Using Bitcoin to pay and get paid is easy and accessible to everyone. Many people who just hear about Bitcoin ask “well how do you actually use it?”. That’s a tough question to answer since Bitcoin is just like “normal” money. So imagine if I were to ask you “How do I use dollars?” However, since a lot of the people who come to this site are new to Bitcoin I decided to write a quick start guide on how to use Bitcoin, so here goes.
Before you can use Bitcoin you need to get a Bitcoin wallet
Setting up your first Bitcoin wallet is simple. There are several quality mobile, desktop, and hybrid wallets available.
Just like you need some sort of software to send and receive emails (e.g. Gmail, Outlook), you need a Bitcoin wallet to be able to use Bitcoin. A Bitcoin wallet is a piece of software that allows you to send and receive Bitcoins. One of the things the Bitcoin wallet will provide you with is your Bitcoin address.
A Bitcoin address is what you give to people who want to send you Bitcoins (just like you’d give an email address to someone who wants to send you an email).
Now let’s get some Bitcoins
Once you have your Bitcoin wallet and your Bitcoin address all you are missing are some Bitcoins. There are many ways you can buy Bitcoin today. Depending on the payment method you’d like to use and the Bitcoin exchange you choose the cost will vary. Remember that you can also buy less than one Bitcoin if buying a full Bitcoin is too expensive for you.
If you use reversible payment methods (i.e. buy Bitcoins with a credit card, Paypal, etc) you’ll usually pay much more in fees than if you use irreversible methods (i.e. wire transfer) due to the risk you pose to the seller.
Once you have your Bitcoins you can start using them.
How to actually use Bitcoin?
Starting to use bitcoins can be exciting because it is a new technology. Bitcoins can be used to purchase just about anything you want. Dental services, a brand new car, travel and even luxury real estate.
We recommend searching the Bitcoin merchant directories below to locate the merchants you are interested in. You can buy gift cards with bitcoin and shop easily at most of the stores you already use.
Bitcoin Merchant Directories
Airbitz – Find bitcoin friendly merchants near you and online
Open Bazaar – A decentralized marketplace
Coinmap – Find bitcoin friendly merchants near you
Purse.io – Get discounts greater than 20% on Amazon.com
One of the best things to buy with Bitcoin is virtual private network (VPN) services to keep your Internet traffic safe, secure and private. We put together a comprehensive list of VPNs you can buy with Bitcoin.
Another tool many people like to buy is a Bitcoin debit card which enables people to load a debit card with funds via bitcoins.