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0 minsPublished on 12/20/2023

How to pay with Bitcoin: A guide to paying with Bitcoin and crypto

Want to use Bitcoin and crypto to pay for goods and services? Read our guide to learn how to pay with Bitcoin in crypto payments.

By Corey Barchat

How to pay with Bitcoin: A guide to paying with Bitcoin and crypto

When Bitcoin first launched in 2009, you'd have been hard pressed to find a merchant that was willing to accept cryptocurrency as a payment method. Besides the odd pizzeria accepting Bitcoin, you could only send crypto from one wallet to another.

As digital currency has grown in adoption since then, so too has the number of merchants and businesses willing to accept Bitcoin and other crypto in exchange for goods and services.

According to Deloitte, there are over 2,350 businesses in the US that accept cryptocurrency for transactions (and this figure doesn't even include Bitcoin ATMs), with this number expected to keep growing in the future.

An image of a pizza with the Bitcoin "B" logo in the middle.
In 2010, one customer paid 10,000 BTC for two pizzas (Image source)

Whether you want to pay for a new car with Bitcoin, or use stablecoins to purchase a T-Shirt, or charge your customers in Ethereum, there's never been an easier time to start paying with Bitcoin and other crypto.

But how can you use cryptocurrency to pay for goods and services, and why is it beneficial to other payment methods?

This guide explores how to pay with Bitcoin, and the differences it has with traditional payments.

Basics of using Bitcoin and crypto for payments

Before deciding whether paying via Bitcoin is right for you, it's important to understand this payment method type.

1. Security

Crypto payments are verified by the blockchain, a public ledger that records all transactions with 100% transparency. Bitcoin transactions are also pseudonymous, meaning they are linked to your crypto wallet address instead of your identity. 

2. Transaction fees

Paying with crypto will also allow you to save on transaction fees associated with traditional payment methods, such as credit card processing fees. Digital currency and Bitcoin payments may be subject to separate fees.

3. Global

Bitcoin transactions can be made across borders without the need for currency conversion or intermediaries.

4. Simple and accessible

Bitcoin is available to anyone with an internet connection, opening up opportunities for those without access to traditional banking services. 

5. Decentralization

Bitcoin operates on a decentralized network, meaning no single entity or government has control over it. This makes it more insulated against political and economic fluctuations, which may be an incentive for merchants to accept crypto in addition to fiat money.

How to acquire Bitcoin

To pay with Bitcoin, you need to first acquire some. 

But before acquiring Bitcoin, you'll need a digital wallet to store your digital currency. There are various types of crypto wallets, such as custodial and non-custodial, hardware, paper, and more. Each has its own set of advantages and security features, depending on users' specific needs.

Don't have a Bitcoin wallet? Read our handy wallet guide to get started.

MoonPay makes it easy to buy Bitcoin using a credit card or debit card, allowing you to send your digital currency directly to any non-custodial wallet address. You don't need to go through extraneous steps on multiple platforms or wait around for days while your funds settle on a cryptocurrency exchange. Just instant crypto purchases.

How to pay with Bitcoin

Now that you’ve acquired Bitcoin and have it safely stored in your wallet, let's explore some methods available for making payments in crypto.

1. Pay a merchant who accepts crypto payments

Some businesses and online retailers now accept Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency as a form of payment. To pay a merchant that accepts crypto, follow these steps:

  1. Checkout: When making a purchase on the merchant's website, select Bitcoin (or another cryptocurrency such as Ethereum) as your payment option during the checkout process.
  2. Generate payment address: The merchant will provide you with a unique Bitcoin wallet address or a QR code. This address is where you'll send your Bitcoin payment.
  3. Send payment: In your wallet, select the option to send Bitcoin and enter the provided wallet address and payment amount. Be sure to double-check the wallet details for accuracy, as funds sent to the wrong address will not be able to be recovered.
  4. Confirm transaction: After confirming the transaction, the Bitcoin network will process it. Depending on network traffic and activity, this typically takes anywhere from a few minutes to an hour.
  5. Payment confirmation: Once the transaction is confirmed, the merchant will acknowledge your payment, and your order will be processed.

2. Make a peer-to-peer (P2P) payment from your wallet to another wallet

If you want to pay someone directly using Bitcoin, such as a friend or family member, you can make a peer-to-peer payment directly to their crypto wallet. Here's how:

  1. Get the recipient's address: Ask the person you're paying for their Bitcoin wallet address. This is usually a long string of letters and numbers that can be copied or sent via QR code.
  2. Initiate the payment: In your wallet app, select the "Send" option and enter the recipient's Bitcoin address and the amount you want to send to them.
  3. Review and confirm: Double-check the transaction details to make sure you are sending to the correct address. Confirm the payment to transfer Bitcoin.
  4. Transaction processing: The Bitcoin network will process the transaction. Depending on network traffic and activity, this typically can take anywhere from a few minutes to up to an hour. It will be confirmed once verified on the blockchain.

How to pay with crypto other than Bitcoin

While Bitcoin is the most popular cryptocurrency and has the highest market cap among all digital currencies, there are numerous alternatives—often referred to as altcoins—that you can use for payments. Some popular options include Ethereum (ETH), Tether (USDT), USDC, Litecoin (LTC), and Bitcoin Cash (BCH).

