About a month ago I wrote about my decision to take the plunge and ditch my bank account to go all Bitcoin. I got a bunch of responses, mostly either telling me I’m crazy or wishing they were hardcore enough to quit banking cold-turkey like I did. Among the dozens of questions I received was the big one, likely the very issue holding back cryptocurrency lovers and central banking haters alike from dumping the banks for good: how do you pay for stuff if very few places take Bitcoin these days?
Now, there are some places that take Bitcoin directly, especially in New Hampshire. Purse.io allows you to buy anything off of Amazon.com for 5% or more off with Bitcoin, which covers an enormous spectrum of stuff, including some groceries and gas cards, meaning you can fill your car up on Bitcoin. For most of the rest there are gift card services that take Bitcoin for instant gift cards you can use at chains all over the country. For everything else there’s Bitcoin debit cards.
Today, I got coffee by test-driving my new Wirex Bitcoin debit card. Works great, the same as using a normal debit card, except I load it up with Bitcoin instead. Technically, the service takes Bitcoin and converts it to dollars on a prepaid card. Practically, it’s a card that can be used anywhere and runs on Bitcoin, where you can instantly send cryptocurrency and have funds available to use.
For the casual cryptocurrency user, Bitcoin debit cards are a service that can’t be easily shut down that allows you to hold Bitcoin instead of paper money, allowing a break from banks with no loss in user experience. For the hardcore anti-banking activist, it’s that safety blanket to give you the courage to go all Bitcoin, knowing you still have a backup. For the world in general, it’s like a nicotine patch, helping the people quit the addictive, but harmful, drug that is central banking without the cold-turkey shock. Go get yourself one.