Cryptocurrency continues to fascinate many people as a potential investment, but are there ways to actually use it as a medium of exchange?
If you’ve been following the hype and price swings, you might wonder what it’s actually good for. There are some places where you can use cryptocurrency. However, it’s important to note that because of wide price swings, it can be difficult to pin down exactly how many crypto tokens you need to pay in order to complete a transaction.
If you’re interested in using crypto, though, here are some things you can buy with those crypto tokens burning a hole in your digital wallet.
1. TV service
If you use Sling TV, you can use cryptocurrencies to prepay for your monthly service. Sling TV makes use of BitPay, a crypto-friendly payment processor that can manage the transaction.
Sling TV isn’t the only way to watch TV and pay with crypto, though. Dish Network, which owns Sling TV as well as Dish TV, has been allowing crypto payments through BitPay for several years.
2. Phone service
AT&T has been processing online bill pay transactions with BitPay since 2019.
It’s a little harder to pay for phone service with Verizon or T-Mobile, but a company called Bitrefill allows you to buy a number of different gift cards with cryptocurrency and then use those cards to make purchases. This includes paying your cellphone bill at Verizon or getting a T-Mobile card you can use for purchases and service.
If you’re ready to pay for your Starbucks latte with crypto, you can download the Bakkt app to make it happen. With Bakkt, you can convert crypto to reload your Starbucks Card and then use it at your local Starbucks. You can also check with local coffee shops to see if they accept crypto.
If you’re looking for a local place that accepts your tokens, a website like SpendBitcoins can help you find cafes, as well as other types of restaurants and food services that accept cryptocurrencies.
4. Sports tickets
The Dallas Mavericks made news in 2021 when they became the first sports team to accept cryptocurrency Dogecoin as payment for tickets and merchandise. However, prior to that, the Mavericks had been accepting Bitcoin as payment for a couple of years.
Other sports teams also accept cryptocurrency, including the Oakland A’s and the Miami Dolphins, which adopted Litecoin as its official cryptocurrency in 2019.
Every year on May 22, crypto enthusiasts celebrate Bitcoin Pizza Day, marking the anniversary of the first known commercial crypto transaction in 2010. A man spent 10,000 bitcoins to purchase two pizzas. Back then, Bitcoin was much less “valuable,” with the transaction amounting to, well, what you’d expect to pay for two pizzas.
Today, you can buy pizza with crypto, but you need to go through third-party apps like Lightning Pizza, which helps you order Domino’s.
6. Home goods
Looking to spruce up your home? You can find decor and furniture on Overstock.com and pay using cryptocurrency. Overstock.com was one of the first retailers to accept Bitcoin.
If you’re hoping to book hotels, all over the world, Travala allows you to pay with a variety of methods, including a number of cryptocurrencies. You can get gift cards as well as book directly.
CheapAir.com has been accepting bitcoins since 2013 and recently announced that it accepts other cryptos, including Ethereum, Dogecoin and USD Coin.
On top of that, the app Bakkt partners with Choice Hotels, allowing you to convert your crypto to points — and use them to book a stay. Even travel giant Expedia allows you to pay with Bitcoin via a partnership with Coinbase.
If you’re looking to order electronics, Newegg accepts various cryptocurrencies for transactions. Including the ability to pay at checkout using Bitcoin and Ethereum, Newegg also accepts Shiba Inu and Dogecoin.
9. Gift cards
Rather than checking to see if your favorite retailer accepts Bitcoin or another cryptocurrency, you can simply purchase gift cards.
Services like Bitrefill allow you to buy gift cards that can be used at a variety of places. You can also use eGifter to purchase gift cards using Bitcoin.
With this approach, you can buy gift cards for various items, like travel on Delta or Sony PlayStation gift cards, that can be used to buy games.
Bonus: PayPal helps you use crypto when checking out online
If you have a Personal or Premier PayPal account, you can use crypto when you check out online with PayPal. In order to make this work, though, you need to have some cryptocurrency holdings at PayPal.
You can choose to use your Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin or Bitcoin Cash at checkout. At that point, PayPal will convert your available crypto to fiat currency to complete the purchase. If you use PayPal online, this can be a way to use your cryptocurrencies for just about any purchase.
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