Amazon steadfastly refuses to accept Bitcoin. Despite its status as the world’s largest retailer, you cannot spend your Bitcoin on Amazon’s insane array of products. Speculation as to why Amazon refuses to accept Bitcoin varies from mistrust to regulation, to instability, and more.
But even if Amazon doesn’t accept your Bitcoin directly, there are a few ways you can use Bitcoin to buy things on Amazon.
Here are five ways you can spend cryptocurrency on Amazon.
Purse.io is one of the most popular options for spending Bitcoin or Bitcoin Cash on Amazon.
It matches Bitcoin holders with Amazon gift cardholders. The Amazon gift card holders purchase on Amazon, fulfilling the Bitcoin holders order, with Purse facilitating the process (making sure the order completes and the Bitcoin transfers).
To use the app, you need to import your Amazon Wish List into Purse, then select the items you want to add to your shopping cart. The order updates instantly, including your 5 percent discount. Once you’re ready, click Continue.
On the next page, you can set your discount level to a higher value. Purse always offers a discount level based upon current market conditions. A higher level of discount will take your order longer to complete, and the maximum discount available is 33 percent.
Now, you’re probably wondering how Purse can offer a discount on Amazon purchases. Basically, the Amazon gift card holders are taking a small hit to cash out their gift cards. For people who receive payments in Amazon gift cards but prefer to hold Bitcoin, it is the perfect solution.
Bitrefill is another extremely popular method for spending your Bitcoin on Amazon. Again, it does this through gift card purchasing.
Bitrefill is, however, different from Purse.io. There is no shopper discount scheme at Bitrefill. But you can use your Bitcoin, Dash, Dogecoin, Litecoin, or Ethereum to purchase Amazon gift cards (amongst 750+ other gift cards), to refill your phone credit or data, and more.
Bitrefill is a basic store. Add your Amazon gift card to the checkout and update the value you want to purchase. Pay with Bitcoin (or an altcoin) and receive your codes instantly. And that’s it; head to Amazon and spend your Bitcoin!
3. Use a Crypto Credit Card
The advent of crypto credit and debit cards means you can take your cryptocurrency balance and spend it on Amazon. It isn’t quite as direct as transferring Bitcoin to an Amazon account, but I think it is one of the closest options at the current time.
There are a host of excellent cryptocurrency credit cards available at the current time. Some, like Nexo, will even let you earn crypto interest if you keep a balance on your account, putting your crypto to work for you.
Using Bitcoin on Amazon involves Amazon gift cards, and LocalBitcoins is no different. At least, no different in that sense. LocalBitcoins is a peer-to-peer Bitcoin exchange. Buyers and sellers communicate directly to establish a trade, cutting out third-party services like Purse and Bitrefill.
While some say this makes LocalBitcoins a riskier service, we disagree. Like anything in the cryptocurrency world, you should move slow and triple-check everything. LocalBitcoins comes with several reputation checking options, and buyers and sellers are encouraged to make use of them.
Furthermore, many LocalBitcoin vendors request additional information regarding the purchase or sale of crypto and fiat currency, adding another level of scrutiny.
One of the biggest differences new users will notice is the price limits. Vendors are free to set whatever price they deem fit for their products. At times, you won’t find a price that you want to engage with. If that is the case, come back later as LocalBitcoins is a 24-hour, global marketplace.
The Moon browser extension allows you to shop online using cryptocurrency by using the Lightning Network.
The Lightning Network is a super-fast Bitcoin transaction processing network that uses off-chain transactions to speed up the horrendously slow Bitcoin payment process. Where a traditional Bitcoin transaction takes at least ten minutes to process, the Bitcoin Lightning Network takes seconds.
(Want to learn more? Here’s everything you need to know about the Bitcoin Lightning Network.)
Crypto payment processing startup, Moon, told CoinDesk that their browser extension “Will pop up a QR code, and it will have the lightning invoice, which you could also copy and paste if you can’t use the QR code for some reason, and you’ll be able to pay with your favorite lightning wallet.”
Moon CEO Ken Kruger was not keen on naming who would process the Bitcoin to fiat conversions on behalf of Amazon.
Regardless, what is clear is that the Moon browser extension allows you to shop online using cryptocurrency. The Moon browser extension is currently available for Chrome, Brave, and Opera. Once you install the Moon browser extension, create an account and link your Coinbase or Lightning Network account.
The Moon browser extension will become available when you reach the Amazon checkout, allowing you to complete your Amazon purchase using the Lightning Network (or Coinbase).
Download: Moon browser extension (Free)
Amazon Bitcoin Purchases Are Here to Stay
Amazon refuses to allow Bitcoin purchases. But it doesn’t stop you from making purchases on Amazon using your Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies.
Over time, the process will hopefully become easier. That said, the Moon browser extension is slick and doesn’t feel like a third-party option. Purse.io also bridges the gap seamlessly, offering discounts between shoppers and gift cardholders.
Of course, Amazon isn’t the only retailer where you can buy things using crypto. Here are 10 other ways you can spend your cryptocurrency, both on and offline.
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