How to spend Bitcoin

Before even getting Bitcoin, therefore, it is necessary to have a wallet: you can create one by downloading the  Bitcoin Core application , free and available for Windows , macOS,  Linux ,  Android, iOS, Windows Phone

How to spend Bitcoin

Although it has already existed for several years, you have heard about Bitcoin quite recently during an edition of the news: I bet you are therefore curious to know  how to spend Bitcoin after obtaining it and if, somehow, such a habit could lead to you. some advantage. I am happy to tell you that this guide can satisfy your curiosity; however, before getting to the heart of the matter, I find it necessary to explain to you what it is precisely.

Bitcoin (or BTC) is a cryptocurrency, i.e. a type of digital currency, which can be generated using the computing power of the computer. It is based on an open source system, does not have centralized management (therefore there are no entities that control its traffic or value), and can be exchanged through peer-to-peer operations, without intermediaries: consequently, Bitcoin is to be considered an anonymous and untraceable currency.

This does not mean, however, that it can only be used in trades that have very little legal status, on the contrary: it is possible to make payments absolutely in order, through the aforementioned currency, not only in stores on the Internet but also in some physical Italian stores! Do not you believe it? Then read on: I'm sure you will be amazed by what you are about to discover!

Preliminary operations

As mentioned above, Bitcoin is a currency not managed by any central body, whose management is based on an open source peer-to-peer mechanism. Just to be clear, it is not possible to "keep" this type of currency centrally, but it must be done through a  purse , or  wallet , closely associated with the device on which it is created. In other words, losing the Bitcoin wallet is like losing a physical purse: the coins it contains are irretrievably lost, without the possibility of recovering them in any way.

Before even getting Bitcoin, therefore, it is necessary to have a wallet: you can create one by downloading the  Bitcoin Core application , free and available for Windows , macOS,  Linux ,  Android, iOS, Windows Phone  and  BlackBerry , directly from the website . Once the program has been downloaded and installed, follow the on-screen instructions to select the folder in which to create the wallet (this is nothing more than a series of files), making sure to create backup copies at regular intervals using the function  Settings>  Wallet Backup , and password protect it using the feature Coin purse encryption , also available in the Settings section.

You can find your receiving address, i.e. the one in which to receive the Bitcoins, by accessing the  File> Receiving addresses section (or using the appropriate button in the smartphone and tablet apps).

Once you have created a purse, you can fill it in two different ways: the first consists in the direct generation (in mining jargon ) of Bitcoin, while the second involves the purchase of cryptocurrency from third party services.

Wanting to go into detail,  mining is the procedure for creating Bitcoin after performing complicated mathematical operations, carried out using the central processor of the computer ( CPU ) or its graphics processing unit ( GPU ): however, these are extremely complex processing, that take advantage of a large amount of computing power. This means, in practice, that to mine Bitcoin you need to have extremely powerful and cutting-edge CPUs and GPUs, and these, when fully loaded, involve a very high expenditure of energy.

Do you find this somewhat inconvenient? I can't blame you, and this is precisely the reason why, over time, several services have emerged that allow you to "lighten" this task and start mining procedures through distributed processing (ie calculations performed in parallel on several computers together): these are defined as  Bitcoin  Mining Pool , and allow you to mine Bitcoins by working with several computers at the same time, while everything is orchestrated by specific software.

Just to give you some examples, Slushpool  is a well known Mining Pool; among the most used software for distributed mining, however, the BFGMiner program , compatible with Windows, macOS and Linux, should be mentioned. If you need further clarification regarding Bitcoin mining, I invite you to consult my specific guide on how to obtain Bitcoin .

If the mining procedure is not your thing and you are looking for an easier way to fill your wallet, know that there are online services that allow you to buy Bitcoin : worthy of note is certainly  Bitstamp , which allows you to buy digital currency from others. users of the site intending to put it up for sale. To register, all you have to do is go to the dedicated web page, click on the  Register item , fill in the form with the required data and finally press the  Register button .

