Bitcoin was the first cryptocurrency made available, and after a concept outline in 2008, it was launched the following year to the public. More than a decade later, bitcoin has been joined by a tranche of other cryptocurrencies and is no longer shrouded in mystery.
However, although great strides have been made with cryptocurrency, it doesn’t have equal status with conventional payment methods. There is an increasing acceptance of cryptocurrency in the UK, but it’s still not yet a universal method of payment. So what can you use cryptocurrency to pay for? Here’s a look at the current state of play.
Link to Everyday Purchases
The price of bitcoin has surged recently after Tesla founder, Elon Musk revealed that the luxury car company has plunged $1.5 billion as an investment in bitcoin. The news sent the value of the digital currency soaring, climbing to over £34,680 for one bitcoin.
This sharp rise is great news if you already hold bitcoin, but to feel as wealthy as your digital balance suggests, you’ll need to find a way of realising the funds. One possible solution is an all-new debit card which is currently available in the US and is about to be launched in the UK.
Bitpay is a debit card that allows cryptocurrencies to be transferred into US dollars (at present) and purchase everyday items. It also has an online payment processor, similar to Paypal, making it extra versatile for online purchases.
When it launches in Britain, Bitpay will bring cryptocurrency even more into the spotlight, making it a more practical type of wealth rather than just an asset.
Where is Available Now?
However, you don’t need to wait for Bitpay to launch to use your cryptocurrency in the UK. More and more retailers are offering the means to use cryptocurrency for payment.
Without a physical card, it takes a little more work, but many are offering a QR code to simplify the process. You just need to scan this, and the bitcoin payment will automatically be transferred to the retailer’s bitcoin address. You can use an app called Coinmap to find retailers in your area, which are accepting bitcoin as payment.
If you don’t want to wait, there are already plenty of retailers willing to accept Bitcoin directly now, including big names such as Expedia and Microsoft. If you want the latest Xbox game, you can now use your cryptocurrency to pay for it.
There’s still a long way to go, but look out for the cryptocurrency logo in shops, restaurants and other outlets, and you’ll start to notice that it appears more frequently – and that’s set to continue for the foreseeable future.
Trading and Forex
The stock market prides itself on its diversity and the ability to invest, speculate and trade in every conceivable sector. Unsurprising then, perhaps that cryptocurrency is now available to trade on the market. Options include buying and selling cryptocurrency directly, as well as speculating on the price without taking ownership via instruments such as contracts for difference.
There are reputable sites where you can learn more about crypto and forex trading and how you can incorporate it into your investment portfolio. It’s worth mentioning that although bitcoin was the first, there is a wide variety of cryptocurrencies now available to trade.