Bitcoin is seen as an investment by many and there are plenty of people hoarding bitcoin who, at this moment in time, don’t want to spend any of it. More and more bitcoin users, however, are choosing to invest a bit and also spend a bit, especially as the number of people who are paid in bitcoin grows around the world.
We’ve done a bit of research into the reasons why people choose to spend bitcoin rather than just hold onto it and discovered some pretty interesting and solid reasons, which explains why we now have over 5,000 customers, many of whom shop with us on a regular basis. Thanks to all of you who have stuck with us so far!
For those of you who are unconvinced about parting with your bitcoin, check out the reasoning below to get a feel for why people spend bitcoin already. Who knows, we might convince you to sign up to Gift Off!
Spend bitcoin to support bitcoin
Bitcoin is supposed to be a currency, meaning it’s supposed to be used in exchange for goods and services. Die-hard bitcoin supporters who believe in the technology and understand its benefits, as well as seeing that it makes sense for, at least, the online world to have its own currency, know that to drive adoption of bitcoin, it needs to be used for the purpose for which it was built.
Those who have gone out of their way to do this from the early days have been so crucial for demonstrating that it does and can work as a currency. This not only encourages other users to try it out for shopping, it also starts to develop pressure on retailers to accept bitcoin as a form of payment.
Use your bitcoin investment to buy something for nothing
This seems to be something a lot of you are doing and definitely something we have managed to do too. For those who are paid in fiat, they might have invested a bunch of money in bitcoin, sat back and watched it grow. Then they buy a house and need to kit it out with some really nice furniture, but they don’t want to take out credit and instead use the bitcoin they’ve made off their original investment for this big, out-of-the-ordinary purchase. They now have a beautiful home all paid for with bitcoin, without taking any fiat out of their usual salary, without getting into debt and without losing their original bitcoin investment, which has the potential to make that money back again, over time.
They’ve essentially got something for nothing. This also works really well for small purchases like Steam wallet codes. If you make a few quid on bitcoin, you have some extra cash to fund your hobbies without it impacting on your day-to-day finances.
I wonder if a lot of people are investing birthday and Christmas money into bitcoin, then using what they make on it to buy fun stuff they otherwise couldn’t afford.
You need to spend bitcoin when your finances change
Some people invest in bitcoin because they love the technology and it’s inspired them to do something with their money. Then, finances change and you actually just need to spend the bitcoin that you have saved up. This can happen to the best of us, but particularly for students, when getting in debt tends to be the name of the game rather than saving. Been there, done that, got the credit card bills to prove it.
Rather than cashing it out, Gift Off has such a big range of gift cards these days, it can actually be easier to just spend the amount of bitcoin you need, at the times when you need it.
Bypass the banking system
There are many reasons why people want to get out of the fiat system of banking. For many it’s ideological, perhaps being interested in libertarianism, perhaps having disdain for the lack of transparency, responsibility and regulation in the current system or simply to just avoid various bank charges. Anonymity has also been an important factor for using bitcoin. A lot of people dislike having to give so much personal data just to complete a simple, online transaction. In a world where privacy is hard to come by, this is an increasingly important idea for a significant group of individuals.
From looking around at different opinions online, it seems a lot of people do still get pretty hefty bank charges for moving money between accounts, not to mention it taking days before a transfer is complete. Whereas bitcoin will be cheaper and instantly available, so in some situations bitcoin might be a much more practical option, perhaps for big purchases like holidays, laptops, furniture, etc.
Spending bitcoin is fun
When you’re really interested in the technology behind bitcoin, you might just feel compelled to give it a proper go and see what it’s like to make a purchase online with bitcoin! Bitcoin has huge potential, the blockchain even more so and for anyone excited by tech and futurology, it’s fun to feel like you’re involved, like you’re trying something new before the rest of the world, that you’re in with a group of people who have spotted something exciting that’s going to shake up a lot of industries.
There is definitely something fun about this for us, otherwise Gift Off wouldn’t exist in the first place!
Getting paid in bitcoin means it’s easier to spend bitcoin than GBP
Increasing numbers of people are getting paid in bitcoin. This can either be through your regular salary at work or as a freelancer. Freelancers are doing more and more work globally, rather than just locally as the technology to communicate and co-ordinate work remotely, improves. Because of the low-cost associated with transferring bitcoin across the globe, many freelancers are seeing this as a sensible option for receiving payments.
When you’ve actually been paid in bitcoin, it then seems silly to instantly cash it all out into GBP when there are now quite a lot of options for just spending your bitcoin directly… especially with Gift Off! With us, people who are paid in bitcoin can do their weekly food shop, book holidays and travel, get all their clothes, purchases for the home, gadgets, meals and drinks out, pursue hobbies, buy gifts, go to the cinema, stream or download music, tv and film, go to the theatre and loads more. So, whilst you might have to cash out your rent and bill payments, you can leave your spending money in your bitcoin wallet and just use as needed!
Spend bitcoin and get rewarded
This is something that’s going to get more important over time. As retailers get to grips with bitcoin, they may make savings because the processing fees can be much cheaper. Retailers will in turn be able to offer incentives to customers who pay with bitcoin. When this becomes more popular, we’ll see the adoption rate increase and it might even be enough to encourage others to spend some of their investment.
If you can get it cheaper with bitcoin, why would you use fiat? Well, that logic will hold true for people who value a bargain at least. This is also something we’re working on at Gift Off, so stay tuned for developments on this front.
Spend bitcoin at a wider range of global retailers
Because bitcoin isn’t limited to one particular country, retailers who ship goods around the world have a good incentive for accepting it as a form of payment: it will make it easy to take payments from anywhere in the world, without having to process a different currency from every country.
Again, this is something that’s going to build momentum and drive adoption of bitcoin. For customers this will mean having more choice and the possibility to get a lot of bargains! I remember a few years back wanting to get my hands on Japanese and Korean fashion, but nowhere in the UK was selling any of it, except one stall at Camden Market. If I’d had a combination of Google Translate and bitcoin, I’m pretty sure I’d have been indulging in a lot more clothes shopping than I otherwise did.