The Chain is powered by Vocal creators. You support Joseph D. N. Kendrick by reading, sharing and tipping stories... more

The Chain is powered by Vocal.
Vocal is a platform that provides storytelling tools and engaged communities for writers, musicians, filmmakers, podcasters, and other creators to get discovered and fund their creativity.

How does Vocal work?
Creators share their stories on Vocal’s communities. In return, creators earn money when they are tipped and when their stories are read.

How do I join Vocal?
Vocal welcomes creators of all shapes and sizes. Join for free and start creating.

To learn more about Vocal, visit our resources.

Show less

Ways to Spend Bitcoin with Ease

Many major retailers have yet to accept Bitcoin as a payment option, but there are still plenty of ways to spend Bitcoin if you know where to go.


The cryptocurrency phenomenon has been—and continues to be—a site to behold. In particular, Bitcoin's high value remains astounding. The volatility of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies has been a major obstacle in turning digital currencies into a viable payment method for major retailers, but the tides have begun to turn and there are increasing signs that Bitcoin will stay around for decades, if not permanently. In particular, Bitcoin's ubiquity places it ahead of the cryptocurrency pack when it comes to wider acceptance. You can now use Bitcoin to pay for anything from a slice of pizza to a resort stay in Dubai. Here are some of the best ways to spend Bitcoin today.

At Restaurants

As more and more stores begin to accept Bitcoin payments, several national restaurant chains have joined the Bitcoin family. One of the easiest and simplest ways to spend Bitcoin today is by using it to pay for your meals. Many restaurants, like Subway, accept Bitcoin directly. By using certain Bitcoin wallet apps, you can also easily use the cryptocurrency to place online orders at many restaurant chains. Depending on where you live, you may have a local, independently-owned restaurant that has chosen to accept Bitcoin as a payment method. Finally, you can check out the website PizzaForCoins, which allows you to purchase pizza using almost any cryptocurrency. After all, the first Bitcoin transaction ever was for a pizza delivery which, at the time, cost around 10,000BTC (an amount now worth approximately $70 million).

On Technology

It only makes sense for digital currencies to be used as a payment option for tech companies. In particular, Microsoft has been accepting Bitcoin in its app store since 2014, but the company has an interesting relationship with the cryptocurrency. On a couple occasions, Microsoft has announced that it will no longer accept Bitcoin payments, but they always seem to overturn the announcement a few days later. Whether paying with Bitcoin will continue to be a viable payment option at Microsoft remains to be seen, but for now, it's a great way to spend your hard-earned Bitcoin.

For Travel

Several travel companies have begun accepting Bitcoin, making it easy for you to plan your next Bitcoin-funded vacation. Notably, Expedia has announced that it will accept Bitcoin payments for its services. Expedia's payment processors, however, don't allow for Bitcoin transactions to be cancelled. So make sure you know what you're getting into! Other travel companies accepting Bitcoin include CheapAir and Surf Air. If you really have coin to burn, you can book a flight to outer space through Virgin Galactic—Virgin billionaire Sir Richard Branson has enthusiastically supported Bitcoin since 2013.

At Casinos

If you're a gambling fan, you'll be pleased to know that Bitcoin has made its way to many casinos, including several online gambling venues. Bitcoin's anonymous nature makes it especially well suited as a payment method for online gambling compared to using a credit card or debit cards. Multiple online gambling outlets accept Bitcoin payments, including Mars Casino, BitCasino, and Fortune Jack. On the Vegas strip, hotels have begun flirting with digital currencies, as The D and The Golden Gate both now accept Bitcoin as a payment method. Notably, they haven't opened up to cryptocurrency on the gambling floor. So while you can send Bitcoin to pay for your housing and entertainment needs, you'll still have to use cash to gamble.

For Online Shopping

Plenty of online shopping outlets have begun accepting Bitcoin as a payment option, meaning you can now buy just about anything you want using digital currencies. Perhaps most notably, Overstock accepts Bitcoin as well as Ethereum, Litecoin, and more. Overstock has blockchain-based payment processors that make paying with Bitcoin a breeze. Depending on where you go, other online stores may charge some minor transaction fees for paying with Bitcoin, but more stores are becoming comfortable with digital currencies every day.

On Gift Cards

One of the easiest ways to spend Bitcoin is to use it for purchasing gift cards. By converting your Bitcoin into a gift card, you can easily cash in volatile digital currencies for a much steadier payment option backed by the US dollar. There are numerous online stores that allow you to send Bitcoin in exchange for gift cards, including eGifter, Purse.io, and InstaGift. Some sites work by matching you up with another person looking to exchange gift cards for Bitcoin, while others allow you to purchase gift cards outright to online stores like Amazon. Make sure you research before purchasing gift cards from a company, as many will charge additional transaction fees.

For Investing In Precious Metals

If you're looking for ways to spend Bitcoin, but you want to continue investing, you may be interesting in swapping your Bitcoin for its equivalent in gold or another precious metal. As an investing tool, Bitcoin is actually quite similar to a digital version of gold or silver. If this is a realm you're interesting in exploring, there are several websites that allow you to trade your Bitcoin against the market value of precious metals on a day-to-day basis. These sites include Goldmoney, Uphold, and Vaultoro.

For Giving To Charity

Many altruistic organizations have been quick to adopt payment processors and begin accepting Bitcoin donations. If you're looking to improve your karma, I encourage you to seek out a deserving organization to send Bitcoin to. The Red Cross accepts Bitcoin donations, as do some smaller charities. If you're interested in supporting the environment, you may consider donating Bitcoin to Greenpeace. Finally, if the chronicling of knowledge is important to you, you should send your Bitcoin donation to the Wikimedia Foundation.

To Pay Bills

Okay, I'll admit that this entry is a little bit optimistic, as most utilities organizations, debt collectors, etc. don't accept Bitcoin payments (yet). But Bitcoin and other digital currencies have the potential to become viable currency to use for everything from your phone plan to your water bill to your student loans. Bitcoin's main opponent in attaining this goal is its volatility, especially after the Bitcoin crash of 2018. Currently, the closest you can get to using Bitcoin to pay your bills is buying a prepaid phone by paying with Bitcoin through a service like Bitrefill or BitMoby.

To Start Your Own Online Store

If you're looking to turn your Bitcoin into "real" money, you may be interested in starting your own small business! There are options abound for how to use crypto for marketing purposes, so using it to build the business itself should be a no-brainer. Canadian e-commerce platform Shopify has begin accepting Bitcoin as a payment option for its services, making it one of the best ways to spend Bitcoin if you want to run your own e-commerce business. Whether you start a dropshipping company or something more hands-on, starting your own company is an excellent, productive use of your Bitcoin. Alternately, you can accept Bitcoin payments in your store or on your Shopify-hosted site as well, meaning you can continue to collect Bitcoin if you wish to remain invested in the cryptocurrency.

Now Reading
Ways to Spend Bitcoin with Ease
Read Next
10 Things You Didn't Know About Bitcoin