Over the years, more and more businesses, companies, and industries have begun accepting Bitcoin as a standard method of online payment. Now, many online and digital banking services have even begun to offer Bitcoin debit cards. This is a clear sign that the world’s first, and preeminent, cryptocurrency is steadily gaining trust. And not just in small pockets of the economy but on a wider and more global scale.
Bitcoin’s future is still debatable and this crypto is still a way from being able to purchase anything and everything that regular fiat currencies can. However, when compared to what could be bought just a decade ago, it becomes clear how remarkably far Bitcoin has come.
Despite being constantly in the news and causing endless excitement and worry for much of the world, Bitcoin, other cryptocurrencies, blockchain, and NFTs, are all still relatively new and unusual terms. And while many may be familiar with them, the understanding behind them isn't always there - they simply accept them as a new tech-influenced currency that is only for a select few.
While this impression isn't wholly correct, trying to understand any of it on a technical level is no simple task. Getting to grips with crypto and everything that digital currency entails requires some research, but the rewards are worth it. Especially if you’re looking for investment opportunities or alternative ways to transact online.
To put it simply, Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency, the world’s first, and it's not only a new kind of payment method but a new kind of money altogether. The history of Bitcoin’s origin and inventor is a fascinating story all of its own, though perhaps even more remarkable for the world has been how it has grown and evolved over the past decade, from a mere idea spawned on the internet to a ground-breaking and world-changing new technology.
Essentially, Bitcoin (BTC) is a new type of digital currency called cryptocurrency that is decentralised. This basically means that it doesn’t need to go through an intermediary like a bank in order to function. Rather, Bitcoin can be bought, sold, and exchanged directly between individuals. However, instead of a system of trust and reputation, which many institutions like banks have generally relied upon up till now, cryptocurrency relies instead on cryptographic proof, hence its name. Every Bitcoin future and past exists on a public ledger made accessible to everyone. This renders any transactions made on the network, called a blockchain, to be extremely hard to fake, reverse, or hide from public view.
Launched in 2009 and intended as an answer to gradually failing economies and banking systems of countries around the world, especially the US after the economic catastrophes that occurred in 2008, Bitcoin’s outlook for the future has had its fair share of naysayers.
Nevertheless, it remains a talked-about crypto that’s survived. In fact, it's done more than that. Bitcoin has managed to stay at the very top of its game while giving birth to a whole new technology as well as a multitude of other cryptocurrencies and blockchain networks. Not to mention new inventions like NFTs and much more.
Just over a decade ago, Bitcoin’s future was a bit bleak and could hardly buy a favour. Over time, it began to grow, imperceptibly at first, though eventually at a speed that everyone began to take notice of.
Today, however, it can buy a lot more than most people realise. Though it's still very limited, the following is a general list of some of the most common goods and services currently available via Bitcoin payment.
The casino and gambling industry is a particularly big aspect of entertainment that has embraced Bitcoin, NFTs and crypto head-on over the years. There are now entire online crypto-based casinos, such as those found at the famous Decentraland, a crypto-based metaverse of virtual real estate. Otherwise, pretty much every online casino available nowadays promotes and offers the use of Bitcoin and crypto to some extent.
Other various forms of entertainment, some of the biggest and most popular being console and computer games, have also embraced Bitcoin and cryptocurrency. Players can not only purchase games, but they can also make in-game purchases and trades using crypto.
One of the most useful and popular aspects of crypto in games and other entertainment has undoubtedly though been the use of NFTs. NFTs have time and again proven their ability to boost revenue and creativity, both for independent creators as well as for the industry at large. NFTs and cryptocurrency are now being seen in art, games, music, fashion, cuisine, and much more.
The following is a list of new games to come out that can be bought with Bitcoin or offer Bitcoin in-game purchases:
What perhaps most people know about the least, is the sheer number of places, hotels, Airbnb’s, backpackers, and amazing tours and trips that can be paid for using Bitcoin. Many travel agencies, and even airlines now also accept Bitcoin as payment for their services.
Not only can you travel, but these days you can even buy the means in which to travel. It is fast becoming a popular trend to buy cars and other vehicles using just Bitcoin. While this may also be a marketing strategy by wealthy businesses to attract customers, it nevertheless is still happening.
A list of travel agencies that support and accept Bitcoin include:
The list of stores, shops and other retail locations that now accept Bitcoin in payment is ever-growing. You can now even use new BTC debit cards, which are being offered by a number of banks. These stores are of both the online and brick-and-mortar variety. The sort of items you can buy include:
Restaurants, cafes, eateries, bars, and diners accepting crypto payments are becoming ever-more widespread and common.
Some restaurants have even taken it to another level by becoming “crypto-themed”, proving that Bitcoin’s outlook is positive - or at least trending. These restaurants include names like:
A number of major tech companies and online platforms are now also embracing Bitcoin and accepting payments in BTC. Some of the most famous of these are:
Likewise, social media has been another influential area that has been spearheading and supporting Bitcoin and crypto in big ways. As always, social media is the perfect tool for Bitcoin and other cryptos to gain more followers.
Some of the top crypto-based social media platforms are:
Other big business franchises, largely in the US, that have jumped into the Bitcoin and crypto scene are:
There are a variety of ways in which Bitcoin can be stored, carried, and spent. The following are some of the most common methods:
For Bitcoin storage, a digital wallet is most commonly used. A digital wallet can either be a piece of digital software, or it can be a physical device that is similar in shape, form, and function to a USB thumb drive, though with much greater security.
Other forms of storage include online storage provided by crypto brokers and apps, as well as a new type of crypto-based digital software wallet called a MetaMask.
Banks are now issuing Bitcoin debit cards for spending purposes. This is not just an exciting evolutionary development for Bitcoin but for all crypto by extension. It also highlights the degree to which Bitcoin has gained trust and acceptance, even in the banking world.
Users of the debit card can link them directly to their digital wallets, and one of the best things about these cards is that they’re completely secure from unauthorised spending or fraud. They also generally come in a wide variety and selection for different types and uses, with varying limits and exceptions.
A few of the biggest and most well-known banks to have begun offering Bitcoin debit cards are:
One point to keep in mind about Bitcoin debit cards is that they generally require a digital wallet that is linked to the card. On their own, they don’t actually hold any Bitcoin.
Aside from the debit card, another huge breakthrough and leap forward for Bitcoin is its new spending app called Spendit. This app allows the user to connect and browse through a database of different products that can all be paid for and delivered using Bitcoin. Another handy function of the app is to allow the user to explore the business supplying the goods and connect to them directly.
Though the number of products and services that you can use Bitcoin to pay for is huge and ever-growing, it's worth keeping in mind that it's still very new and limited in a lot of ways. You shouldn’t expect to be able to take your Bitcoin and debit card just anywhere and be able to pay with it.
Soon though, perhaps in just a few years, Bitcoin’s outlook may very well change as cryptocurrencies truly come into their own.
Here are some of the major ways in which Bitcoin still needs to progress:
If you know how to spend Bitcoin, you’re in a good position to begin using this crypto to your advantage. With every passing day of the last decade, Bitcoin has been leading cryptocurrency and the world to ever greater heights and levels of ingenuity, innovation, and creativity.
Today, Bitcoin can buy a number of valuable items and services, far more than most are aware of. At the rate that it’s progressing, we may soon be able to buy a house or a business. And more than that, crypto will become something more than just money. It could form the very infrastructure on which we build a new and better world in the future. Or at the very least, we may have a much better banking system that’s more transparent. There’s no doubt that Bitcoin’s outlook certainly is positive.