What is bitcoin being used for today?


Satoshi’s magnificent discovery


Bitcoin was brought into our worlds via a design paper titled “Bitcoin – A Peer to Peer Electronic Cash System” that was written by a mysterious person named Satoshi Nakamoto. However, this wasn’t the first attempt in creating a secure online currency. The first ever attempt at creating this online currency happened in 1998 when people tried to invent B-Money and Bit Gold. These currencies were never really fully developed so it wasn’t continued. People had to wait 11 years for the first working online currency: bitcoin. It wasn’t apparent then, but the invention of bitcoin and blockchain would send shockwaves into the future of money.

In 2009, the first block was also mined (with people calling that block “The Genesis Block” or “Block 0”). Also in 2009, bitcoin received its first exchange rate. Back then, people didn’t know what the value of bitcoin really was, so they computed the exchange rate by using the electricity consumption that a computer used to generate bitcoin. The rate was then valued at 1 USD = 1,309.03 bitcoins… oh, how the tables have turned with the skyrocketing of that value in 2017.


The first ever bitcoin transactions


Bitcoin’s first recorded transactions were between Satoshi Nakamoto and Hal Finney (a developer and cryptographic activist). This transaction was recorded a year after the invention of bitcoin. In regards to what the transaction was for, it remains as mysterious as bitcoin’s creator.

There’s also that story of the legendary bitcoin pizza purchase. If you don’t know it, a person actually bought 2 Papa John’s pizzas for 10,000 bitcoins. For 2 pizzas that might have been worth around $25 at the time, that person paid what could have been worth millions of dollars by now.

Nowadays, bitcoins can get you almost anything on the internet with hundreds of thousands of bitcoin transactions happening every 24 hours… but more on that later.


Illegal bitcoin uses


Back when bitcoin wasn’t as mainstream as it is today, it was mostly used for underground purchases which meant… illegal purchases. According to an article on bitcoin.com, 90% of bitcoin transactions in 2013 went to arms deals, terrorist acts, trafficking, and other illegal activities with the rest of bitcoin transactions (10%) going to those just speculating price. Since then, the ratio has then flipped and now only 10% of bitcoin transactions are for illegal activity. Most exchanges and marketplaces are now implementing Know-Your-Customer/Anti-Money-Laundering (KYC/AML) laws to make cryptocurrency trading more transparent and in turn, safer for users. Although some people may want to keep their privacy, these laws are implemented to make it safer for everyone.

The high percentage in legal use for bitcoin is a good sign for bitcoin as it shows maturity as a currency. This shows that bitcoin is starting to become a currency we can all use for the betterment of society. Just look at what Paxful is doing with their #BuiltWithBitcoin campaign. Instead of it being used for illegal activity that can harm the world, it’s becoming a saving grace that could benefit underdeveloped countries or countries with a struggling economy.


Outlandish things you can get with bitcoin


When I said you could get almost anything with bitcoin nowadays, I wasn’t lying. The things you can buy with bitcoin range from a gift card at Walmart to a ticket to outer space…. yes, outer space. Virgin Galactic is a space exploration company that will accept $250,000 worth of bitcoin in exchange for a roundtrip ticket to infinity and beyond.

If outer space isn’t quite your style then maybe you can spend a bit less for a shark-shaped two-person submarine. Valued at $100,000 worth of bitcoin, the Seabreacher can take you to the depths of the ocean in style. The submarine can go over 20-25 mph underwater and over 50mph on the surface.

If you don’t want to travel at all and you’re looking for something to spruce up your living room, then you’re in luck! There are some pretty exotic things out there that could truly spruce up your living room, like ancient wooly mammoth tusks. Someone in Vancouver is accepting $175,000 worth of bitcoins for these ancient decorations. Get em before someone else does!


More practical uses for bitcoin


On a more serious note, you can buy daily items like coffee or eat at a good restaurant with your bitcoins. More stores and restaurants are accepting bitcoins for their products and services. Subway, for example, has a few branches where bitcoins are accepted. There are even online restaurants that will accept your bitcoins.

Another alternative is to buy gift cards with bitcoin and use those gift cards to buy whatever you want. For example, if you buy iTunes gift cards with your bitcoins, you can then use those gift cards to buy songs on iTunes or buy Apple products. If you’re a gamer, you can buy PlayStation Network or Steam gift cards. If you want any general products, you can buy Walmart gift cards to use it at the nearest Walmart. You can even buy Amazon gift cards to use for any online purchase you want.

The accessibility bitcoin has to gift cards is what makes peer-to-peer bitcoin marketplaces like Paxful ideal for bitcoin enthusiasts. Paxful specializes in gift card trading and could be useful if you want to buy something with your bitcoins. It’s also a safe and easy way to buy bitcoins, which means that if you have gift cards that you’re not going to use, you can look for great deals on Paxful to trade those gift cards for bitcoins. I highly recommend Paxful if you’re looking to trade gift cards.

Trading gift cards have become revolutionary because it allows people to buy virtually anything with their bitcoins. Although if gift cards aren’t your style, you can also buy cryptocurrency with PayPal, bank transfers, or any of the 300+ payment methods available on Paxful.


The evolution of bitcoin’s purpose


When Satoshi Nakamoto first invented bitcoin, he wanted to create a new way of a transaction (one without a central authority and one that was peer-to-peer based). However, bad people gave bitcoin a bad reputation by using it for illegal activity. Over the years, bitcoin’s purpose has evolved yet again by showing its true potential – a new form of transaction that cannot only net individual benefits but can also help people in struggling economies by providing protection from inflation and transaction barriers. Bitcoin is believed to be still in its infancy stage and it can take a while for people to embrace the concept of cryptocurrency, but we believe that it’s going in the right direction. Peer-to-peer might just be the revolution that cryptocurrency and the financial industry needs in order to take them to the top.

Now that you know what you can get for your bitcoin, you can go forth and explore the possibilities that you have in your bitcoin wallet.

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