Bitcoin can be used in so many different ways, and the only real limits are its current restricted acceptability in terms of a payment solution. As it grows in popularity and acceptance by more merchants, you should be able to use Bitcoin for purchasing whatever you like. Hoorah!
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Whether you want to use bitcoin as a form of virtual currency education, use it as an extra income, or look at it from an investment perspective, Bitcoin allows you to do just about anything you can possibly imagine. This chapter suggests ten of the best ways to use bitcoin, even though there are many, many more options at your disposal.
Use Bitcoin as an Investment Vehicle
Most people see bitcoin as an investment for the future. With its limited supply cap of 21 million coins (expected to be reached in 2140) and the current low bitcoin price, there are ample opportunities to make a quick profit from investing in bitcoin.
Trying to play the bitcoin price market is absolutely fine by us, but keep in mind that financial losses often come quicker than profits.
Other forms of using bitcoin as an investment vehicle exist as well. Investing in bitcoin can be a part of a long‐term plan, rather than an attempt at quick profits and losses.
Bitcoin is still in the very early stages of development, having been around for only six years. There is still a long way to go in terms of educating people on bitcoin, which creates an investment opportunity in its own right.
Use Bitcoin As An Educational Tool
The main purpose of bitcoin, as we see it anyway, has always been to educate people on the potential of the blockchain and how to take back full control of their lives, not just from a financial perspective, but also in the way people use services, platforms, technology, and more importantly, how they look at the world.
Everywhere you look, you’ll find fraud, corruption, mismanagement, financial restrictions, limited free speech, and many other things that should not be issued in this day and age.
When Satoshi Nakamoto created bitcoin, the idea was not only to create a new breed of disruptive technology but also to show everyday people that there are solutions available to decentralize our entire lifestyle and avoid such nastiness as fraud and corruption.
Up until now, most of bitcoin’s focus has been on the price and the financial aspect of the technology. There’s a lot of room for improvements in this market, and bitcoin is a fun tool to explain to people how the financial system can — and perhaps should — be changed.
But it goes much further than that, as bitcoin’s educational prowess extends beyond finance and technology. The potential of blockchain technology and bitcoin 2.0 is wide‐reaching, as discussed in here.
Once you understand the functionality of bitcoin and the blockchain, dear reader, you will also be free to think about
it’s potential in other aspects of everyday life.
Think for a moment, for example, how majority consensus could be reached, even without having to rely on the human element in the equation.
Digital voting, negotiating and amending contracts, signing and storing documents, and revamping the peer‐to‐peer way of transacting are just a few examples of bitcoin’s educational potential through unleashing the potential of the blockchain.
Go and Spend Bitcoin for Everyday Needs
Bitcoin is an electronic form of payment, which is one of the many reasons so many people are attracted to this virtual currency.
Over the past few years, more and more places have started accepting bitcoin payments as an alternative form of payment due to lower costs, instantaneous transactions, and no risk of fraud or chargebacks.
As a result, bitcoin is becoming a viable form of payment, both online and in‐store at various locations throughout the world. The bitcoin ecosystem is mostly used for sending funds around the world, which also means that commerce is a major factor in keeping the ecosystem alive.
With so many different merchants to choose from — some of which can even be used for everyday goods and services — bitcoin is slowly becoming a mainstream form of payment.
One interesting option to spend bitcoin comes in the form of services and companies that deliver food to your doorstep. Or, if you are a huge Starbucks fan, why not use bitcoin to buy your next coffee? The possibilities are endless.
A quick Internet search shows you more ways of spending bitcoin than you ever thought possible at this stage. If you’re searching online for info on spending bitcoin, try using the following keywords:
✓ “Spend bitcoin”
✓ “Use bitcoin”
✓ “Pay with bitcoin”
✓ “Bitcoin accepted here”
Indulge in Luxury Expenses with Bitcoin
Bitcoin has managed to attract people from all different walks of life. While giving these people the opportunity to become part of a new breed of financial ecosystem, bitcoin can also be used for less frequent purchases, such as flights and hotel bookings.
