Bitcoin’s adoption as a payment method has steadily risen, providing more opportunities to use your BTC for real-world transactions. Major companies now accept Bitcoin alongside small businesses, especially in crypto-friendly communities. In this guide, we’ll explore the expanding options for putting your Bitcoin to use through convenient spending avenues.
One of the top categories for Bitcoin spending is booking travel. Leading sites like Expedia, Travala, and CheapAir all allow you to use Bitcoin for hotels, flights, rental cars and other trip planning.
The travel booking site Travala, which accepts multiple cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin, offers over 2 million hotels and accommodations globally. Bitcoin typically receives a standard discount compared to paying with credit cards or PayPal. Travala provides a slick booking platform similar to leading incumbents.
For flights, CheapAir has long been a go-to for purchasing plane tickets with Bitcoin. They work with major airlines worldwide and routinely offer 5-8% discounts for crypto payments. CheapAir also accepts Bitcoin for hotels and car rentals to cover your entire trip.
Hardware wallets like the Ledger Nano X provide the best Bitcoin wallet choice for high-value travel bookings. The security of hardware devices gives peace of mind for large crypto transactions.
Gift cards make for another common Bitcoin spending category. Platforms like eGifter, Gyft, and Bitrefill let you purchase gift cards using Bitcoin for other brands that don’t directly take crypto.
For example, eGifter offers gift cards for over 300 popular brands including Amazon, Nike, iTunes, Starbucks, Home Depot, and many more. Cards can be sent digitally or shipped for giving as gifts. Bitcoin is accepted alongside other coins through Coinbase payments.
Bitrefill also covers a wide selection of gift card options while offering a points rewards program to earn further discounts. Their mobile app makes buying gift cards on the go a breeze.
For small gift card purchases, convenient mobile software wallets like Exodus provide a quick way to scan gift card checkout QR codes. Hardware wallets offer enhanced security for large batches of gift cards.
Paying your bills with Bitcoin is possible today through services aimed at consumers and businesses.
Living Room of Satoshi enables Australians to pay any BPay bill through their system using Bitcoin, including electricity, phone, school fees, credit cards, and more. Bills are paid using exchange rates at the time of the transaction to eliminate Bitcoin volatility risk.
For business, BitPay offers recurring billing for invoices and subscriptions. Companies can pay bills like payroll, taxes, vendor payments, etc. via BitPay using Bitcoin or Bitcoin cash. This automates corporate bill payment while keeping capital in crypto form.
Web wallets like MetaMask connect easily to bill pay services. Hardware wallets provide the best backup for high-value utility or corporate bill settlements.
Online shopping with Bitcoin continues to grow thanks to mainstream merchant adoption. Leading brands accepting Bitcoin include:
Overstock – One of the first major retailers to adopt BTC, Overstock offers everything from furniture and rugs to jewelry and electronics.
Newegg – The electronics retail giant accepts BTC on nearly all products including laptops, TVs, gaming gear, and smart home equipment.
Shopify – As a leading e-commerce platform, Shopify also enables thousands of individual merchants to accept Bitcoin.
Microsoft – Surprisingly, Microsoft has long allowed using Bitcoin to add funds to user accounts to purchase apps, games, and other digital content.
AT&T – The telecom titan takes Bitcoin for paying cell phone bills online through BitPay integration.
For online shopping, connecting a software wallet like Exodus provides a straightforward way to checkout with crypto. Hardware wallets enable enhanced security for dollar ecommerce purchases.
Bitcoin’s digital nature makes it easy to donate to causes worldwide. Leading non-profits that take Bitcoin donations include:
The Water Project – Provides access to clean water while accepting Bitcoin and other cryptos as donations.
WikiLeaks – The media organization turned to Bitcoin for donations after payment embargoes.
Antiwar.com – Advocates a non-interventionist foreign policy and Bitcoin donations.
Wikimedia Foundation – The non-profit running Wikipedia accepts Bitcoin to support their mission of spreading free knowledge.
The Internet Archive – The digital library takes Bitcoin donations to expand their massive online collection.
Software and web wallets provide a quick way to make small Bitcoin donations. Hardware wallets can facilitate large philanthropic Bitcoin grants while keeping assets more secure.
Bitcoin is making headway for in-person spending, especially in tech-friendly cities like San Francisco, Vancouver, and New York. Main business categories supporting local BTC spending include:
Restaurants – Food and drinks are common purchases with Bitcoin. BAAPI Kitchen in California and Mad Dog Café in New York allow dining in with BTC.
Bars – Bars embracing Bitcoin cover nightlife spots like EVR in Miami and Bastion Pub in Canada for beers and cocktails.
Coffee Shops – Cafes like The Java Nomad in California and STEAM Coffee in Canada offer coffee and snacks for Bitcoin patrons.
Hotels – Bitcoin-friendly lodging spans boutique hotels like The D Las Vegas to larger brands like the SLS Las Vegas through BitPay.
Point-of-sale mobile apps like BitPay simplify local Bitcoin payments by allowing easy QR code scanning at checkout. But wallets like Electrum work well too by providing the store with a BTC address to send funds to directly.
Future Bitcoin Spending
As Bitcoin continues maturing as a new financial system, its spending use cases will likely continue expanding over time to include:
Decentralized finance – More DeFi platforms will enable direct crypto spending beyond centralized lending.
Supply chain payments – B2B spending for suppliers, vendors, distributors, etc. will shift to direct crypto like BTC vs. bank wires.
Insurance – Innovative insurers will begin accepting Bitcoin premiums as crypto gains trust.
Financial services – Traditional checking, savings, trading, and investing will open up to Bitcoin.
Escrow – Bitcoin and smart contracts can automate escrow for shipping, financing, real estate, etc.
Ride sharing & deliveries – New businesses will enter solely using Bitcoin and blockchain.
As the world moves more financial activity natively onto blockchains, Bitcoin’s spending utility continues growing.
The places where you can spend Bitcoin have rapidly expanded thanks to wider retail and merchant adoption. From travel, shopping, bills, donations and local commerce, BTC is becoming a payment option in many facets of life and business. As more consumers learn to use Bitcoin conveniently through innovations like mobile POS apps and card integration, its spending utility will continue accelerating. While still early, Bitcoin’s usefulness as a spendable currency now reaches far beyond its original roots.