Can You Live on Bitcoin?

More and more people are joining the Bitcoin revolution and it’s no surprise why.

Bitcoin, which is arguably the most popular cryptocurrency today, has been proven to be a valuable investment to make.

Not only are there countless of benefits to using cryptocurrency, Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have also been dubbed as the “money of the future”.

If you’re wondering how it’s like to invest on Bitcoin, then you should go ahead and give it a try.

But of course, not without doing extensive research about it first.

You’ll soon find out during your research that some people have actually started living on Bitcoin.

Curious how this works?

In this article, we’ll discuss the possibility of living using this cryptocurrency.

Countries that Accept and Don’t Accept Bitcoin

Of course, before you can start living on Bitcoin, you need to know first if the country where you’re based accepts this cryptocurrency.

United States

In the United States, Bitcoin is generally accepted. But the government is working day in day out to minimize the use of Bitcoin for illegal business transactions. The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network under the U.S. Department of Treasury has been releasing guidelines on how to use Bitcoin since 2013. Bitcoin is not yet considered a currency in this country but is defined as a “money service business”. In the Internal Revenue Service, it falls under the category of property when it comes to taxation.

Canada

Another Bitcoin-friendly country is Canada. This is as long as this cryptocurrency is not used for illegal transactions and money laundering. It is considered by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) as a commodity, which means that all Bitcoin transactions are perceived as “barter” transactions. Any income from these transactions is referred to as business income. Like the US, Bitcoin exchanges are also considered “money service businesses”. It is under the scrutiny of the anti-money laundering laws. Any Bitcoin exchanges done in Canada should be registered with the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (FINTRAC). And if there is any suspicious dealing, it should be reported to the authority immediately. Take note, however, that some Canadian banks have forbidden the use of their debit cards or credit cards for buying Bitcoin.

Australia

In Australia, Bitcoin is considered a currency. This country allows the buying, trading, and mining of Bitcoin. Many view Australia as one of the leaders in cryptocurrency. Its crypto tax laws are said to be more lenient than that of others. It is also one of the countries in the world that have the highest Bitcoin trading volumes.

Malta

Malta is a Southern European country is where Binance, the biggest crypto exchange in terms of volume, has its main headquarters. It is said to have favorable legislation for cryptocurrencies. In fact, it does not have any laws in crypto taxation as of the moment. But it has formed the Malta Digital Innovation Authority to oversee the crypto businesses and transactions in the country.

Bermuda

Bermuda, a small island in the Caribbean, is another country that accepts Bitcoin. It has light taxation policies that cover Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. It seeks to attract crypto-based businesses but is regulating the transactions in order to prevent illegal transactions. It created the Bermuda Monetary Authority to regulate the business of virtual currency.

Switzerland

One of the most prosperous countries in Europe known for its banking privacy and neutral stand in politics, Switzerland is also a Bitcoin friendly nation. In fact, it is where major crypto companies like Xapo and Shapeshift have set up. The Swiss town of Zug has become known in the country as the “crypto valley”. The country now has progressive crypto laws, even accepting Bitcoin as a form of payment for utility bills.

Slovenia

Like Switzerland, Slovenia is also a country located in Central Europe. It accepts Bitcoin as payments. Bitstamp, one of the most well-known crypto exchanges, was launched in this country back in 2011. Take note that in this country, Bitcoin is not taxed as security or money. Instead, individuals are taxes according to the value of the crypto at the time of its purchase.

Singapore

Singapore is a country in Southeast Asia known for its advanced development. It has been described many times as the world’s “most technology ready country”. The Singaporean government considers Bitcoin as a form of goods, and not as currency. Any individual or business that transacts using this cryptocurrency is required to pay the Goods and Services Tax (GST), which is currently at 7 percent.

Japan

Japan also welcomes Bitcoin as a form of payment for many products and services. In fact, this is where you’ll find the first ever Bitcoin exchange known as Mt. Gox. Bitcoin’s inventor even has a Japanese alias Satoshi Nakomoto. This country is one of the first to embrace the use of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. It is also the first country in the world to approve Bitcoin and make use of it as legal tender.

Germany

Another European country that accepts Bitcoin is Germany. It accepts Bitcoin as a currency but it has been working to impose more stringent rules on its taxation. Berlin, the capital of Germany, has been called many times as the “Bitcoin Capital of Europe”.

If you are a resident of any of these countries, then yes, it’s possible to live on Bitcoin.

