Of course the young cryptocurrency is not without its critics. Mainstream media, traditional banks and financial commentators all warn against a ‘bubble’ set to burst, and the opportunity for Bitcoin to be used by criminals.
Most exchanges accept payment via bank transfer or credit card, and some are willing to work with Paypal transfers. And most exchanges charge fees (which generally include the fees for using the bitcoin network).
But before we get to tutorial steps, it’s really important to know what we’re getting into. Increasingly I hear from students making mistakes due to rushing into Bitcoin because of all the hype. There’s so much fragmented or misleading information out there. My aim here is to strip it to total basics without putting you off for another 4 years (hopefully).
In my opinion, the best and easiest way to earn Bitcoins is to accept them as a means of payment. If you have a small business, the integration is done quickly and easily. No matter if you have a brick and mortar shop or an online business, no matter if you sell goods or services. You just have to complete the following three steps:
This option gives a little more power back to the users that want it. Buying Bitcoin through other means normally follows in the footsteps of giving up too much information; something that the fundamentals of bitcoin was built on to oppose. Companies like Coinbase, Vault of Satoshi, BitPay and Circle all have to follow business regulations of the countries they operate in, unfortunately making their consumers divulge more and more information. It’s to no fault of their own; they’re operating under regulations based on old technology.
That doesn’t mean that there are no outlets to spend your bitcoin, however, far from it. It’s just that bitcoin volumes at these outlets has generally not met expectations, and by the time you read this, some may have discontinued that option.
The other way to earn Bitcoins from trading is simple speculation. In this case you would buy Bitcoins, wait until the price increases, then sell for a fiat currency. When the price drops again, you buy more Bitcoins and start all over. For this to work out you either need to be very lucky or capable of predicting the future.
The Mt. Gox bankruptcy in July 2014 brought to the forefront the risk inherent in the system. Roughly $500 million worth of bitcoin listed on the company’s ledgers did not exist. In addition to the money that account holders lost, the blow to confidence in the currency drove its global valuation down by $3 billion in a matter of weeks. The system had been established to eliminate the risk of involving third parties in transactions, but the bankruptcy highlighted the risks that exist in peer-to-peer transactions.
Editor’s Note: This page is updated regularly and adds only confirmed major businesses or services currently accepting cryptocurrencies companywide or in specific corporate divisions. Subway, for example, is not on this list because only one store has been confirmed as using it; the company as a whole does not.
Lend directly to someone you know. This allows you to assess personally, whether you regard the borrower as trustworthy. Then the two of you only need to agree on the terms like duration and interest rate and off you go. The drawback is, however, that you probably will not have too many acquaintances who match your amount, duration and interest rate requirements. But it’s a nice way to earn Bitcoins.
Note: The reason that buying Bitcoins with a credit/debit card isn’t available all around is because of chargeback problems that most sellers wish to avoid. So many exchanges need to protect themselves in order to offer this service. But the problem is that not all of them have the technology to do so.
There are some awesome-looking properties showcased on Bitcoin Real Estate. One favorite: the eight-bedroom, six-living-room, seven-bathroom Australian abode recently on the market for the Bitcoin equivalent of $3.5 million.
CoinMama is a large bitcoin brokerage that allows users to acquire coins with their debit or credit cards. The platform issues small fees for transactions. To make up for this, however, the limits for how many bitcoins a user can buy are much higher in comparison to Coinbase. Users can acquire up to $5,000 of coins per day or up to $20,000 per month. All users need to do to use CoinMama is to set up an account, log in, and navigate to the profile page section to fill in personal information.
As a user, you are free to use those Bitcoins using the “private key” to buy a commodity, or make a payment for a service, or send money to a friend or family. These Bitcoins are sent using the “address” of the recipient. Selling Bitcoins on the exchange will earn you its selling amount in the local currency, which can be withdrawn by you.
Before accepting payments in bitcoin, small businesses must first turn on PayByCoin inside QuickBooks Labs and then link a Bitcoin payment processor to their QuickBooks Online account from Company Settings. When a customer chooses to pay the invoice online with bitcoin, the customer is presented with instructions from the linked Bitcoin payment processor to complete the transaction.
“Reduce the friction that so many people – even sophisticated, technology-savvy people – often experience in acquiring and spending Bitcoin. Starting today, people can onboard into a Circle account and begin using digital money within minutes, not days. And Circle eliminates the labyrinth of fees and complex user interfaces designed for traders.”
You can use Bitcoin to deposit funds into your Microsoft account. These funds, however, can only be used to purchase games, movies, and apps in the Windows and Xbox stores; you can’t use them to buy things from the Microsoft online store.
I personally own Bitcoin and also invest a small amount via the online trading platform eToro. We have a great guide on eToro here and reported about a student who’s had success with cryptocurrencies using the platform.
Are you a gadget junkie? If yes, then you’ll be happy to hear that electronic retail giant Newegg accepts bitcoin. Newegg has chosen BitPay as its payment processing partner for the digital currency.
How close is the exchange rate to the global average price found on an index. By comparing a local Bitcoin exchange’s prices to a Bitcoin price index then it is easier to get the best Bitcoin exchange rate.
Your Visa Debit & Prepaid Card will be issued by Contis Financial Services Ltd who is authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority to issue e-money (Firm Reference Number: 900025) and is a member of Visa. Please note the Visa card is an electronic money product and although it is a product regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, it is not covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme. We ensure that any funds received by you are held in a segregated account so that in the unlikely event that Contis Financial Services Ltd becomes insolvent your funds will be protected against claims made by creditors.
Coinality has a different approach by not simply listing jobs where you can earn Bitcoins, but displaying them on a map. This comes in handy when you are interested in a local job somewhere near you. The number of listings could be higher but when it keeps growing it will become more interesting.
Clay Gillespie a writer and reporter for many different platforms across the tech industry. He holds a B.S. in Public Relations from Ball State University, and freelances for different clients in technology and cryptocurrency. For more information, visit his personal website, claygillespie.com.
Bitcoin’s promise is removing all of this friction involved in the verification, whilst also making payments much more secure. You could use your mobile phone to send £20 worth of Bitcoin to the restaurant directly.
Before you buy Bitcoin, you need to download a Bitcoin wallet by going to a site like Blockchain.info, or to a mobile app such as Bitcoin Wallet for Android or Blockchain Bitcoin Wallet for iOS, and filling out an online form with basic details. This shouldn’t take more than two minutes. (Related reading, see: Basics For Buying And Investing In Bitcoin)
Coinbase is the globe’s largest exchange platform. Currently, the platform is fully functional in the United States, Canada, Europe, the United Kingdom, Australia, and Singapore! The platform allows users to instantly purchase bitcoins with a credit or debit card. You simply need to create an account on the platform, confirm some personal details, and log in.
I was on my last ¥1000 (AUD$10) in a ridiculously expensive city with two cancelled debit cards. I purchased Bitcoin from my Australian bank account and with CoinJar, withdrew and paid my bills in Yen. It gave me instant access to my money.
Bitcoin exists in a deregulated marketplace; there is no centralized issuing authority and no way to track back to the company or individual who created the bitcoin. There is no personal information required to open a bitcoin account or to make a payment from an account as there is with a bank account. There is no oversight designed to ensure the information on the ledger is true and correct.