You might not be able to pay taxes using cryptocurrency just yet, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t lots of other ways to spend your Bitcoins, Ether, and other altcoins.
Which Coins Are Prominently Used as Currency?
Bitcoin remains way ahead when it comes to real-world adoption of crypto as a currency. Remember: unlike many of the altcoins which have launched since, Satoshi Nakamoto founded Bitcoin with the specific intention of creating a peer-to-peer cash system.
Here’s how Nakamoto described Bitcoin in his introductory post on the P2P Foundation forums:
“I’ve developed a new open source P2P e-cash system called Bitcoin. It’s completely decentralized, with no central server or trusted parties, because everything is based on crypto proof instead of trust. With e-currency based on cryptographic proof […] money can be secure and transactions effortless.”
After Bitcoin, the list of coins that are most commonly accepted as currency strongly correlates with the size of a coin’s respective market cap. Ether and Litecoin are the second and third most prominent, but with a bit of digging, you can find places that’ll accept Bitcoin Cash, Dash, Dogecoin, Monero, and more.
That said, here are 10 things you can buy with cryptocurrency today.
1. Windows and Xbox Content
Microsoft first started accepting Bitcoin in 2014. The company briefly paused transactions in early 2018 during the crash, but it quickly restored the feature.
You can use Bitcoin to buy games, movies, and apps in the Windows and Xbox stores. You cannot, however, move the funds into the Microsoft Online Store.
In August 2018, coffee giant Starbucks announced that it would partner with Microsoft on the new Bakkt app. The company will accept payments from Bakkt in its stores, thus allowing you to purchase your daily latte with a range of coins.
The app, which plans to go live in November 2018, is designed to make crypto more accessible to the public by bringing investors, merchants, and consumers together under one roof.
3. Home Decor
Fancy buying a new dining table or some fresh bedding? You might turn to Overstock. The online retailer sells everything from kids’ toys to smart home systems, but the bulk of its catalog revolves around interior design.
The company started accepting Bitcoin in 2014. Today, it accepts more than 60 cryptocurrencies thanks to its partnership with the ShapeShift exchange. Naturally, the site supports big coins such as Ether, Litecoin, and Dash.
4. Pastebin Pro
Pastebin is well established as the leading online service for storing text. The site is mainly used by programmers to share code snippets, but it’s open to anyone. Pastebin Pro adds extra features such as folders, layout customization, autosaving, and an increased maximum paste size.
You can pay for Pastebin Pro using Ether. You just need to send $20 worth of the cryptocurrency to Pastebin’s public address.
5. Gift Cards
If you head to eGifter.com, you can buy gift cards from more than 250 different brands using Bitcoin, Litecoin, and Ether.
Aside from making a great present for friends and family, this method also gives a way to indirectly spend your bitcoins and altcoins with companies that do not accept cryptocurrency.
Some of the most well-known brands offered by eGifter include iTunes, Best Buy, Macy’s, Lowe’s, Dunkin Donuts, Uber, and Target.
6. Charitable Donations
An increasing number of charities are starting to accept donations in cryptocurrency.
One of the trailblazers was Sean’s Outpost. It is the largest provider of meals to homeless people in Florida. Today, it is the only homeless outreach charity in the world that receives most of its funding via crypto.
There’s even an altcoin—called AidCoin—that has been specifically designed to facilitate giving to charity. Whether it becomes successful in the long-term remains to be seen, but it’s worth keeping an eye on.
Back in 2014, when crypto was still a long way from earning the mainstream public’s attention, a car dealership in California sold a Tesla Model S P85 to a customer for 5,447 LTC. At the time, those coins were worth about $90,000. Today—even after the crash of 2018—they are worth more than $300,000.
2018 also saw crypto accepted at the world-famous Bonhams car auctions for the first time. It allowed people to close their bids much more quickly than using conventional currency (which may not be in USD and could arrive from anywhere in the world).
8. Luxury Goods
If you’re looking for VIP tickets to an event, an expensive watch, a rare painting, or any other luxury item, you should check out The White Company. It accepts Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, and Litecoin on all its items.
9. Cloud Mining Contracts
Cloud Mining is becoming a popular way of getting involved with cryptocurrency mining. You can enjoy the benefits without needing to fork over significant amounts of cash for high-end hardware.
Many cloud mining companies accept payment in cryptocurrency. For example, the mining pools at Bitcoin.com will take BTC and BCH.
10. VPN Subscriptions
Given that one of the key benefits of using a VPN is privacy, it is perhaps no surprise that more and more VPN providers are starting to accept payments in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.
VPN companies that currently accept crypto include AirVPN, VikingVPN, TorGuard, and CloakVPN. Of course, there are lots of factors that determine the quality of VPN; accepting payments in crypto is a relatively minor point.
And the List Keeps Growing
The examples we’ve listed shine a light on the incredible diversity of products that you can buy with cryptocurrency.
And, of course, there are plenty of other things you can buy that we’ve not mentioned. Web hosting providers, web design companies, photography studios, and even gaming companies—you name it, and there will be a company out there accepting payments in crypto.