People usually buy cryptocurrencies for investment, but it is not a requirement that you have to trade Bitcoin. Bitcoin can also come in handy for travel or everyday life. Many eshops and land-based merchants accept this virtual currency as payment.
Bitcoin (BTC) is the most widely used digital cryptocurrency. It was created in 2008 and is not controlled by any world government. Bitcoin is freely exchangeable and each transaction is recorded in a public ledger called a blockchain (which guarantees anonymity). The payment itself is then made almost instantly.
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Bitcoin has a limited supply of 21 million coins – there will never be more coins in circulation. The last bitcoin is expected to be mined around 2140.
A unit of bitcoin is referred to as a coin (1 BTC) and has 8 decimal places. The smallest unit is unofficially called a satoshi. This is one hundred millionth of one bitcoin (0.00000001 BTC).
How to Pay with Bitcoin
Bitcoins can already be paid for on many e-shops, for example in the USA. And not only e-shops. One of the most famous companies that are accepting bitcoin are Microsoft, Overstock, Twitch, PayPal, Rakuten, CheapAir and Tesla. You can add Bitcoin to the Starbucks app as a payment. You can also play games in bitcoin on many igaming platforms.
In addition, dozens of stores are adding more every day. An e-shop can have payment set up as one of the payment methods. Then you just need to copy their BTC receiving address for your goods and confirm to send the amount. Services like BITPAY will then convert the bitcoin payment they receive in the terminal at the current exchange rate into the local currency.
Small shops, for whom this method can be complicated, also solve this by, for example, emailing you their BTC address, you send bitcoins to it, and the address essentially serves as a variable symbol. The merchant and the customer can track the movement of BTC publicly on the Blockchain, for example.
The easiest way to find out where to pay with Bitcoin is to use the so-called bitcoin map. This online or mobile app shows shops and restaurants that accept bitcoin. Some of the most well-known one is map.bitcoin.com.
Bitcoin as an Official Currency
The very first country, which accepted Bitcoin as an official currency, was El Salvador. Before the actual introduction of bitcoin as an official currency in El Salvador, the government purchased 400 units of cryptocurrency worth US$20 million.
After bitcoin became El Salvador’s official currency, a decline in value soon followed; it depreciated by around 19% in 24 hours. The second-largest cryptocurrency, Ethereum, also suffered a decline.
However, the Salvadoran government took advantage of this recession by making another bitcoin purchase: this time it was 150 bitcoins for around $7 million.
Surveys of Salvadoran citizens have shown that there are many opponents of this controversial decision. Around 1,000 people even gathered in the capital to express their opposition in the form of a protest.
El Salvador is not the only country in the world that will have Bitcoin as an official currency. Another one could be the Kingdom of Tonga. It wants to push for a decentralized currency for its people, following the example of El Salvador. Lord Fusitu’a, a former member of parliament, has come forward with the information. According to him, it would “copy” a procedure that has proved effective in the case of the aforementioned El Salvador.