However, if you live in any of the countries in the list below, then Bitcoin use for your daily expenses is not yet possible.

Bitcoin is banned in the following countries:

  • China
  • Russia
  • Vietnam
  • Bolivia
  • Colombia
  • Ecuador

Merchants and Companies that Accept Bitcoin

After you’ve determined which countries can let you live on Bitcoin, the next thing you have to know is which merchants will accept Bitcoin as payment.

Here’s a list of companies per category that will let you pay with your cryptocurrency.

Food

Who can’t live without food? This is the first concern of people who are thinking of using Bitcoin to cover their daily expenses. It’s imperative to know which food merchants are accepting Bitcoin to pay for your orders.

  • Bitcoin Coffee – Started in 2016, this coffee shop offers the best in premium and organic coffees. It is named as such as it offers Bitcoin as the primary mode of payment.
  • Subway – Some Subway branches have started to accept Bitcoin payments for their “eat fresh” food products.
  • Lieferando – Lieferando is the biggest food delivery service in Germany that now accepts Bitcoin through BitPay.
  • Domino’s Pizza – This is one of the pizza restaurants that operate under the PizzaForCoins, a service that facilitates the use of cryptocurrency as payment.
  • Burger King – Some Burger King branches in the world have authorized Bitcoin as a form of payment.
  • Eat Me Bangkok – A favorite Asian restaurant in the United States, Eat Me Bangkok now accepts Bitcoin from its customers.
  • Asian Bistro – Another popular Asian fast food restaurant in the US, Asian Bistro is also a favorite among Bitcoin users.
  • Bombay Bistro – Bombay Bistro is a fast food in Austin, Texas where people can pay their orders with Bitcoin using Menufy.           
  • Bamboo Bistro North – At this restaurant, you can also pay with Bitcoin using Menufy.
  • One Stop Coney Shop – One Stop Coney Shop in Michigan is well known for its burgers and quick eats. It has also started to accept Bitcoin from its customers.
  • Joya – Joya is one of the restaurants in Canada where you can pay your food with Bitcoin.
  • Streamrollers – Popular for their burritos, Streamrollers located in Vancouver, Canada is another place where you can issue Bitcoin payments.
  • Pangea Bakery Café – At Pangea Bakery Café in California, you can appease your hungry tummy when you bring in your Bitcoin digital wallet.
  • MexiCali – When you’re in Massachusetts, one of the places where you can dine using Bitcoin is MexiCali. Here, you can order any of the popular Mexican dishes—nachos, tacos, enchiladas, chili and quesadillas.

Of course, you won’t be eating in restaurants everyday. You’ll be glad to know that in the United States and many other countries, Bitcoin is now accepted as payment in groceries and supermarkets.

Utilities

Aside from food, utility bills are another major expense that eat up your income.

Here’s a list of platforms that you can use so you can pay your utility bills with Bitcoin:

  • Welto.io – Welto.io is a platform that enables people to pay their utility bills directly with the Bitcoin cryptocurrency. It has a $300 payment limit as well as a 2 percent transaction fee.
  • Bill Pay for Coins – This is another reliable platform that you can use to pay your bills with Bitcoin. It partners with many payment processors that will get the payment directly from your Bitcoin digital wallet. The registration takes a few days to complete but it’s worth it in the end as this lets you pay not only your utilities but also your loans, taxes and even your credit card bills. Transaction rate is only 1.99 percent.
  • Coinsfer – One of the oldest and most effective Bitcoin payment processors is Coinsfer. This is one of the few that allows you to set up recurrent payments so you don’t have to worry about missing any payment. But be prepared to pay a higher fee of 7 percent for each bill that you will pay for. The minimum is $20. This can be reduced to a flat rate of 5 percent if you avail of its subscription plan. This platform is only available to American users.
  • Living Room of Satoshi – This crypto bill payment platform can be found in Australia. The best thing about this service is that it is integrated with the Australian BPAY bill system. With this platform, you can pay for all your bills including your electricity, phone, internet and gas. It also provides a 14-day transaction history record so you can check your payments.

Education

You’d be surprised to know that there are now colleges and universities that accept Bitcoin for tuition fee payments.

Here are some of them:

  • University of Cumbria – The University of Cumbria is one of the first educational institutions in the world to accept Bitcoin and other digital currencies as an option for paying for tuition fees.
  • European School of Management and Technology Berlin – This well-known school in Berlin, Germany allows its students to enroll with certain educational programs and degrees using Bitcoin as paymet.
  • King’s College – King’s College is a popular university in New York, which is one of the first in the United States to accept Bitcoin tuition fee payments.
  • University of Nicosia – Another accredited university that now accepts Bitcoin is the University of Nicosia.