Even though not every flight or hotel can be paid in Bitcoin just yet, multiple services are at your disposal to facilitate the process, such as BTCtrip (https://btctrip.com).
One interesting phenomenon these companies have noticed is how bitcoin customers are willing to spend slightly more on their flights and hotel bookings. It could be that bitcoin users are more comfortable spending larger amounts on travel, or perhaps they were just offered unfavorable exchange rates at the time.
The exact reason for this remains a mystery to this very day, but it just goes to show that bitcoin acceptance is beneficial to both merchants and consumers, regardless of what product or service they offer.
Support Charities with Bitcoin
One of the most important aspects of life is having the opportunity to do social good for other people who need it the most. Bitcoin donations can be sent to various charitable organizations, including the Red Cross and Greenpeace.
In fact, some charities will even help you with deducting the donation from your yearly taxes, even though the payment was made in bitcoin.
The biggest advantages bitcoin brings to the table, in terms of charity, is how you can send funds directly to the people in need, rather than having to rely on third‐party organizations.
During the Nepal earthquake disaster, for example, many bitcoin enthusiasts sent donations directly to the Nepal Relief Fund, rather than going through the charity in their country.
As a result, more funds made their way to the affected area faster, and bitcoin users managed to help lots of people in the affected region.
Depending on where you’re located, online gambling and sports betting may or may not be legal, so make sure to check with your local laws and regulations first.
If online gambling is legal where you are, bitcoin offers a great alternative payment method compared to credit cards and bank transfers. No personal details are required, and no verification documents — simply deposit funds and start playing.
Bitcoin transfers are fast and nonrefundable, making them a perfect payment method for online service providers such as casinos.
Now, we know you’re a sensible, responsible grown‐up, but we do just want to remind you to gamble responsibly. Lecture over!
Invest in Precious Metals: The Gold Standard Reinvented
Although this is technically the same as looking at bitcoin as an investment vehicle, very few people know that bitcoin can be used to purchase precious metals, such as gold and silver.
On top of that, various online platforms let users trade bitcoin against the value of precious metals as a form of day trading, some of whom have seen some great success over the years. Always do your own research before trusting just any platform though.
Vaultoro (www.vaultoro.com) is by far the most popular online platform at the time of writing (focusing mostly on gold and bitcoin.) Others include MidasRezerv (https://midasrezerv.com), Uphold (https://uphold.com), and BitGold (https://bitgold.com). Always do due diligence and look up the companies and their reputations before investing any bitcoin.
Give It Away! The Joy of Gifting Bitcoin
In the words of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, “Give it away, give it away now!” They may not have been singing about bitcoin (so far as we know), nevertheless, bitcoin is a perfect gift for friends, family, and loved ones.
Several sites offer gift cards in exchange for bitcoin as well, such as Gyft (https://gyft.com) and eGifter (https://egifter.com). Bitcoin is usable for this through many merchants, most of which do not even accept bitcoin payments directly. But through the magical power of gift cards, bitcoin can be spent or gifted as a payment method.
The option of paying bills with bitcoin depends on where you live. That said, there are multiple platforms in development that will let you pay any bill with bitcoin in exchange for a small commission.
Phone bills, utility bills, and mortgage bills will be paid in bitcoin in the not‐so‐distant future. Mobile phone top‐ups through bitcoin payments have been possible for quite some time now, though this functionality is not available worldwide just yet.
Use Bitcoin as a Social Experiment
Let’s assume you are very passionate about bitcoin but find its current lack of usability rather disheartening. Why not go out and try to convince merchants and consumers about the benefits of bitcoin?
After all, growing the ecosystem one step at a time takes time and effort, and since there is no centralized authority to take care of the job, every bitcoin community member has some responsibility to push bitcoin adoption.
All these are just a fraction of the possibilities you can experience with bitcoin, and coming up with your own creative ways to use the virtual currency is of great value to the community. Whenever you have a chance to use bitcoin, make sure to share your story with the community.