An image of several cryptocurrency logos, such as Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, and Ethereum.
You can pay with crypto using many tokens, like Bitcoin, Ethereum, and more

Although merchants may be more likely to accept Bitcoin than altcoins, some may only accept non-Bitcoin tokens. For example, some merchants may prefer stablecoins such as Tether or USDC.

To make a payment with a cryptocurrency other than Bitcoin, simply follow the steps outlined above, making sure to select a compatible wallet for your chosen crypto token.

Buy gift cards with Bitcoin and crypto to use anywhere

If you prefer to use Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies for everyday purchases, you can always buy gift cards that are accepted practically everywhere by retailers and online platforms.

There are several websites and apps that allow you to purchase gift cards with Bitcoin. This can be a useful alternative to paying with crypto directly.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs) about paying with Bitcoin and crypto

Which cryptocurrencies can I use to make online purchases?

While Bitcoin is the most widely accepted token, the number of cryptocurrencies accepted for purchases is growing. Before making an online purchase with crypto, you should check with the merchant to see which cryptocurrencies they support. Some popular alternatives include Ethereum (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), Tether (USDT), USDC (USDC), and Bitcoin Cash (BCH).

Where can I pay with cryptocurrency?

You can pay with cryptocurrency at various online and offline establishments, including:

  • Online retailers
  • Travel booking platforms
  • Charities
  • Restaurants
  • Coffee shops
  • E-commerce stores
  • Gift card providers

The acceptance of cryptocurrency is continually expanding, so it's always a good idea to check with the specific merchant.

Who accepts Bitcoin as a payment option?

Specifically, there are many brands and companies that accept Bitcoin and cryptocurrency to receive payments. Here are a few:

 List of applicable companies subject to change.

Can I donate using Bitcoin?

There are many charitable organizations and non-profits that accept crypto for donations. Here are some to consider:

 List of applicable organizations subject to change.

What can I buy with cryptocurrency?

You can purchase a wide range of products and services with cryptocurrency, including:

  • Electronics
  • Clothing
  • Food
  • Gift cards
  • Airline tickets
  • Hotels
  • Digital goods
  • Entertainment services

Can I pay friends and family using crypto?

Yes, you can send cryptocurrency like Bitcoin to friends and family, just like you would with traditional money transfer or banking apps. So long as you have the recipient's cryptocurrency address, you can easily send them the desired amount in crypto.

What are the fees when paying in crypto?

Transaction fees when using cryptocurrency will depend on conditions like network activity and congestion for the specific cryptocurrency you're using. Ethereum, for example, can have drastically different gas fees based on network traffic at the time of your transaction.

A screenshot of the Etherescan Ethereum Gas Tracker.
You can track Ethereum gas prices on Etherscan (Image source)

Be sure to consider and check the current fees when making payments via cryptocurrency. 

Additionally, some platforms may charge a fee for using their services to make crypto payments.

How can I pay with cryptocurrency if I only have Bitcoin?

If you possess Bitcoin and want to pay with crypto using another token, you can exchange BTC for your desired cryptocurrency.

A screenshot of MoonPay Swaps.
Trade for your preferred tokens with instant cross-chain swaps

MoonPay makes it easy to swap crypto such as BTC and ETH, with many trading pairs available.

Can you pay taxes in Bitcoin?

If you'd like to pay taxes in Bitcoin, you should research your local city, state, or country tax laws to see if this is possible.

Although Bitcoin and cryptocurrency have seen increased mass adoption over the last decade or so, that doesn't mean that digital assets can be used to pay for everything.

There are some cities, states, and countries that have flirted with the idea of allowing residents to pay taxes and fees in Bitcoin and crypto, though until now it has largely been kept to taxes for businesses, as well as individuals that wish to be paid in Bitcoin.

Conclusion: Is it worth it paying in Bitcoin and crypto?

As cryptocurrencies continue to gain acceptance and become more accessible, it's becoming increasingly practical to pay with Bitcoin and other digital assets, making crypto an attractive payments option for both consumers and merchants alike.

However, if you choose to pay with crypto, you should to stay informed about the cryptocurrency market and its latest developments, as well as potential regulatory changes in the web3 space.

If you're considering using Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies for payments, start by opening a secure wallet, understanding how to make transactions (both sending and receiving), and being aware of the fees associated with transacting in your chosen cryptocurrency.

The freedom to spend digital assets on everyday purchases and send money across borders with ease are but a few of many compelling reasons to explore this exciting new financial world for yourself.

Start your crypto journey with MoonPay

Now that you know how to pay with Bitcoin and cryptocurrency, it's time to experience it for yourself.

With MoonPay, it's easy to buy Bitcoin, Ethereum, and 100+ other cryptocurrencies using a credit card, bank transfer, Apple Pay, Google Pay, and many other payment methods.

Just enter the amount of crypto you wish to purchase and follow the steps to complete your order.

Sell crypto easily

MoonPay also makes it easy to sell crypto like Bitcoin for select digital currency when you decide it's time to cash out your holdings.

Simply enter the amount of cryptocurrency you'd like to sell and enter the details where you want to receive your funds.

Corey Barchat
Written byCorey Barchat

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