After an initial flurry of interest among merchants to accept bitcoin at their retail stores or online, interest has largely waned as rising bitcoin transaction fees and volatile price movements made it less attractive. as a medium of exchange.
That doesn’t mean there are no outlets to spend your bitcoin, however, far from it. A 2019 survey by insurance company HSB finds that more than a third of US small and medium-sized businesses accept cryptocurrencies, with 59% of them purchasing digital currencies for their own use.
Among the advantages of doing business with cryptocurrencies are the ease of cross-border transactions and anonymity (unless you want physical delivery, of course). By accepting bitcoins, merchants gain access to a wider market and don’t have to worry as much about chargebacks as bitcoin transactions are irreversible.
In 2019, AT&T became the first US mobile operator to accept cryptocurrency payments through BitPay.
If you want to use bitcoin to buy gifts, the most obvious solution is gift cards, through Gyft or eGifter. The recipient will then be able to spend the gift card at one of a wide range of retailers.
You can pay for flights and hotels with bitcoin, through Expedia, CheapAir and Surf Air. If your ambitions are higher, you can pay for space travel with some of your vast estates, through Virgin Galactic.
Microsoft accepts bitcoins in its app stores, where you can download movies, games, and app-based services. Leading game streaming platform Twitch also accepts payments in bitcoin and bitcoin cash for its subscriptions.
Some musicians (Bjork, Imogen Heap, G-Eazy, Dolly Parton) will allow you to download their music in exchange for cryptocurrencies.
Do you need to furnish your home or buy a special gift for someone? Overstock was one of the first large retailers to start accepting bitcoin, in 2014, and its founder, Patrick Byrne, remains one of the technology’s most active advocates.
Fancy some gold? Sharps Pixley, APMEX and JM Bullion will take bitcoins from you in exchange for bullion.
And if you’re hungry and living in the US, PizzaforCoins will get a pizza delivered to your doorstep (depending on where you live) in exchange for bitcoin.
If you’re hungry for knowledge, several public and private universities, as well as a couple of New York preschools, accept bitcoin.
Some legal and accounting firms also accept payments for their services in cryptocurrencies.
Of course, you can always donate to one of the charities or crowdfunding sites that accept bitcoins, such as BitHope, BitGive, or Fidelity Charitable.
For a list of offline stores near you that accept bitcoins, check out an aggregator like Spendabit or CoinMap.
(Note: the specific companies mentioned here are not the only options available and should not be taken as a recommendation.)