The dust is slowly settling and cryptocurrencies are beginning to take hold in the public eye. In the early days, buying into Bitcoin was thought of as an extremely volatile investment that was made by young professionals in the technology sector. Nowadays, the intended use of cryptos is now coming into the light and people are using them more freely.
The fact is that these decentralised digital currencies were initially designed to be used and not simply invested in. The idea was to create a currency with no borders that utilised quick and cheap transactions. We are now seeing this come into action with more and more people using Bitcoin, Litecoin, and all the other hundreds of altcoins in circulation to fund their daily lives.
So, with that in mind, let’s look at the top ways in which people are now spending their cryptocurrency across the world. We’ll be looking at day-to-day shopping, holidays, money transfers, online gaming, startup investments and new ways to store your financial assets.
1 – Daily Shopping & Travel
Shopping for goods and paying your bills has fast become one of the most common uses for cryptocurrency. Most of your options are online and you only need to make a quick google search to find out unique websites that take crypto money, as well as other bigger online retail stores that have now introduced cryptocurrencies to their banking pages. Overstock, Virgin Galactic and Namecheap all allow you to purchase everyday goods, space tourism gifts and web domains with your Bitcoin. As you can see, the products that are available to you are increasing and Bitcoin, in particular, is fast becoming recognised as a common currency.
If you’re wondering about higher-priced items then look no further than Expedia. It now takes Bitcoin payments and this leads us to another up and coming use for cryptocurrency which is holidays. You can now book flights with Bitcoin-friendly travel agents such as CheapAir and Destina. You can then head over to the Expedia site and book your hotels using your cryptocurrency balance. It doesn’t stop there either, the recent growth of the Bitcoin ATM market means that you can now convert your cryptocurrency into local currency to use while you are on holiday.
2 – Online Gaming
Online gaming was always going to be a huge sector for cryptocurrencies and the idea of private, quick and low-cost transactions will always attract gamers from every corner of the world. Technology giant Microsoft has already jumped on board with them integrating cryptocurrencies into their system. This means that Xbox users can now stock their personal Microsoft accounts with Bitcoin to spend at the official Xbox online store. The Microsoft Windows online store is also open to Bitcoin payments and this clearly shows the importance of crypto money when a company as big as Microsoft is already investing in it.
You can see the convenience for gamers in this respect as it creates more fluidity between paying for and enjoying their online gaming experience. Talking about online gaming is also talking about online casino games (see betpal.com) The online gambling world has also started to integrate cryptocurrency with several online casinos accepting Bitcoin, Litecoin and Ethereum as payment to fund the bankrolls of their customers. The use of e-wallets at online casinos is already fully integrated and so it wouldn’t be a huge step for players to start using cryptocurrencies to fund their accounts as well.
3 – Low-Cost Money Transfers
A well-known benefit for using cryptocurrencies is the ability to send and receive payments quickly and effectively with the added bonus of reduced fees. In relation to traditional banking methods, huge sums of cryptocurrency can be sent in minutes and the fees are only a fraction of the cost. It makes complete sense and saves the sender and recipient huge sums of money. International payments are where the cryptocurrencies work most effectively, and you can quickly start to see how the world can become more connected financially with the use of Bitcoin, Litecoin and Stellar.
On the subjects of payments, we should add that using cryptocurrency also allows for a completely private transaction which is a huge sell for many people around the world. This not only means that you don’t need to go through the bureaucratic process of telling banks why you are sending money and who you are sending it to. But also the process becomes a lot quicker without a third party getting involved. Many people have made anonymous payments to charities via a private transaction and this goes to show the good it can bring to people around the world.
4 – Start-Up Investments
A popular development through the use of cryptocurrency has been in the startup sector. Once a place for rich investors, fundraising through the use of digital tokens now means that anyone with an internet connection can invest in new and innovative start-ups. This is also a huge boost for any startup business because they not only get access to the wider public population, but they can also reach their required capital amount in a quicker time frame. A rise in the number of businesses looking to seek capital via cryptocurrencies shows that this is a productive and effective way to get a business venture off the ground.
The initial fundraising is based around ICOs (Initial Coin Offerings) and these allow startups to sell new digital tokens to all early backers of the venture in exchange for Bitcoin, Ether or any other cryptocurrency of their choice. The prices of these new digital tokens are then reliant on the success or failure of the startup once they launch. It has been known for these digital tokens to increase in value by several thousand percent, so getting in on the right startup can be hugely beneficial.
5 – Secure Financial Storage & Easy Access
Bank accounts and assets can be frozen and whilst this might sound a bit far-fetched for you, it is a common occurrence in some places around the world that have questionable rules of law. People can find themselves with no access to cash when they haven’t done anything wrong. Here is where the power and unique design of cryptocurrency comes in to play. Only the person who owns the private digital keys to the crypto wallet can gain access to it and this means that no outside authority can ever intervene or freeze the assets inside.
If you ever feel the need to access your crypto money quickly then there are cryptocurrency debit cards available. These debit cards connect to your crypto wallet and let you spend your Bitcoin and other altcoins as cash. You’ll mostly find Bitcoin debit cards like Shift Card and CoinsBank as this is the popular crypto choice for many people, but there are other options such as Uquid and TenX for those who use altcoins like Ethereum. Most of the cards are issued by Visa which means you can then spend your cryptocurrency balance wherever Visa is accepted.