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Bitcoin is a hot commodity in the digital world at the moment. The virtual currency is worth over $60,000 per coin right now and is attracting high-risk investors from all across the globe. Due to its growth over the course of 2020 and 2021, many of its buyers treat it as an investment option by’ hodling’ it. Did you know? The word ‘’Hodling’’ is a slang term for the act of holding your cryptocurrency for investment purposes. This word derives from a mistake made in a forum post in 2013 when the writer of the post meant to write that he intended to hold onto his cryptocurrency. Instead of writing, ‘’I am holding’’, he wrote “I am hodling’’. The term is still popular today. Many forget that Bitcoin is really a currency. You can actually buy real goods and services with the funds. In this article, we will explore ten great ways that you can spend your BTC in the world today. While some countries and regions may support cryptocurrencies more than others do, you should be able to spend your Bitcoin no matter where you are in the world. 1. Invest in Alt Coins Once you have joined the world of cryptocurrency, you open yourself up to a whole new digital environment. You can even use your Bitcoin to buy other alternative cryptocurrencies, known as ‘altcoins’. Quick fact: If you sign up and register a crypto wallet at most regulated exchanges, you can manage all your crypto-to-crypto trades yourself from your mobile phone or desktop device. For instance, XRP is outperforming Bitcoin at the moment. To hitch a ride on that currency’s current climb, you can simply opt to trade some of your Bitcoin holdings for the equivalent value of Ripple on your favourite crypto exchange platform. The process is both fast and simple. 2. Visit Bitcoin Restaurants and Fast Foods More and more retail vendors are looking to the blockchain to expand their markets in a time where crypto technology is flying high. This trend is quite evident in the United States and certain European countries. Currently, BTC hodlers can purchase coffee from Starbucks with Bitcoin by using the Bakkt or SPEDN apps on their mobile devices. But don’t stop there, use SPEDN to shop at coffee shops such as Caribou Coffee, Jamba Juice, and Baskin Robbins. Did you know? On May 22nd 2010, a man by the name of Laslo Hanyecz agreed to purchase two pizzas for 10,000 Bitcoins. While that didn’t equate to much money back then (about $41), the same purchase today would be worth over $600 million. The day goes down in the annuls of history as Bitcoin Pizza Day. When it comes to fast food, selected Subway outlets will accept your BTC currency. In the Netherlands and Germany, you’ll even be able to purchase food from Burger King with your Bitcoin holdings. 3. See the World When travelling the world, why not use a borderless currency to make your travels more convenient. This way, there’s no need to pay foreign exchange costs and other associated fees on travel fares and the like. You can now use Bitcoin to pay for your hotel accommodation and your air tickets. Cheapair.com was the first-ever travel agency to accept BTC for air tickets in November 2013 – talk about a company with a vision for the future! Expedia.com, a world-renowned trip advisor and travel agency, also now accepts Bitcoin payments. It doesn’t stop there though. There are many other travel brokers of this sort that will help you circle the globe with your crypto investment. 4. Play Video Games Riding a rallying bull trend in Bitcoin is an exciting prospect for adults, but perhaps what the currency can buy for you is a more rewarding prospect for our kids. Microsoft has been accepting BTC for its online Xbox store for seven years now. Quick fact: Multi-billionaire director of Microsoft, Bill Gates, does not own any Bitcoin of his own and has taken a neutral stance on the currency. While that is a fact, he and his company have surely seen the potential it can bring to the retail end of the business. After a short pause in accepting BTC when it became extremely volatile after 2017, you can use it to purchase Xbox credits again. This way you can get your hands on all your and your kids’ favourite video games with the profits you made in the digital asset’s latest rally. 5. Buy Your Web Domain Intending to open a new business thanks to the money you’ve made on Bitcoin? Well, use the currency to buy your website domain and hosting and get cracking right away. Did you know? Crypto-related web domains often carry great value. Many of these virtual currency domains have become prime real estate and sell for up to seven figures. NameCheap is a large progressive online company that deals in the brokerage of internet domains and offers web hosting and internet security certificates to an international customer base. The company’s willingness to accept Bitcoin as a form of payment for their services truly shows that they have a grasp of the future. 