Bitcoin is one of the most popular cryptocurrencies, and it’s easy to see why. Unlike traditional currencies, there aren’t printing presses to print money, inflation isn’t a major concern, and transactions are fast, cheap and secure. But despite its popularity, buying anything with bitcoin is still difficult.
The biggest challenge is finding merchants willing to accept the currency. And while some businesses like Overstock.com already accept bitcoin, many others don’t. Even those that do often require special software to process purchases.
In addition to accepting bitcoins, companies are creating products specifically designed to make life easier for anyone looking to buy things online with crypto. Here are five ways to spend bitcoin without having to convert it into fiat currency.
If you want to watch porn, you might as well pay for it directly. Pornhub recently launched a site called CoinPayments, which lets you use bitcoin to purchase premium subscriptions. For example, you could subscribe to unlimited access to videos for $9 per month, or download videos for $4 per gigabyte.
2. Patio Furniture
Patio furniture retailer Wayfair offers discounts of up to 25% off on select items when paying with bitcoin. If you’re looking for a table, Wayfair sells both wooden tables and metal ones, priced from around $300 to $3,500. You can also get patio chairs starting at about $100.
Amazon has been selling books, music and movies in digital form since 2000, but only now does it offer payment options other than credit cards. It accepts bitcoin through Coinbase, Bitpay and GoCoin, among others. The company says it will soon add more payment processors, including PayPal.
Netflix announced last year that it would start taking payments in bitcoin. Now, if you sign up for an account using bitcoin, you can save 10% on your first two months of service.
Newegg started taking bitcoin back in 2014, and now it takes several different forms of cryptocurrency, including bitcoin, litecoin, Dogecoin and namecoin. In fact, it even allows users to pay with “dogecoins,” the jokey altcoin named after the Shiba Inu dog who became internet famous in 2013.
Expedia was one of the first travel sites to take bitcoin, and it continues to be one of the easiest places to buy plane tickets with crypto. Just enter your email address and choose either Pay by Bitcoin or Pay by Credit Card.
WordPress.org is a website hosting platform owned by Automattic, Inc., the same company behind the blogging platform itself. Since 2010, WordPress has offered paid plans that include support, updates and themes. Users can upgrade their plan whenever they need extra features.
Reddit is another website that began taking bitcoin in 2010. Today, it offers three types of accounts: free, gold and pro. Free accounts allow people to post content, comment and vote on posts. Gold accounts give users additional privileges, such as being able to create polls and view comments. Pro accounts cost $10 each month and let users moderate comments, submit new stories and earn karma points.
Shopify is a cloud-based ecommerce software provider that costs $25 per month. While there isn’t much reason to pay with bitcoin, it’s still possible to do so. To accept bitcoin, simply log into your Shopify dashboard, click Settings then Payments. From here, you can enable bitcoin as a payment option.
Spotify is yet another popular streaming music service that started accepting bitcoin in 2015. As long as you have a wallet set up to receive payments, you should be good to go.
Woot! is a flash sale shopping site that lets customers preorder products before they are released. They charge a small fee (about 5%) to process transactions.
Zazzle is a marketplace where anyone can sell T-shirts online. All you need is a design file, which you can make yourself or purchase from elsewhere, and a web server. Once your shirt is ready, you can list it on Zazzle, where buyers can purchase them.
You might not think of Zynga as a place to spend money, but the social gaming giant started offering bitcoin as a way to fund its games in 2011. Players use the virtual currency to purchase in game items like weapons, armor and upgrades.
14. Xbox Live
Microsoft’s gaming network launched in 2001, and while it doesn’t officially take bitcoin, gamers can use Coinbase to send funds to friends via the console.
15. PlayStation Network
Sony’s gaming network also launched in 2001, and just like Microsoft, it doesn’t currently offer any official ways for players to pay using bitcoin. However, some developers have created unofficial methods for sending money through the PSN Wallet.
Inside the World of Cryptocurrencies
Bitcoin has been around since 2009, but it wasn’t until 2013 that people started really getting interested in cryptocurrencies. In fact, the cryptocurrency market cap grew from $16 million to nearly $1 billion over just three years. Today, there are hundreds of different digital currencies out there, and some of them are worth billions of dollars. But how do we know what to invest our money into? And how does one even begin to understand the world of crypto? We asked our expert contributor to break down everything you need to know about cryptocurrencies — including what exactly they are, where they came from, and why they’re growing in popularity.