How to Shop Online with Bitcoin

Now that retailers and eCommerce have started to adopt Bitcoin on a larger scale, many Bitcoin owners might be wondering how to begin making purchases online with their bitcoin. Instead of using traditional payment methods such as with a credit card, or other digital methods like Paypal, we will be seeing cryptocurrency options available as a method of payment available from online retailers.

What is the Advantage of Paying with Bitcoin?

Most people who've interacted with or heard of Bitcoin are so caught up with the notion that Bitcoin is a form of stock investment or a future trading currency. But did you know that Bitcoin can pay for commodities just like fiat currencies?

Bitcoin first started with the idea of giving people complete control over their money without the interference of governments or financial institutions. The guy or team who created it, Satoshi Nakamoto, envisioned a global currency without limitations. Today, blockchain technology has become very famous and has been adopted for making payments without involving banks.

Can Bitcoin Be Used the Same as The Dollar?

We're all accustomed to the idea of using fiat currencies such as dollar, pesos, ad franc to complete our purchases online. Despite Bitcoin coming in with a great force, you don't have to worry too much about the crypto replacing our government-regulated fiat currencies. According to Forbes, the greenback will be around to stay much longer and won't probably be replaced ever.

However, some nations like El Salvador have made some great strides towards making Bitcoin a legal tender. The cryptocurrency, alongside the country's dollar, will serve as legal tenders. Most countries are also taking in the footsteps of the Central American nation by allowing payments through Bitcoin.

Most of the outlets accepting the cryptocurrency are online based but don't be surprised to come across a local store allowing Bitcoin transactions, depending on your location.

Who Accepts Payment in Bitcoin?

Before trying to pay in Bitcoin, find out if a merchant is still accepting payment in Bitcoin. Some may have integrated it at some point but may no longer be using it. For instance, Dell discontinued Bitcoin payment, citing lack of interest, and ceased accepting it in November 2017. Despite that, many other companies accept Bitcoin.

Microsoft users have the option of adding Bitcoin to their Microsoft accounts from their wallets. Its use is, however, limited to the Xbox Store and Windows Store.

Dish Network adopted Bitcoin payments right from when the cryptocurrency became popular in 2014 and still allows it to date.

Expedia, which helps with booking flights, vacation rentals, cruises, also allows holidaymakers to book their hotel rooms using Bitcoin. Many other companies have provisions to allow payment in the cryptocurrency, whether for some products or all. You only need to research more on a particular company if they allow Bitcoin payments.

Since Bitcoin price keeps fluctuating, it's essential to consider the time factor when placing your orders. If a commodity is selling at a certain amount of Bitcoin, the price may not be the same in the next five minutes. Due to this challenge, it can be somewhat challenging to establish the proper value of items.

Some merchants allow their clients a window period, say 10 minutes, to complete a purchase to counter this problem. After that, the price will either go up or down depending on the prevailing Bitcoin exchange rates.

How to Shop Online Using Bitcoin

If you've been using Bitcoin and looking for how to spend it online, we'll help you execute the purchases successfully. Equally, if you're new to this cryptocurrency and want to experience the shopping thrill of using it, this guide is for you.

Have Your Bitcoin Wallet Ready

After withdrawing money from the ATM, you'd traditionally put it in a wallet. The idea of the Bitcoin wallet is similar. A wallet lets you safely store your cryptocurrency, so only you can access it whenever you want.

You can either choose an online-based wallet, usually known as a hot wallet. These are Bitcoin storage options provided by exchange platforms. There so many free and premium wallets available on the web, such as Coinbase and Freewallet. Their downside is that they're prone to the risk of cyber theft, where hackers can access your private key and use your Bitcoin reserve.

A cold wallet, on the other hand, is a storage option without internet connectivity. You'll store your Bitcoin in a flash and access it using your private key. This option is the safest, though it requires some tech skills in dealing with Bitcoin and cryptocurrency as a whole.

Buy Bitcoins

Once your wallet is all set, next, you'll have to buy Bitcoin from crypto exchanges. Although there are other ways, using the exchanges is much easier for beginners. If you have some skills with cryptocurrency, you can also buy Bitcoin through Bitcoin ATMs or peer-to-peer purchases.

The latter can either be through face-to-face with a seller or through platforms with escrow services. When using crypto exchange platforms, payment options can be through bank transfer, credit, or debit card. Bank transfers take a little bit longer, up to three days. Therefore, you may want to practice some patience before the purchased Bitcoins show up in your wallet.

The challenge with bank transfers is that not all banks will accept such transactions. Always check with your bank if buying Bitcoins through bank transfer is permitted. Credit or debit card payments are almost instant and the most preferred.

Again, research on the best prices of Bitcoin on offer before settling on an exchange's offer. Also, be keen to investigate the fees charged by different Bitcoin selling platforms and the risks involved. For instance, Bitcoin ATMs charge incredibly high fees than exchanges. As for the peer-to-peer option, watch out for scammers.

The quickest and safer option is the cryptocurrency exchanges. Once landed on a better deal and opened your account, you'll only have to provide the address of your wallet, and the transaction will execute in a minute.

Sending a Bitcoin Payment for an Online Purchase

Buying commodities with Bitcoin is simple. You only have to copy the merchant's Bitcoin address then paste it into your wallet's designated field. Key in the appropriate amount of Bitcoin and complete the send transaction. Always ensure that the typed amount is the correct figure the merchant requires to hand over the purchased goods or service.

The goodness with shopping with Bitcoin is that most of the top outlets and service providers online have a provision for accepting crypto payments. You can check out a complete list of the best Bitcoin-friendly firms from here.

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