I meet quite a lot of people who understand the meaning of bitcoin but don't want to pay with it. They are fans of bitcoin, they try to have as much of it as possible, but they don't want to use it to pay for various reasons. This may sound logical to you, but I believe that there is often a flawed reasoning behind it.
There are many reasons not to pay with bitcoin
- Don't know how to account for the transactions or don't want to pay additional taxes?
Changing terms and unfair rules are annoying. I understand if such complications deter you from paying. However, bitcoin was created so that you no longer have to ask anyone for permission.
- No place to pay?
The number of places where one can pay is slowly increasing. But nowadays, I would say it's more of a lack of demand from customers. If this is still the reason, let your merchants know. Look at map and use bitcoin where you can.
- Is it inconvenient?
Using bitcoin is getting easier every day. New tools are being created all the time. However, if you don't feel like exploring different apps or it's too much work for you for some other reason, you may not be ready to pay with bitcoin yet.
- Are you concerned about volatility?
It is not desirable for prices to be fixed, but it is true that too much volatility can be uncomfortable. Sometimes you pay a little more, sometimes a little less. Mentally it can be unpleasant at first, but over time you speculate less and less. Short-term fluctuations are irrelevant in the long run.
- Are you low on bitcoin?
This common problem can be solved, for example, by simply buying more bitcoin.
- Does it cost too much to get bitcoin?
If you save something in bitcoin once in a while, that cost still exists. The only question left is how much bitcoin to acquire.
How to acquire bitcoin for a fixed or even no fee
We often also pay a fee expressed as a percentage from the exchange of fiat for bitcoin. So if you buy more bitcoin, you also pay a larger fee. Figuratively, this fee makes it more expensive to potentially pay with bitcoin. However, you still have several options to avoid such a fee.
- Be paid with bitcoin
Try asking your employer, or find a new job at stacker.news
- Offer goods and services for bitcoin
Whenever you sell something, you can demand bitcoin again. Whether you're settling bills with friends for payment at lunch or offering goods at a marketplace. You can always use bitcoin.
- Try bitcoin mining
If you have spare capital, you can invest in mining machines to earn a regular bitcoin income.
- Find a bitcoiner
Join a community in your area and meet other bitcoiners. You might find a person who already has bitcoin income and will be happy to exchange some of it for you - at least until they can pay everywhere with bitcoin.
- Export for a fixed fee
Similarly, you can vexl with the Vexl app. You can try to demand a fixed-fee exchange so that a larger purchase doesn't represent an additional cost to you.
There are a lot of reasons not to pay with bitcoin, and few people can overcome them painlessly. So in these cases, I can understand why you don't pay with bitcoin.
Gresham's Law is not a good reason to use fiat
But you may have also heard that bitcoin is better than fiat, so you'll save it and get rid of the worse money → i.e. fiat. This phenomenon is known as Gresham's Law, although it was probably first enunciated by Nicolas Copernicus.
I have the impression that this principle has made at least one halving generation a little crazy with the notion of HODL. The idea of HODL is that you don't speculate, play slots and buy shitcoins. It could also be loosely interpreted as
be thrifty. But sometimes you still need to buy something - like food, for example. Under the Gresham's Law interpretation, you should pay with the worst money you have. Such grain could be used to pay, and in many countries it still has a worse ability to hold value than fiat. Still, you'd rather pay with fiat.
Why don't you pay with grain?
Again, you probably have several reasons.
- You don't carry grain with you
Not only do you not carry it with you. First of all, you don't want to store it. You don't even want to speculate on the price of grain. Grain is simply worse money, so you don't want to have it in the first place. Nor do you want to hold fiat if you come to the conclusion that it's worse money than bitcoin. That view doesn't have to be all or nothing. Feel free to have some grain, but don't tell me you want to use it for payment. That only applies in the very short term when you need to get rid of it.
- Traders accepting grain are weird
Even the method of payment can reveal something about the merchant. What would you think of a person today who gets paid in grain? If someone demands an outdated form of payment, you can easily be put off. Conversely, a business with new options can become a love brand for people.
- Paying with grain is insulting
You are showing that you don't respect the merchant by offering an inferior form of payment.
- No one accepts grain anymore
Today, virtually no merchant will accept grain as payment. In fact, the so-called Thiers Law works in exactly the opposite direction against Gresham's Law. This basically says that even a merchant has his limits and if the money offered is too bad, he will simply refuse it. Whoever has grain ready for payment at that time will not pay with it anywhere. Fortunately, he could at least use it for consumption. But what do you do with a worthless fiat?
Don't regret spending bitcoins
Imagine buying two pizzas many years ago and paying with bitcoin. If you had done it like Laszlo Hanyecz did on May 22, 2010, it would have cost you a total of 10,000 bitcoins. As of August 14, 2023, you could have 2,940,000,000 USD instead. (Almost three billion 😱)
Would you be sorry you used bitcoin to do it back then? In his own words, Laszlo Hanyecz never regretted it because the pizza was really good. I used to think he was just bragging, but it must bother him now. Nowadays, I practically don't see why paying with bitcoin should bother him directly.
If we regret spending bitcoin, it's usually because we expect its value to increase. However, the payment itself is just a transfer of value, and from that perspective it doesn't matter what form we use. Laszlo simply spent the value of two pizzas. In the same way, he might regret every crown he did not exchange for bitcoin that day. Since it's abstract, it makes us feel less angry, but in the same way that Laszlo lost money years ago, so did all the people in the world who didn't buy bitcoin that day. The only difference is that we don't know their names.
Why pay with bitcoin instead
- Better privacy than credit cards
Your bank account information is not private. You never know who is watching all your transactions. Bitcoin payments via Ligthning Network are not perfect in this respect either, but the level of privacy is very high.
- Building an efficient and moral ecosystem
For example, during the covid, a lot of businesses were banned from doing business. You may find this justifiable, but you may not agree in all cases. Bitcoin allows you to cooperate even when someone doesn't like it. The more people know how to use bitcoin, the more options you will have. Every payment you make supports this free network.
- Meeting interesting people
Bitcoiners are often very intelligent and inspiring people. Since bitcoin payments are still very rare, virtually every time you make a payment there will be a new conversation, again cementing you in a growing community.
- Trying new technologies
Maybe you like to play around. Bitcoin payments are a very dynamic environment. New tools are constantly being created. You can participate directly or at least be among the first to try them out. With bitcoin, for example, you can pay with QR codes, NFC cards, rings and other chips, or send a payment to a phone number or email address.
- You can hold more bitcoin
If you pay with bitcoin, you won't need as much depreciating fiat. That way, it will also pay off in the long run.
Don't get me wrong. Bitcoin is free money, so you can do whatever you want with it. Feel free not to use it. But I wanted to point out a pretty simple idea that if you want to have relatively more bitcoin in the long run compared to fiat, you have to use it for payments as well. Otherwise you are forced to have too much depreciating fiat all the time. There are lots of reasons not to pay with bitcoin, but it's not that bitcoin is too good for that. On the other hand, there are already plenty of good reasons to pay with bitcoin. If you're ready to try bitcoin, join the Twenty-One world community.
Since it is not possible to edit posts here, you can find the latest version on my GitHub