Entertainment

What is life without entertainment? It’s good to know that you can now pay Bitcoin for entertainment facilities such as theaters and cinemas such as the following:

  • Major Cineplex – In Thailand, Major Cineplex is one of the biggest theater chains. Moviegoers can now buy their tickets using Bitcoin.
  • Lionsgate Films – Lionsgate Films is a famous Hollywood studio that produced many blockbusters including Hunger Games and Divergent. It now works with GoCoin to accept Bitcoin payments.
  • AMC Theaters – AMC Theaters are known for being the second biggest theater in North America. You can now watch from any of its branches using Bitcoin as payment.

Insurance

Many people prefer to avail insurance to protect themselves and their financial assets. Some of the insurance companies that now allow the payment of Bitcoin for purchasing insurance premiums include:

  • Innovation Insurance Group – You’d be surprised to know that this insurance company does not only accept Bitcoin as payment, it can also insure your Bitcoins and other cryptocurrency assets.
  • INGUARD – INGUARD is a widely used insurance company that started to accept Bitcoin payments since 2013.
  • CoverYou – This insurance company covers smart phone and other tech gadgets. It now accepts Bitcoin as payment for insurance premiums.

Real Estate

Buying a house is not something that you do everyday. It’s not something that can be typically considered as a daily necessity. But everyone needs a shelter, which is why real estate companies that accept Bitcoin as payment has been included in this list:

  • Glen Oaks Escrow – A real estate company that you can find in Southern California, Glen Oaks Escrow purchase Bitcoin payments using BitPay.
  • Real Estate Maximums – This one is a popular real estate company in the United States and Canada. It has started to accept Bitcoin payments from its clients.
  • Brookliv – Brooklive is a real estate brokerage based in New York that has started to process Bitcoin as payment since 2018.
  • Kuper Sotheby’s International Realty – In 2017, this real estate company has begun accepting and processing Bitcoin payments from its customers.
  • ManageGo – ManageGo is an online rental payments system where you can pay Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency for your rent.

Gas Stations

To keep your car running, of course, you’ll need gas. So where do you get gas if you’re only using Bitcoin? Here are some of your options:

  • CoinFueled – This company allows the purchase of gift cards using digital currencies like Bitcoin so that car owners can buy gasoline at any of the leading gas stations in the United States and Canada without having to pay for cash.
  • Oilfield Intel LLC – This one is a leading provider of gas based in Austin Texas. It now allows its customers to pay for gas using Bitcoin through Coinbase.

Using Bitcoin Debit Card

One of the most convenient ways to live on Bitcoin is to make use of a Bitcoin debit card.

A Bitcoin debit card is just like “plastic money”—convenient, easy and fast. But you need to know what exactly it is and how it works.

What is a Bitcoin Debit card?

A Bitcoin debit card is one that you can have in the form of a plastic card or a virtual card through your mobile device.

This card functions in any place where Visa and Mastercard are accepted. It is also accepted in major ATMs around the world.

How Does it Work?

There are two ways that the Bitcoin debit card works:

  • Top up from Bitcoin into fit currency
  • Exchange from Bitcoin to fit at point of sale

What is the Benefit of Using a Bitcoin Debit Card?

Many merchants are not yet accepting Bitcoin. But since credit cards like Visa and MasterCard are accepted almost in every major business around the world, you can make easily make use of your Bitcoin debit card without having to worry if the company accepts Bitcoin or not. This is especially useful for business travelers and tourists.

What are the Benefits of Using a Bitcoin Debit Card?

The main benefit is that your Bitcoin value is safe from inflation. It is also highly flexible that you can easily convert your Bitcoin into any fiat currency, whether it’s Euro, US Dollar or something else. Users also love the fact that it’s quick and hassle free. The transaction is also quite low. On top of all these, Bitcoin debit cards allow for private transactions.

How Much Does it Cost?

Bitcoin debit cards come with certain fees, which include:

  • Initial charge – $0.50 to $3 for virtual card, $5 for the plastic card
  • Monthly and annual fees
  • Exchange fees
  • Loading fees
  • Transaction fees for international purchases
  • ATM feees

Although more and more companies and merchants are accepting Bitcoin, it’s important to remember that not every place will accommodate your digital currency. There are still many places where you need actual cash.