Sometimes, as in the latter months of 2021, that works out. Sometimes, like much of 2022, it doesn’t.
But Bitcoin, the world’s first crypto, wasn’t solely intended to be an investment asset.
It was also meant to offer people an alternative, outside of traditional banking systems, to send money across the world or purchase things without having to resort to fiat currencies.
While you won’t be able to spend your crypto holdings everywhere yet, a growing number of Australian and international businesses are happy to take your Bitcoin or Ethereum in exchange for their wares.
Luxury goods and airfare with your crypto
Market analyst at CoinSpot Lee Daniels highlights five ways investors can spend their digital tokens right now.
First up, luxury goods.
“In early May 2022, Italian high-end fashion label Gucci announced that it would begin accepting cryptocurrency payments at the end of the month in five of its United States stores as part of a pilot,” Daniels says.
And for those looking to buy a high-end car with their crypto, Daniels points out that Tesla Motors (NASDAQ: TSLA) boss Elon Musk is looking into enabling people across world to buy Tesla merchandise with Dogecoin (CRYPTO: DOGE).
Closer to home, in April, CoinSpot signed a partnership with luxury car retailer Dutton Garage. The agreement opened the door for Aussies to buy cars with Bitcoin, Ethereum, and other altcoins for the first time.
The second thing you can spend your crypto holdings on is travel.
According to Daniels:
In May 2022, Emirates joined a number of other airlines who already accept cryptocurrency such as Latvian airline airBaltic, by announcing its intention to add Bitcoin as a payment option and to make NFT collectables tradable on the company’s website.
There’s also global travel agency Expedia, which accepts “Bitcoin to book over 700,000 hotels from the website’s listings, through its partnership with crypto-friendly travel booking platform Travala”.
How many Bitcoin for that coffee?
If you’re not looking to travel or buy a new luxury vehicle, there’s always food and beverages.
“There are a number of Australian-based food and beverage vendors that are now accepting cryptocurrencies such as fast-food and coffee shops in Queensland, Sydney-based cocktail bars and pubs, and cafes in Melbourne,” Daniels says.
He also points out IGA X-press in Bowen Hills, Queensland. The supermarket now allows customers to pay via Bitcoin, Litecoin, or Binance Coin.
And if you’re thirsting for a soft drink and have only cryptos to spend, fear not.
“Amatil, Coca-Cola’s bottler and distributor in the Asia-Pacific region, has enabled cryptocurrency as a method of payment via its partnership with the Centrapay platform,” says Daniels. “As of 2022, there are now over 2,000 vending machines in Australia and New Zealand which are geared to accept cryptocurrencies to pay for drinks.”
Two other ways you can spend your crypto in 2022
It’s no secret that healthcare costs are ramping up in Australia. These are costs that crypto investors sitting on gains could help offset by paying with Bitcoin or altcoins.
“In Australia, there is a wide range of healthcare providers that accept crypto in exchange for services, including Quality Dental in North Sydney and Tamworth Heart Clinic,” Daniels says.
“Some pharmacies such as Lugarno Pharmacy in New South Wales allow customers to purchase vitamins, prescription medicines, cosmetics and more with cryptocurrencies.”
And finally, if you’re willing to travel across the Pacific, you can spend your crypto on sports tickets and merchandise.
According to Daniels:
In the United States, the Miami Dolphins intend to give home game attendees the ability to pay with Litecoin and Bitcoin when purchasing tickets for the team’s 50/50 raffle.
The Dallas Mavericks also accept Bitcoin as a method of payment in exchange for both game tickets and merchandise.
You won’t be able to buy sports tickets in Australia with Bitcoin yet. But Daniels points out, “The AFL recently partnered with Animoca Brands to launch its own NFT [non-fungible token] marketplace.”
It may be the first step, perhaps, to using crypto in lieu of dollars for your entry ticket.