Worldwide cryptocurrency usage is growing daily. Almost every day a shop announces they accept cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, and new partnerships are often announced by companies excited to join the blockchain space.
As interesting as this is, how does it benefit you? Unless the partnership lets you buy your groceries in cryptocurrency, with a massive discount for doing so, what’s the point? So few consumer shops accept cryptocurrency, that it’s a bit of puzzle to find those which do.
Well, fear not, because by choosing the correct coins, you can maximize your spending potential in the widest possible range of shops.
Here are the coins you should consider which you can spend on real goods, and not just cryptocurrency-related services or collectibles.
Bitcoin is the most widely accepted cryptocurrency in the world. It almost always accepted in shops that accept cryptocurrency.
There are lots of shops and businesses where you can spend Bitcoin. For example, you can pay with Bitcoin at (but not limited to):
Many retailers and payment processors who accept Bitcoin also accept popular Bitcoin forks such as Bitcoin Cash or Bitcoin SV.
How can you spend Ethereum? Well, some of the retailers accepting Ethereum today are:
- Dolder Grand (five star hotel and spar in Zurich)
- Ikea (experimental through an ERC-20 token)
- Shopify (which powers over 600,000 merchants)
Ethereum adoption is slower than Bitcoin, but payment providers such as Coinbase Commerce are working to make it easy for anyone to accept a variety of cryptocurrencies.
Many shops that accept Ethereum also accept popular ERC-20 tokens, but make sure you check first and don’t transfer your hard-earned coins to a non-existent account.
We’ve explained what is Coinbase Commerce if you’d like to learn more.
Litecoin does not benefit from the same reputation that it once had, but it’s still known as a mature coin. You can spend Litecoin at:
Etsy itself does not process cryptocurrency transactions and not every seller accepts cryptocurrency by default. In most cases, you need to find sellers who are willing to accept Litecoin, such as this chip designer, who offers an 8 percent discount for purchases made with Litecoin.
If you need more options, payment processor Flexa have a partnership with Litecoin, letting you make purchases in more than 39,000 shops with Litecoin.
Stellar boasts incredible transaction speed and tiny processing fees, making it a great crypto to spend in shops.
Shops and businesses that accept Stellar include:
Stellar may not be one of the household names, but it is accepted by payment providers such as Globee, which increases the number of websites you can use it on.
You can spend XRP at:
Due to Ripple’s partnership with digital wallet provider Spend, you can use XRP to pay for goods or services in over 40 million stores spread across 180 countries. This works through a smartphone app and Visa debit card, but it’s still an impressive feat.
Check out our list of other online vendors that accept XRP as payment, and you’ll see how popular Ripple is!
6. USD Coin
Any list of coins you can spend in shops would be incomplete without a stablecoin, and what better choice than USD Coin. While USD Coin’s worldwide acceptance is very limited right now, it’s an ERC-20 token running on Ethereum. This means it is accepted at many places that accept Ethreum, and can get converted into other tokens.
The real benefit of USD Coin is its stability. As it’s a stablecoin pegged to the US Dollar, you can trust USD Coin to keep its price.
In contrast, Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are less suitable cryptos to spend in shops due to their volatility. As long as prices in shops get marked in fiat, there will always be some currency conversion required. Shops can’t say “that television will always cost 0.2 Bitcoin”, because the Bitcoin price, fees, and conversion rates vary so often.
Remember, other stablecoins are available, and new ones are launching all the time.
Start Spending Your Cryptocurrency Now!
With so many payment processors, websites, and services accepting cryptocurrency, we’ve come a long way since Bitcoin’s launch in 2008. Back then, the only way to spend Bitcoin and buy goods with crypto was to proxy your request through a friend, who would then pay using cold, hard, cash.
There are some big names on this list, but it doesn’t contain many huge retailers who are yet to accept any form of decentralized money. Payment processors and other merchants of that type may help to bridge the gap in the short term, but many online retailers have yet to realize the benefits of cryptocurrencies.
While Bitcoin is accepted in far more places than any other cryptocurrency, this list doesn’t include the thousands of local retail stores that accept cryptocurrency payments.
And remember, when choosing the best crypto to use in shops, speed is everything. If coins such as Ethereum or Litecoin are not fast enough for you, then have you looked at Bitcoin’s Lightning Network, or what about a crypto credit card?
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