6. Purchase NBA Game Tickets The National Basketball League is one of the most progressive sporting leagues in the United States. The league has a long history of being the first to embrace innovations in technology. As such, it was also one of the first to move forward with cryptocurrency. Various teams, like the Sacramento Kings and Dallas Mavericks, have already accepted ticket sales to their games since 2014 and 2019, respectively. Nowadays, some of the teams have even broadened their views on crypto and accept various other altcoins, too. 7. Buy NFTs - Including Art and Other Collectables The non-fungible token (NFT) market is booming right now. Digital artwork, sporting memorabilia, and other virtual trinkets from famous stars are fetching good money on various blockchains (often associated with Ethereum). Did you know? Beeple’s digital art piece known as "Everydays: The First 5000 Days," sold at a Christie’s auction in March 2021 for a whopping $69 million. It currently holds the world record for the most expensive piece of digital artwork ever sold. Artwork and collectables from famous entities and stars are usually auctioned off to the highest bidder, while sports cards and other memorabilia are sold through retail vendors online. The NBA partnered together with Top Shots to sell unique digital mementoes from the league. The initiative became a multi-million-dollar success within a few months. There is no better way to purchase these new digital assets than with digital currency. Use your Bitcoin to fund your purchases today. 8. Transfer Funds to Your Family & Friends The days of sending wire transfers to friends and family on the other side of the globe are over, thanks to the wonders of Bitcoin and blockchain technology. Now you can fund another Bitcoin wallet within minutes without paying any additional foreign exchange costs. All you need is the recipient’s Bitcoin address to complete the task. Your friend or family member can then either use the BTC to buy what they needed at a supporting vendor or exchange the crypto for the native currency where they stay. Even with conversions to fiat currency, the funds will be available in less time than it would take for an EFT or wire transfer to clear. 9. Support Charities There is an old adage that says: ‘’It is better to give than to receive.’’ If you are of the same opinion and are someone who enjoys giving to charities and welfares, then you are in luck. Some of the top charities and NGO organisations, like Green Peace and the Red Cross, accept offerings in Bitcoin. By sending them virtual funds, it cuts out excessive withdrawal fees on the charity’s side too, making sure that they get all the funds you intended for them without losing any fees to trusted third-party brokers like banks. 10. Explore Online Gambling This next Bitcoin spending option falls right within our expertise at GamblersPick. There are a tremendous number of online crypto casinos available for those who would like to use their Bitcoin to play their favourite online casino games, like slots, roulette, blackjack, poker, and more. You can even bet on your favourite sports nowadays. Did you know? There are numerous Bitcoin casinos that offer games made with Provably Fair technology. This software allows players to see the coded algorithms for each game round, making it possible for the casino to prove that each hand or spin is random and fair. For a list of the most trusted cryptocurrency casinos which hold our community’s stamp of approval, be sure to use one of our top-rated Bitcoin casinos.
The recent months have been an absolute feeding frenzy for new and old Bitcoin fans alike. The granddaddy of all cryptocurrencies made headlines by skyrocketing in value to around the $40,000 mark. After an expected settling into the mid to high thirties, the decentralised coin received another boost a few days ago when electric-vehicle company Tesla purchased $1.5 billion worth of Bitcoin ahead of its announcement that it would begin accepting the cryptocurrency as payment for its products. This move by Tesla saw the currency surge another 16% to peak at an all-time high of $44,795. Amid all the positive press coverage Bitcoin and its altcoin peers are currently receiving, there has been very little discussion of the recent concerns raised by reports of double spending and its impact on cryptocurrencies. At the time that double spending was brought to the public’s attention, Bitcoin saw an immediate 15% loss, a fact that has been whitewashed by celebrity tweets and now Tesla’s big investment. Are Bitcoins Infinite? At the outset, it is worth noting that Bitcoin is not an infinite resource. Much like any other precious commodity, the value of the virtual coin is based on its perceived scarcity and user perception of worth. When Satoshi Nakamoto created the blockchain-based coin he limited its scope to 21 million units. Once all 21 million Bitcoins have been mined there will be no new coins added to the Bitcoin ecosystem, at that point all that will happen is the circulation of existing coins. It is theorised that at the beginning of 2021 approximately 2.5 million Bitcoin remained out in the