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Where Can You Spend Your Cryptocoins?

Source: iStock/TARIK KIZILKAYA

One of the questions we're asked most by people new to the world of cryptocurrencies, or people considering buying coins, is "how can I spend cryptocurrencies?" More often than not, cryptocurrencies are viewed as speculative ventures, with the emphasis on keeping hold of your assets and watching them appreciate in value.

While it's true that the global infrastructure governing cryptocurrencies of all kinds is still being developed, there are many ways in which you can spend your coins on goods and services. It's a bit like online shopping was, before Amazon began to dominate: there are a lot of smaller, independent players in the market for your money, and they require judicious sifting to get to the truly helpful providers. Here are some of the most popular sites you can visit if you want to spend your cryptocurrencies.

Cryptoallowed
We all have a natural tendency to ask Google any question we may have. However, if you were to ask Google how to spend your cryptocurrencies, you would have to scroll through thousands of barely-relevant results, because the information out there is so disparate. Cryptoallowed is a very basic-looking site, but it is effective and very easy to use. Type in what you want to spend your cryptocurrency on, and you'll get a feed full of useful results, with likely a few alternatives for each transaction you might want to make.

Spendabit
Spendabit focuses on webshops that accept bitcoins, though it may be that some of its search matches will also take other currencies - you need to check this on a site-by-site basis. Nonetheless, for anything you would care to search on, results are easy to find.
I went as specific as I dared, typing in the name of an artist whose records I wanted to buy - Leonard Cohen - and got plenty of reasonably-priced results. I then tried the same thing for a garden rake, thinking that results might be thinner on the ground - if you'll excuse the pun. Instead, there were many of search matches, mostly from Overstock, but also from competing sites. I was able to filter by price, then head to the individual merchant to complete my purchase.

Overstock
This is the is closest to an Amazon of the cryptocurrency retail world. If you thought buying cryptocurrency was something only for financial speculators, you need to look again.
A random browse shows that you can purchase everything from a frying pan, right through to men's gym clothing. The other really great thing about Overstock is that they don't just take Bitcoin. Ethereum, Litecoin, Monero and a whole host other currencies are also accepted.

Expedia
Expedia has gained a deserved reputation for making the process of booking a trip as painless and pleasurable as possible. Currently the site takes Bitcoin transactions through its partner Coinbase.
A slight issue is that only Expedia Hotels takes Bitcoin transactions, meaning that you can book a room for yourself or your business, but not other aspects of the trip, something that somewhat negates the convenience of the end-to-end service you can normally get on the site.

Shopify
Sites like Shopify have been powering ecommerce for the smallest and most independent of producers for years now, and that's why the platform has grown so much. Whatever you make, create or produce, Shopify can help, and has a series of customizable themes.
Shopify has accepted bitcoins since 2013, and claims to accept "almost any currency", though whether or not your particular cryptocurrency can be used in a sale depends on which third-party payment processor the vendor is using.

Geekorama
We had to include this one. The word 'geek' has stopped being an offensive term in recent years, thanks to the massive popularity of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and of superhero movies in general, plus the return of Star Wars.
This store, run by and for pop-culture fanatics, offers everything from Japanese anime action figures to Pacman pillows. Whatever you want, bitcoins are accepted for payments on Geekorama, and other cryptocurrencies may be accepted in due course.

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Namecheap
One of the global leaders in domain and hosting services for websites, Namecheap is a supporter of the cryptocurrency community. You can pay for any service offered by Namecheap using Bitcoin.

Purse
Earlier on we talked about how Amazon doesn't take cryptocurrencies as payment methods, but that's not strictly true; not if you're willing to exploit a perfectly legal loophole to get your desired item.
Purse.io gives both you and the Amazon Gift Card holder the chance to gain from a transaction, by matching your Amazon order with a Gift Card holder, who them swaps the value of his Gift Card for your bitcoins. The end result is that you get 5% discount on the face value of the Amazon item, and the person on the other end, who wanted to cash in his Gift Card, gets some bitcoins to spend, save, or invest. You can get a bigger discount by setting up a Wish List on Amazon. There are simple instructions on how to use Purse, and the whole transaction is safe, secure, and seamless, as if you were shopping on Amazon in the first place.

Luckygames
There are hundreds of online gaming sites accepting some form of cryptocurrency, but we wanted to mention Luckygames because, although most of the crypto-enabled sites permit the use of bitcoins in their poker and casino rooms, Luckygames has probably the widest range of cryptocurrencies open for use of any such site. These include BlackCoin, CLAMS, DigiByte, DigitalCash, and Dogecoin in a choice of over 30 supported cryptocurrencies.
As for the interface itself, Luckygames offers five categories of game, Balls, Dice, Roulette, Cells and Hacker. At the time of writing, more than BTC 12,000 had already been won on the site.

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