How to actually spend your Bitcoin, Explained

Learn how to spend Bitcoin by directly paying merchants or using Bitcoin debit cards, as well as utilizing peer-to-peer platforms for transactions with other individuals.

What are the prerequisites for spending Bitcoin?

Spending Bitcoin involves obtaining a wallet, acquiring Bitcoin, finding accepting businesses, making payments using wallet details or QR codes, waiting for transaction confirmation, and keeping records of transactions for accounting purposes.

Spending Bitcoin involves a few steps and requires the following:

Obtain a Bitcoin wallet

Get a Bitcoin wallet first, which is a digital wallet that enables the storage, sending and receiving of Bitcoin (BTC). Wallets come in a variety of forms, such as software wallets (available on mobile, desktop or web platforms) and hardware wallets (physical devices).

Acquire Bitcoin

There are several ways to acquire Bitcoin, including buying it on cryptocurrency exchanges, getting paid with it, or mining it yourself.

Locating businesses that accept Bitcoin

Look for businesses or service providers who accept Bitcoin as a form of payment. Find companies that accept Bitcoin payments using online merchant directories, such as Coinmap, SpendBitcoins and 

Payment process

When making a purchase, the vendor normally offers a QR code or a Bitcoin payment address. Users can enter the payment amount, recipient’s address and QR code, using their Bitcoin wallet. The next step is to confirm the payment and see the transaction details.

Transaction confirmation

The Bitcoin network requires payment transmission and transaction confirmation. Miners verify the transaction during this step, and then they add it to the blockchain. Depending on network congestion, confirmation timeframes can change, although they normally range from a few minutes to an hour.

Recording transactions

For accounting and tax purposes, keep a record of your Bitcoin transactions. Typically, one’s wallet will offer a transaction history that they can access as needed.

What can you buy with Bitcoin?

Bitcoin is accepted by various online merchants, travel companies, gift card retailers, food establishments and online service providers, offering diverse options for using cryptocurrency in transactions. While physical stores accepting Bitcoin are less common, they can be found in cryptocurrency-friendly locations.

Online merchants

Bitcoin is a common payment option accepted by many online merchants. Electronics, apparel, home goods and many other products are among the many things you can buy with Bitcoin. Major retailers that accept Bitcoin include Microsoft, Overstock and Newegg.

Travel and lodging

A number of travel companies, airlines and hotel booking websites now accept BTC payments from customers. Customers can use Bitcoin as an alternate payment method when making reservations for travel-related services, such as hotels, airlines or holiday packages.

Gift cards

You may buy gift cards with Bitcoin at a number of venues. These gift cards are redeemable at well-known stores, eateries and online services. 

Online services

A variety of online services, including web hosting, domain registration, VPN services and gaming subscriptions, can all be paid for with Bitcoin. Many online service providers accept Bitcoin as a form of payment.

AT&T, one of the major mobile carriers in the United States, has partnered with BitPay, a reputable cryptocurrency payment processor, to enable customers to make online bill payments using cryptocurrency. 

Charity donations

Bitcoin can be used to donate to a number of charities and organizations. You can donate Bitcoin to social and humanitarian causes by using one of the many organizations and charity institutions that accept it.

Physical stores

The acceptance of Bitcoin in physical stores can vary widely depending on the location. Therefore, you must verify with the specific store before making a purchase.

For instance, All Star Pizza in Miami, Florida accepts BTC via Menufy, an online food ordering and delivery platform that allows restaurants to integrate with their existing websites, allowing customers to browse menus, place orders and make payments online.

Related: How can UK-based businesses accept Bitcoin?

How to spend Bitcoin using a peer-to-peer (P2P) marketplace

To spend Bitcoin on a peer-to-peer marketplace, find sellers who accept Bitcoin, negotiate terms, transfer the agreed-upon amount, and receive the goods or services upon confirmation of payment.

Find a trustworthy P2P platform that supports Bitcoin transactions. After deciding on a platform, look through the vendor listings to identify those who accept Bitcoin as a payment method

To discuss the conditions of the transaction, such as the price and quantity, get in touch with the seller. Following the provided payment instructions, transfer the agreed-upon sum of Bitcoin to the seller’s specified wallet address after you agree to the terms.

The merchant will make the agreed-upon deliveries of the products or services after receiving payment confirmation. Be sure to stay in touch with the vendor and monitor the transaction at all times. 

Before making any Bitcoin transactions through a P2P marketplace, it is essential to use prudence, confirm the seller’s reputation, and check the platform’s security and costs.

How to spend BTC using a Bitcoin ATM

To spend BTC using a Bitcoin ATM, find a nearby ATM, have a Bitcoin wallet, select the “Sell” option, scan your wallet’s QR code, specify the amount to sell, and collect the cash once the transaction is confirmed.

To use a Bitcoin ATM to spend BTC, you must first find one nearby, which may be done via online directories, such as CoinATMRadar or CoinFlip ATM Locator. Make sure the ATM allows both cash withdrawals and Bitcoin sales. Next, get a Bitcoin wallet prepared to receive money. This could be a hardware wallet or a mobile wallet.

When a user arrives at the Bitcoin ATM, they need to choose “Sell” and scan the QR code of the address of their Bitcoin wallet. Indicate how much Bitcoin you wish to sell or withdraw in cash, then complete the transaction. The amount of time it takes for the transaction to be confirmed will depend on how congested the Bitcoin network is. After verification, the ATM will dispense a quantity of cash equal to the sold BTC.

However, it is important to educate yourself on the precise instructions and expenses associated with the ATM you are using because different Bitcoin ATMs may have different interfaces and fees.

How to use Bitcoin remittance services to spend Bitcoin

To use Bitcoin remittance services, one must first open an account, deposit Bitcoin, and, if necessary, convert it. Then, users can use their linked debit cards or partner retailers to spend Bitcoin.

Utilizing Bitcoin remittance services normally involves following a few steps. Finding a trustworthy Bitcoin remittance service with spending alternatives is the first step. Create an account by supplying the essential information and going through any necessary verification processes after selecting a service. 

After that, deposit your Bitcoin into your account on the remittance service platform. Typically, this involves moving your Bitcoin from an external wallet. If desired, utilize the conversion tool provided by the service to convert Bitcoin to your local currency for spending purposes. 

Some services may also allow the option to link a traditional payment method, such as a bank account or credit card, to your account, enabling direct purchases using your Bitcoin balance. 

Alternatively, request a Bitcoin debit card that is connected to your account if the remittance service provides a debit card feature. You can use this card anywhere that accepts payment cards, and it will be loaded with the same amount in fiat money based on your Bitcoin balance.

Finally, keep track of your spending and review costs and stay current on your Bitcoin transactions by keeping an eye on your balances and transactions using the remittance service’s portal. Before using the selected Bitcoin remittance service to spend Bitcoin, ensure to read over all of its individual features, conditions and restrictions.