How can I use Bitcoin?
Using Bitcoin is fun. We know buying stuff is fun, but why would using Bitcoin to do it be fun? This sounds cheesy and weird because, typically, paying for stuff isn’t the part of shopping you like. But when you think about Bitcoin - how it’s mined, the fact that only you control it, and what it is - when you finally try it out for yourself, you get pumped.
This digital currency came from out of thin air, and now it just bought you a dope pair of shoes.
Who needs flying cars when you have that?
It might sound surprising, but the majority of us have been using digital currencies all of our lives. Think about your credit card; you never saw the money physically being added to it, someone just told you it was there. You swiped it, and it worked.
Now, think about your debit card. You spend your days at work and then get a check deposited into your bank account. Very rarely do you take that money out of your account and hold actual cash in your hand. You just look the balance (or don’t), swipe the card, enter a PIN and boom! It disappears. Just like magic.
You never actually saw your cash. It was never tangible. It was digitally stored into your bank account and then made available to you on a plastic, rectangular card.
If you’re using ApplePay, PayPal, Venmo, or WeChat Wallet, you’re as close to using a cryptocurrency as you can possibly get without actually owning a cryptocurrency.
Think about it: You’ve added a bankcard (which had already almost entirely detached you from paper money) to your phone or account, and then you transferred money to another user at the touch of a finger. Poof. It’s gone.
All of that said, you can use Bitcoin in almost the same fashion as you use other currencies.
So...what's the difference?
We'll raise your “What's the difference?” question with this: Did you know that every time you swipe your debit or credit card online or in person, the merchant is paying for it? The credit card companies are charging merchants to accept cards in person, and for online shops, companies like PayPal and Stripe are charging you for the help.
We get it. They’re businesses. Of course they want money for their services. But those third parties are getting between you and the seller, making the overall product even more expensive to make up for the fees.
So, what’s the difference? The difference is control. When you make a digital payment with Bitcoin, you aren't hoping the middleman will come through to approve the transaction and make you pay them just for approving it. You are moving your money to pay someone you choose with small fees that you’re in control of.
With Bitcoin, it’s all about you.
How I can use Bitcoin
Bitcoin for shopping, dining out, online purchases
As the community grows, you may be noticing a few merchants with “Bitcoin accepted here” signs on their storefronts and websites.
If you chance upon one of these undeniably cool establishments, you would just open your Bitcoin wallet app on your phone, ask the merchant for their Bitcoin QR code or address, and then either scan the QR code or copy the address and hit send, similar to using ApplePay, etc.
The Bitcoin will leave your account, go through the verifying process, and then go into the other user's wallet. No third parties. No big fees. Just you and another user completing a secure transaction, person to person. High five.
Bitcoin for remittance
For travelers, migrant workers, and expats, Bitcoin is the answer to the constant headache that is sending money back home to family and friends.
For remittance, all that’s required is having the family or friends you wish to send money to set up a Bitcoin wallet. You send Bitcoin back to them for pennies, compared to the fee that would normally be charged by Western Union, or worse, a bank, and then they can easily exchange that Bitcoin for the local currency through a local exchange, ATM, or Bitcoin user.
You eliminate the consequential fees, and most importantly the days of waiting to send money to those in need.
Bitcoin for currency exchange
Using Bitcoin for currency exchange can be done in a few different ways while also eliminating high exchange rates.
When you exchange money at a currency exchange, a fee is charged. Depending on the currencies you’re exchanging, you can lose money if you’re exchanging a stronger currency for a weaker currency. That’s a second money loss.
When using Bitcoin for currency exchange, you can avoid going to the currency exchange altogether by using apps or websites for vetted local Bitcoin exchanges.
The process of this is using the Bitcoin you have, reaching out to the community through these apps, and exchanging your Bitcoin for local currency. The people you’re exchanging your Bitcoin with charge a small fee and often have reviews to make sure they can be trusted.
We get it, the thought of meeting up with a stranger to exchange money seems sketchy, but the Bitcoin community is awesome. You can scratch the high fees, and inherit a new BFF along the way. Hooray!
If you’re lucky, you might run into a Bitcoin ATM. In this case, you’d withdraw Bitcoin for the local currency by scanning a QR code with your phone. Easy mode.
Bitcoin for everyday use
In our opinion, the easiest and most practical way to use Bitcoin is by getting a Bitcoin debit card.
Yep. This is a thing that exists, and it rules.
A Bitcoin debit card can be used for both big and small everyday purchases, international travel, and currency exchange, but with even more safety and fewer fees. It works the same way as a regular card and even has a Visa or Mastercard logo on it.
For frequent travelers, however, it is by far the safest way to guard your money while abroad. Consider the currency exchange hassle mentioned above. Now add the risk of getting pickpocketed or having your physical wallet stolen.
With a regular debit card, you’d have to contact your bank in hopes that they are open based on the time difference, get the card canceled, and freeze your funds. You’d have no way to access your money while you traveled, and would have to wait to return to your home country to even resolve the issue and get a replacement card.
With a Bitcoin debit card, you can remove the funds from your card within seconds of noticing your physical wallet going missing. You do this with an app on your phone or computer. You still have access to your money through local Bitcoin traders or ATM’s, and you wouldn’t have to spend time dealing with a bank. The card may have been stolen, but your money or time wouldn’t have been. As for your ID and other bankcards, those, my friend, would have been long gone.
You can use Bitcoin from person to person with digital wallet apps. Bitcoin is ideal for remittance, currency exchange, and day-to-day purchases. The easiest way to use Bitcoin every day is by getting a Bitcoin debit card, which prevents potential fraudulent charges from occurring by easily being able to remove funds quickly from your Bitcoin debit card with a digital wallet app on your phone on computer.