Can Bitcoin Be Used as Cash?
If you have made or are about to make the leap into the decentralized cryptocurrency Bitcoin, you may be wondering where, exactly, you can spend it. Can Bitcoin be used as your everyday currency? The answer is not straightforward, and can only be stated as, yes and no.
Privacy, Security and Options
Bitcoin is attractive to those who wish to conduct their business in extreme privacy, with no central figure recording the allocation of their funds while Bitcoin itself gives blockchain anonymity. However, while there are more and more retailers accepting Bitcoin every day, those retailers are still a small minority. In order to use your Bitcoin for everyday purchases, you most likely have to metaphorically turn a corner to regular currency. Overstock, Microsoft and Tesla all directly accept Bitcoin, for example, but that won’t help you when you want to buy a coffee on the way to work or need a few things from the grocery. It is good to have general privacy when you make any purchase, but how can you employ a decentralized cryptocurrency like Bitcoin for those small, everyday purchases?
Using A Bitcoin Wallet
You will have options here. It is possible to fund a regular debit card out of your Bitcoin wallet. That offers convenience, but there are drawbacks, as well. There will be associated fees which can add up quickly, and certain services require conversion of your coins into fiat currency before making a payment. Gift cards are a good workaround, too, although there is a certain inflexibility attendant when you lock yourself in to spending a certain number of dollars at a given store or site. The Purse app offers a way to spend Bitcoin in the real world, as well, though there are limits on what Purse allows users to purchase. Put plainly, Bitcoin does have real-world applications but it is still in its infancy, and is not a circulating currency as we know them.
As Bitcoin grows and gains acceptance and visibility, more and more retailers will accept Bitcoin. While Bitcoin has been in use since 2009, for a system of currency that is a very short time. Bitcoin still has wrinkles—such as its extreme volatility—before it will gain wide acceptance as everyday spending money. If you are committed to the concept of Bitcoin, you can help build its visibility and acceptance by patronizing retailers who take Bitcoin and using it as often as you can.