a bunch of sukuma wiki. Cryptocurrencies are still at inception stage and are not yet universally accepted. Few merchants accept them; hence you need to select the stores that accept payments in cryptocurrencies.
Fortunately, several major stores, especially online ones have embraced this blockchain technology. From a recent study, more than 100,000 retailers including Amazon, Microsoft are accepting cryptocurrencies as a means of payment. It is evident that the number is increasing rapidly as more countries recognise the crypto technology. Some governments are in the process of lifting bans on crypto and coming up with regulations on the transactions.
You can easily find merchants who accept crypto by browsing online. There are specialized search engines which facilitate this. Coinmap is one of the sites which offer a way to locate stores, restaurants, and services globally that accept cryptocurrencies. More locations are added regularly to the site hence it is best to update your search each time you need the services.
What Can You purchase with Cryptocurrencies
Both goods and services can be bought with cryptocurrencies, from big items such as precious metals, cars and
property to items such as clothing and electronics. From experience, most online merchants who accept cryptocurrencies offer more benefits such as discounts if you pay with the digital currencies compared to fiat currencies. For instance, Purse.io who offers 15% discount if you buy on Amazon using Bitcoin.
You can also spend your bitcoin by paying for services such as publishing and accommodation at various hotels globally.
There are some bodies and foundations that accept donations in cryptocurrencies such as WikiLeaks.
How to spend your digital currencies
What next after you have found what you want and located the merchant who can accept your digital coins? What if the merchant who has the needed goods or services does not accept cryptocurrencies? You can pay through several ways such as:
Cryptocurrency debit cards always provide a way to pay merchants who do not accept cryptocurrencies. These debit cards bridge the gap between digital currencies and fiat currencies. You can load your digital cash such as bitcoin and use it to buy or pay for services anywhere where debit cards or credit cards are accepted.
You can also use the debit card to buy bitcoins or the altcoins you require. The seller will receive the payment in his or her own currency and the cryptocurrencies will be deducted from your wallet together with any other charges necessary. Proper care should be taken when choosing debit cards as they charge different fees and some are restricted to certain countries. Ensure the debit card you select is favourable in terms of fees and it is acceptable in the countries you plan to use them. In most cases, online retailers use processors such as cryptopay, Bitpay and Shift cards.
You can pay for your goods or services directly, both online and offline. It all depends on the type of wallet you are using. The merchant you are paying will provide you with a means on how to pay. In most cases if you are shopping online, the store will provide a code in text format or a QR code. By scanning the code with the scan on your wallet or copying and pasting the text code of the store into your wallet, you give permission to transfer your coins to the retailer. You will have to confirm the amount you want to send before you approve and finalise the transaction.
There are many fraudsters who are targeting your digital cash, especially when you store or transact online. Conducting a due diligence is paramount before you use any form of payments. To stay safe and shop confidently, you have to follow some simple safety guidelines. These include:
When browsing for the locations that accept crypto, make sure you do a thorough search on the merchant. Get detailed information from its website and reviews. This will protect you from fraudsters who may pause as merchants.
Before you decide whether to trust or not trust any seller, there are clear signs that you should notice. For instance, do not purchase from a site that doesn’t have secure sockets layer (SSL) encryption installed. You’ll know if the site has SSL because the URL for the site will start with HTTPS:// (instead of just HTTP://). There will also be an icon of a locked padlock visible, typically in the status bar at the bottom of your web browser, or next to the URL in the address bar—it depends on your browser.
Have a reliable and safe back up. If your computer burns or breaks down, ensure your data is secure. An offline back up kept somewhere safe is best. If your house burns down, can your data be secure?
Online stores don’t need your birthday information. Look out for online retailers who may ask for too much personal information and run away from them. Give out as little information as you can.
Treat the passwords to your wallets as your bank account PINs. Never give out your wallet login credentials. Don’t even try to passphrase the private key(s).
Luckily, many wallets do generate new addresses for each transaction automatically. However, if this does not happen, try to avoid using the same addresses more than once. Generate a new address for each transaction you receive.
As much as many merchants are not accepting cryptocurrencies as a means of payment, it is evident that this will soon change. Many retailers are increasing confidence in the digital currencies. The major risk associated with them is volatility, making many people to shy away from the market and instead HOLD as they speculate. If investors continue the trend, then cryptocurrencies will lose their original meaning and will be useless. What about waking up to realize that you can exchange your bitcoins for greens at the grocery? It will surely be an awesome thing and it is coming tomorrow.