What can you buy with Bitcoin?
Bitcoin is the talk of the town, but where can you spend it? We've gone around the houses to see what you could buy with Bitcoin today.
We've already covered the big questions like 'what is Bitcoin?', 'how does Bitcoin work?' and 'why is Bitcoin so popular?' in our Bitcoin tutorial.
In this article, we dig a little deeper to discover what you can buy with Bitcoin and what shops actually accept it as payment. There are more places that accept cryptocurrency than you may expect!
9 places to spend Bitcoin
These are the places that accept Bitcoin:
If you've never heard of Gift Off you may be wondering why we've put them right at the top of this list. But trust us – it's not without good reason.
While it's fair to say that most major retailers in the UK don't accept Bitcoin, it's also fair to say that most do offer gift cards and vouchers. And that's where Gift Off comes in.
Gift Off sells gift cards for pretty much every retailer and service that offers them, and does so at face value. But, crucially, it accepts Bitcoin and other forms of cryptocurrency as a form of payment, which means you can use your Bitcoin to buy vouchers for Amazon, ASOS, Spotify, Uber... basically any and every popular retailer you already shop with.
In fact, they also sell Love2shop vouchers, which themselves can be spent at well over 100 different stores. So, pretty much every base is covered!
So while it's not a direct way of being able to spend Bitcoin in your day to day life, using Gift Off to buy vouchers with Bitcoin is as close as you'll get until the major stores start accepting the cryptocurrency themselves.
Weirdly, airBaltic only accepts Bitcoin as payment for what they call 'GREEN' and 'GREEN plus' tickets (the two cheapest of their four ticket types) – not especially useful if you're a Bitcoin millionaire who wants to travel in style.
But let's focus on the positives: airBaltic has flights to most European nations, and even goes to parts of the Middle East, too.
Plus, according to airBaltic, they cherry-pick their very best flight deals to post on their website, and their website only. So, it seems you may only have to part with a small portion of your Bitcoin fortune when you book your flights with airBaltic.
If airBaltic isn't flying to where you want to go, or you need to book some accommodation too, head over to Travala.
Travala allows you to book hotels and flights all over the world using a whole range of cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin.
Helpfully, when you're browsing the site, you can even change the default currency, so you'll know exactly how much Bitcoin you'll be spending on your trip. And Travala doesn't just sell flights and accommodation – activities are available too, meaning you could end up paying for an entire holiday with Bitcoin.
The former CEO of Overstock, Patrick Byrne, is a huge advocate of cryptocurrencies, and it was on his watch that Overstock became the first major retailer to let customers buy products with Bitcoin.
In fact, in early 2019 the company even announced that it was set to pay a portion of its business tax using Bitcoin.
Again, although Newegg is a lesser-known brand, you shouldn't let that put you off using their services. Especially since it's yet another shop that accepts Bitcoin.
The online retailer sells all kinds of tech, from games consoles to student laptops, hoovers to coffee machines, and everything in between (with some clothes in there too).
To pay with Bitcoin, all you have to do is decide what you want to buy and then complete the payment process.
A VPN (Virtual Private Network) helps you browse the internet securely, which is especially important if you use public WiFi. On top of that, a VPN allows you to watch geo-blocked content on streaming sites such as Netflix.
NordVPN is one of the best VPN providers out there, and you can use it on pretty much any operating system (even your phone). And best of all, they let you pay with Bitcoin (even after you use their free trial or student discount).NordVPN's free trial is a great way to test the service before committing financially, but they're not the only one! We've listed the best free trials for you.
If you're after something unique, Etsy is the place to go. It's an absolute treasure trove of bespoke and homemade goods, and some sellers have gone one step further by accepting Bitcoin as payment.
Not all Etsy sellers accept Bitcoin (in fact, we'd go as far as saying that the majority don't) but if you want to know if someone accepts Bitcoin, just check out their profile. Under payment methods, someone who has listed 'Other' may be open to accepting it.
Also note that it's not an official option provided by Etsy itself. You'll have to contact the seller and complete the transaction through another (but still totally legit) service.
Fancy sharing the Bitcoin love? Rather than spend your cryptocurrency on yourself, you can now donate it to charity.
Sadly, not many charities accept donations in the form of Bitcoin, but one of the few that does is the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI).
According to the RNLI, 92% of their income comes from donations, and most of their lifeboat staff are unpaid volunteers. So why not put your Bitcoin towards a good cause and donate it to the RNLI?
Nothing (and we mean nothing) has done more to help students write essays than Wikipedia.
We know that lecturers insist that it isn't a legit source of information, but at the very least Wikipedia is a life-saver when it comes to giving you a rough idea of what you're writing about, and which sources are worth looking at.
What's more, like the RNLI, Wikipedia owes its existence to the generosity of the general public, and now accepts Bitcoin donations. After everything it's done for you, a small Bitcoin donation is the least you can do for Wikipedia.
The risks of Bitcoin
Now, before you go off and start splashing your digital cash, just remember that using Bitcoin comes with its fair share of risks.
The value of Bitcoin can rise or fall by thousands of dollars in a day, and as such, some retailers that have previously accepted Bitcoin have now decided to stop.
Such is the volatility of the cryptocurrency, our list of retailers that accept Bitcoin may be incorrect by the time you're reading it. That said, it was 100% accurate at the time of writing, and we'll do our very best to keep it up-to-date!
For a full-blown introduction to the biggest cryptocurrency going, check out our main guide to Bitcoin.