When the prospect of cryptocurrency was first crafted, it was accompanied by a hefty sum of interest as to what the technology could provide. That was over a decade ago, and the world has since embraced a new kind of financial freedom. But more than just an investment tool, did you know you can pay bills using cryptocurrencies?
The fundamental idea of the original cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, was peer-to-peer electronic payment medium that did not force individuals to rely on a banking system. Now, the relevance of Bitcoin is such that it can be utilized to pay for goods and services. Are a plethora of cryptocurrencies actually viable options to pay your bills?
Making payments with cryptocurrency
With the thought of purely investing aside, making payments using something like Bitcoin is as accessible as it has ever been. Although a self-custodial wallet is preferable for safety, entities exist to orchestrate the transfer. Cryptocurrency exchange platforms, like Binance, streamline the process of exchanging fiat to cryptocurrency and vice versa.
Setting up a wallet would be the first step to paying bills using cryptocurrency. Finding a wallet that stores your various cryptocurrencies is as simple as a little web browsing. Understanding the cryptocurrencies you hold and what kind of wallet you prefer allows you to select the best option amidst the plethora of online and hardware wallets at your disposal.
A simple check on a company’s website will allow you to see which businesses accept cryptocurrencies as a form of payment. There are countless entities that have adopted blockchain technology to accept digital currencies. Amazon even accepts the likes of Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Cardano.
Bills you can pay with cryptocurrency
With the recent introduction of payment processors like BitPay, cryptocurrency holders have an easier time than ever using digital assets to pay for their expenses. Rental payments, mortgages, and utility bills can now accept payments with tools like a crypto debit card. The payment processor essentially converts cryptocurrency into fiat for banks that do not yet directly accept cryptocurrency as a payment option.
The widening and mainstream acceptance of cryptocurrency has had the biggest impact on these payment endeavors. Subsequently, companies like AT&T allow payment of bills using cryptocurrency. Additionally, various companies allow their charges to be paid directly from a cryptocurrency wallet.
Who accepts Bitcoin?
Although there are hundreds of viable cryptocurrencies in the market, there is no denying Bitcoin is the biggest by market capitalization. Moreover, as the most well-known digital asset, it has become the most readily adopted by some of the largest companies on the planet.
Entities like Microsoft, Wikipedia, and Shopify.com all accept BTC as a viable payment resource. One of Microsoft’s most successful companies, Xbox, even allows various purchases through various Bitcoin outlets.
Yet, the most accessible method of utilizing Bitcoin for bill payments is using a Bitcoin-specific credit card. The card operates just like a preloaded debit card; it is loaded with the BTC you own. Therefore, when the card is used, the cryptocurrency is converted to make the specific payment to the vendor.
Furthermore, getting a Bitcoin debit card is done in a couple of different ways. Either a user can access one from exchanges that offer it, or they can acquire one through credit card companies like Mastercard or Visa. The latter, for example, features a Shift Bitcoin Debit Card, which links to their account, and is accepted almost universally.
Bitcoin bill payment services
Finally, there are various companies that work on behalf of their customers to make purchases using BTC. One of the premier companies is Coinsfer, which accepts Bitcoin to pay for bills and products. The process sees buyers send the desired purchase to Coinsfer, who then calculates the cost in BTC, and the order is then executed.
It is always important to ask various vendors and merchants if they accept Bitcoin as a viable payment. Home Depot, Twitch, Microsoft, Whole Foods, and Overstock are all well-known brands already accepting the currency. So, you may be surprised at the answer.
Moreover, paying directly with Bitcoin eliminates the need for outside entities, and thus eliminates the service charges you may expect. Conversely, cryptocurrencies’ mainstream application is still young. But with states like Colorado accepting BTC for tax payments, the widespread applicative uses will only continue to expand
Pros and cons
Although it is becoming easier to pay bills using cryptocurrency, like anything, it has its pros and cons. The greatest advantage making payments using cryptocurrency is the obvious one and tied to cryptocurrency’s greatest advantage of decentralization. A peer-to-peer blockchain network allows financial freedom without government oversight. Additionally, you only need an internet connection to have access to cryptocurrencies and payment methods all over the world.
Conversely, some blockchain networks charge fees to make transactions, increasing the overall cost. Also, the lessened regulation makes the use of cryptocurrency one with risk. Hence, if finances are lost, it is highly unlikely to see them returned. Finally, the entire cryptocurrency market can be volatile, which makes the ever-changing prices a concern.
Still, there is no denying that making bill payments utilizing cryptocurrencies is a viable option for anyone with a cryptocurrency wallet. This trend should only become more prevalent in the coming years.