wild. More importantly, there will never be the full 21 million coins in circulation given that millions of early coins are stuck in wallets where passwords have been lost or owners have passed on without leaving behind the means to access their wallets. This reality of lack raised concerns over whether or not Bitcoin is adequately equipped to combat an activity known as double spend. What is a Double Spend Attack? As the name of the action denotes a “double spend” or “double spend attack” is when a technically savvy Bitcoin holder is able to spend the same Bitcoin more than once. The most like form of double spend that will successfully bypass the verification processes inherent to the blockchain is known as a “51% attack”. This is when 50% or more of a particular series of transaction ledgers is processed by one user. This would allow them to process transaction to multiple wallets and then reverse them before they can be locked into the blockchain ledger – essentially allowing wallets to receive Bitcoin while the originating account never loses the coins it sent. However, the larger the Bitcoin user base grows the more unlikely it becomes for a single user to be able to control in excess of 50% of the computing power that processes a string of transactions. Is Double Spending Illegal? The challenge of a decentralised cryptocurrency like Bitcoin is that it actively resists being boxed into existing frameworks. On the positive end this has created a free, fair and anonymous currency that is not at the behest of local governments, however on the flip side it has led to the coinage being used to process illicit transactions. Looking at existing banking regulations the practice of double dipping is absolutely illegal. A transaction requires the passing of an asset from one user to another in return for another asset. In this case the buyer transfers their Bitcoin in return for a service or product. In the case of a Double Spend Attack there is additional value added to one end of the chain while none is deducted from the source account. The US Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) covers the intentional actions of such bad actors under its regulations addressing “fraud and related activity in connection with computers”. The criminal case would assume that it is illegal to: “... knowingly cause the transmission of a program, information, code, or command, and as a result of such conduct, intentionally cause damage without authorization, to a protected computer.” In this case injecting false and/or duplicate Bitcoin into the cryptocurrency’s blockchain-based ecosystem would be deemed as damage. Doing so currently holds a penalty of 10 years in jail and fines to be determined by a court of law. All that is required to trigger this penalty is the attempt to violate a CFAA statute where the loss incurred could be $5000 or more. With Bitcoin values resting around $40,000 BTC violating the $5000 minimum loss trigger of this criminal statute is almost a foregone conclusion. Does Bitcoin Solve Double Spending? The short answer is yes it does. Given the size and momentum of Bitcoin’s network it is highly unlikely that a real 51% double spend attack will be possible. By timestamping groups of transactions and saving them to the blockchain across multiple nodes Bitcoin is protected from having single transactions added and removed at the rate needed to trigger a true double spend attack. While BitMex did report on a potential Double Spend on block 666,833 in January 2021 market analysts do not consider it a real 51% attack based on the fact that no new coins were added to the blockchain. In this instance a user tried to speed up an existing transaction by resending it with a higher fee cap. Rather than new transaction replacing the original one the network processed both transactions, however the one was sent to an active chain and the duplicate was sent to a stale (also known as invalid) chain. In this case the blockchain only recognises one of these transactions, hence the duplicate being stored on an invalid chain. This way it is able to keep an accurate record of all posted transactions without the risk of adding false coins to the network. While double spend attacks are theoretically possible it is very unlikely to be see one occurring in relation to Bitcoin. This is not however necessarily true of smaller altcoins who due to their limited size could fall foul to unscrupulous users who gain the required 51% processing power needed to abuse the system.
