As cryptocurrency continues to gain more attention – primarily as a technology and a commodity – it’s still worthwhile to check in now and then on where the main ones can be spent. The list is always in flux, and never quite as robust or comprehensive as crypto fans would like to see. But it is expanding, slowly but surely, to include more interesting options.
With that said, here’s a more specific update regarding bitcoin specifically, and four trends and developments affecting where it can be spent.
1 – Crypto Card Emergence
Crypto cards are effectively debit cards that are linked to cryptocurrency accounts rather than checking or bank accounts. They’re used to deposit and convert cryptocurrencies, and they’re becoming some of the best options for people who want to transition to bitcoin spending, but don’t find enough opportunities to do so directly. These cards do not require that merchants have specific tech in place to accept cryptocurrencies, which basically means they keep everyone happy. A user can spend with cryptos, a merchant can accept as if they’re normal currency, and that’s that.
2 – Casino Game Deposits
The world’s digital casino hubs, operated largely out of places like Ireland, the UK, and Malta, look at first glance as if they’re all about game variety. Browse through a modern slot gaming site and you’ll see dozens of games, fun descriptions, etc. But read between the lines and you’ll see that much if not most of the language on these sites is about deposit methods, matching bonuses, financial security and the like – essentially, all things related to payments. The simple fact is that payment security and efficiency are of the utmost importance to these popular platforms, and as a result some of them have gotten friendly with cryptocurrencies. It’s beginning to look like this is a significant area for bitcoin use opportunities.
3 – Charitable Giving
Charitable giving has actually been a fairly busy space for quite a while when it comes to cryptocurrency use. In part this may be due to the fact that a lot of major charities involve donations across borders, and bitcoin can be used in this fashion without any sort of complex currency exchange. However, it also seems that once a few noteworthy charities started accepting bitcoin, others may have simply taken a why not approach. After all, if an organization’s goal is to gather money from generous donors, why not allow those donors to pay in any way they may please? Whatever the prevailing reason may be, people can now spend bitcoin on a variety of charitable causes and sites including The Water Project, Save The Children, the Free Software Foundation, and many more.
4 – Indirect Lightning Network Purchases
The idea of indirect lightning network purchases is almost a different version of the crypto card concept – at least functionally speaking. In this case, the payment platform Fold is partnering with some major merchants (such as Whole Foods and Starbucks) to implement systems that convert crypto payments. As with a crypto card, a consumer can pay with bitcoin, and a merchant can receive that payment in the form of more traditional currency. Best of all, this is being done without consumers being charged extra fees, which means it may be bitcoin’s best shot of widespread adoption by major merchants.