Afterwards, all you have to do is confirm your account via email, as explained during registration, and go to the  Buy / Sell section to complete the validation of the necessary documents (it may take up to two days); completed this phase, you will not have to access the aforementioned section and click on the  Buy Bitcoins item to immediately start buying virtual currency. You can find more detailed instructions on this procedure in my guide on how to buy Bitcoin .

How to spend Bitcoin in Italy

Now that you have a clear understanding of how to get the virtual currency and how to store it, the time has finally come to understand  how to spend Bitcoin in Italy . As I mentioned at the beginning, there are several possibilities to do this: first of all, you can make payments in Bitcoin in a fair amount of physical shops, which you can locate through the  QuiBitcoin and  CoinMap services , as well as obtain prepaid cards to top up on. in Bitcoin, to be spent in euros. Here is all explained in detail.

Physical stores

Although the diffusion of Bitcoin is relatively low, there are physical stores where you can make payments in Bitcoin: to offer this service, merchants must use providers such as  Bitpay  or  Conio , who act as "intermediaries" and deal with converting the currency. in real currency and deposit it on the merchant's account, thus carrying out the actual transaction.

Even if the transaction times can be long and the costs are not really affordable, some Italian physical stores offer this possibility: you can locate them using  QuiBitcoin , a service created ad-hoc to search for merchants who accept payments through the digital coinage in question.

Using the service is very simple: first connect to the dedicated website  (or download the Android app directly from Google Play ), then select one of the appropriate buttons to view the enabled stores. For example, the  Close button allows you to consult the list of shops in the neighboring areas with respect to your position, the  City button provides a search by region and municipality or, again, the Map button displays the shops enabled on a divided map by zone. If you wish, QuiBitcoin can also show you a list of  ATMs  enabled for Bitcoin / euro conversion: you can access them by clicking on the button ATM .

If you are looking for something much faster, however, you can take advantage of : once connected to  the dedicated Internet page , you will have access to a map of Italy in which the activities enabled for payments via Bitcoin are reported.

To access a specific area, all you have to do is locate it and enlarge it with a double click, until you can see the name and location of the store of interest.

Prepaid cards

Imagine having a prepaid card that can be recharged in Bitcoin, but which allows you to make purchases in euros on physical and virtual stores. Does it seem like a dream to you? I can guarantee you that it is not: there are in fact special  prepaid cards that allow you to do what I told you a moment ago. The best news is that some of them also belong to international circuits recognized in many physical stores (for example  VISA ) and can be requested, as well as in virtual form, also in "physical" form (the classic plastic card, for be clear).

You can consult a list of international prepaid cards , compatible with payments in  euros and  designed specifically for Bitcoins, by going to this website : I advise you to pay close attention to the conditions relating to each card, as there may also be management costs or limitations on the number of transactions.

On the other hand, as regards prepaid, debit and credit cards, provided by credit institutions operating in Italy, the situation is constantly changing: although cards such as  Hype  or  PayPal seem to include this possibility, their terms of usage in this regard are rather vague. Before making a decision about it, I suggest you take a careful look at this dedicated forum : you may find some really useful information.

How to spend Bitcoin on Amazon

If you have made it this far, it means that you have well understood all the possibilities of spending Bitcoins in Italy. I am sure, however, that at this point you have asked yourself if it is possible  to spend Bitcoin on Amazon : well, the answer is… ni !

Let me explain: although the rumors relating to payments on Amazon through this cryptocurrency have been going on since time immemorial, it is not yet possible to use them to buy goods in a "direct" way. However, there are Internet sites that allow you to buy Amazon vouchers from other users, paying for them in Bitcoin: this is the case of  Paxful , which allows you to complete the operation in a very simple way through a short wizard preceded by registering for the service. . At the moment, however, it is only possible to buy vouchers to be exploited on Amazon Spain ( ) or Amazon Germany ( ).

Another service that acts as an "intermediary" between Amazon and Bitcoin payments is Purse : the service allows, through a particular internal system, to make purchases on Bezos e-commerce simply by registering and importing your  wish list  (in English  , wishlist ), with the possibility of obtaining a large number of discounts if certain conditions are met.