The biggest name in the cryptocurrency game is Bitcoin, so much so that in many cases the word “bitcoin” has become synonymous for the entire industry. However, the cryptocurrency ecosystem is an incredibly interesting industry which has been built on an innovative codebase known as the Blockchain. We won’t get into the weeds with this code base other than to note that it is what makes cryptocurrencies virtually impervious to hacking, promises zero server downtime and ensures you can remain anonymous while exercising full control over your funds. Four Noteworthy Cryptocurrencies With more than 1000 cryptocurrencies on the market we have simplified matters by focusing on 5 intriguing non-Bitcoin cryptocurrencies. Join us as we delve into what makes them both unique and potentially the next big breakout coin. ✓Ethereum (ETH) – Smart Contracts Ethereum is a well-known name in cryptocurrency circles, mostly for being the Pepsi to Bitcoin’s Coca Cola. What is less commonly known about Ethereum is where it secures its value proposition? Unlike Bitcoin which sees its value-driven by public awareness and scarcity, Ethereum generates its value from how useful it is to its users. Ethereum allows its users to perform credible transactions with buyers and sellers via smart contracts. These smart contracts use secure code to ensure the transactions in question are secure and will be honoured by both parties. Ethereum stands to see rapid growth once corporations become familiar with the benefits and features of doing business on the blockchain. The cryptocurrency has positioned itself as the one to work with once smart contract adoption hits the mainstream. ✓Litecoin (LTC) – Fastest Transactions There is very little to differentiate Litecoin from Bitcoin when looking at its basic setup. This is not unexpected given that Litecoin is considered a ‘hard fork’ of BTC, having been built using the same basic premise. Where Litecoin does shine however is in the cryptocurrency evangelism and technology adoption. Created by ex-Google engineer and creator of Coinbase, Charlie Lee, the cryptocurrency showcases the latest in blockchain development using its own algorithm for mining and requiring different hardware to other mining solutions. It is this constant dedication to speed, data security and enhancement that allows Litecoin to be the fastest processing coin on the market, showing up to 75% faster transaction speeds than Bitcoin. Charlie Lee is also an outspoken supporter of cryptocurrency adoption and works to educate the public and corporations of its benefits through the non-profit Litecoin Foundation. ✓Ripple (XRP) – Banking Pioneers Where most cryptocurrencies see themselves as leather jacket-wearing rebels, Ripple has taken a more mature approach to growing its user base. The bulk of its growth was achieved by partnering with more than 300 existing financial institutions. Their financial infrastructure is called Ripplenet, and by partnering with the likes of American Express, Bank of America, HSBC, Siam Bank, Nium, Moneygram and many others they have access to a limitless user base that literally crisscrosses the entire planet. These users are also the recipients of the faster transactions and lower costs offered by a virtual coin network. Another unique feature of Ripple is that while the cryptocurrency does use a ledger system like Bitcoin and its peers the coinage does not require traditional mining to be performed to acquire it making it cryptocurrency that does not come with massive power bills associated with crypto-mining. ✓Dash (DASH) – Traceless Transactions Dash lives up its name by being a virtual currency which offers lighting fast transaction speeds of 1 second, across more than 4300 global merchants. For those looking to interact with Dash as an investment item, it can be traded on more than 260 exchanges around the world. While all blockchain-based cryptocurrencies offer users the safety net of anonymity, Dash has taken that promise one step further. Rather than keep a transaction history – which would allow a third party to track your digital movements - Dash does not publish your transaction data to the blockchain. This added layer of security is proving popular with users, which sees them process more than 20,000 transactions daily. This transaction limit could see a sharp increase in the near future as Dash readies to launch the new DashPay Wallet for both Apple iOS and Android. Honourable Mentions During our journey through the weird and wonderful world of altcoins, there were several that caught our attention but did not seem poised to become big names in the industry. That is not to say that they do not serve a niche audience, check out our runners up to see if any of these meet your needs. USD Coin – While not a decentralised cryptocurrency in the true sense this is a virtual coin based on the value of the US Dollar. It could very well the way to transact on a daily basis should the fiat banking world do away with paper money. Dentacoin – One of the many niche coins which use Ethereum as its base, Dentacoin is the first virtual currency targeting the dental profession. With the coin, users can pay for care, earn rewards and even trade the coin on a participating exchange. Sexcoin – Where there is money there is sex, as the internet has proven over and over again. Established in 2013 Sexcoin aims to become to the go-to virtual coin for all your adult needs, everything from hiring a dancer to tipping your favourite camgirl. Let us know if you have any interesting altcoins that you feel have the potential to blow up in the future.