When discussing the outlook for bitcoin, we tend to focus exclusively on prices and trends at this point. We look at it as an investment, and this has certainly proven to be the most sensible way to think about cryptocurrency. Now and then though, it's also a good idea to check back in on where bitcoin stands as an actual form of money.
More specifically, for those who are still interested in bitcoin as an alternative form of payment, where are some places to spend it? There are actually more answers than you might think, but these are a few areas to start with in 2019.
This is clearly a very broad suggestion, but it's a simple truth that your best bet for spending bitcoins is typically to look for a shop that accepts them (and provides whatever specific product you're looking for) online. A few large, well-known stores like Overstock and Newegg are widely known to be friendly to crypto users, but you also have at least a decent chance of finding a smaller internet retail option if you're looking for something specific that one of those stores doesn't carry. Basically, it's always at least worth looking around for a bit.
Not a whole lot needs to be said but that there are numerous sites and services that sell gift cards for popular stores, and which allow you to buy said gift cards with bitcoin. Clearly this makes the eventual purchase of goods a bit of a two-step purchase, but there are still uses for it. For instance, if you'd simply like to deal in bitcoin because you believe it will become more normalized, this can be a way of using it in the meantime. Additionally, if you aren't high on bitcoin but you have some and you're looking to spend it, buying up gift cards isn't a bad option.
This is an area a lot of people might not think of because it doesn't involve the direct purchase of goods. However, it's become one of the most promising spaces for bitcoin spending. Among the trusted and verified betting sites hosted in New Zealand and in some cases Australia, there are popular options relying on a lot of different payment methods for user deposits. The ones most frequently highlighted are PayPal, credit card services, and things of this nature, but if you look around, you can also find some smaller sites that accept bitcoin. This is still a fairly new development, so it's not unreasonable to expect some of the leading sites to follow suit in time.
The Red Cross, Greenpeace, and even some smaller political parties are among some of the non-profit organizations known to accept bitcoin. For that matter, Wikipedia is also on the list, and there are some smaller companies working on things like providing water to communities in need that will also take cryptocurrencies. Altogether these examples make it fair to say that charitable giving is a legitimate outlet for those who would like to use their bitcoin more like regular money.
In an era in which people are increasingly concerned about digital security, VPNs (virtual private networks) are getting more and more popular. For those who many not be familiar, a VPN is basically a software program that allows you to take advantage of public WiFi networks while maintaining better security; it establishes a private network for you within the existing infrastructure of the public one, essentially. And as it turns out there are several VPNs you can pay for with bitcoin. This makes a certain sense, as the very concept of bitcoin - that of ensuring encrypted, anonymous payments - should appeal to the same people who would prefer to use private networks. But it's still nice to know that there are specific examples through which this has become a reliable area in which to spend cryptocurrency.