What to buy with Ethereum?
Ethereum is gaining popularity as a preferred payment method, with more and more merchants now accepting Ether as a form of payment. Aside from payment options, there are also alternative ways to utilize ETH, such as making donations, engaging in peer-to-peer transactions, and purchasing gift cards.
What do you need to know about ETH before spending it
Before spending your Ethereum, it’s important to understand the essentials of cryptocurrency and how Ethereum works. It is paramount to research the platform you are going to be spending your ETH before making any purchaces to avoid potential scams or frauds.
Ethereum Gas fees
Gas fees in Ethereum are the amount of Ethereum fees required to execute a transaction on the network and are paid to incentivize miners. Gas prices are denominated in Gwei, which is a denomination of ETH, and are determined by the supply and demand of the network. They are calculated by multiplying the gas price by the amount of gas required to execute the transaction. Gas prices are not fixed and can change rapidly based on network demand, so it is important to monitor gas prices before initiating a transaction to ensure the lowest possible cost. Managing gas limits can help minimize transaction costs and maximize the benefits of using Ethereum.
Ethereum transactions are irreversible
It is important to note that Ethereum transactions are irreversible once they are added to the blockchain. This means that refunds are not possible in Ethereum transactions as there is no mechanism to reverse the transactions already executed on the blockchain.
However, some merchants who accept Ethereum payments may offer refund policies that are separate from blockchain transactions. In such cases, the refunds are processed by the merchant and not through the blockchain. It is important to check the merchant’s policies before making a payment using Ethereum.
There are a few decentralized applications built on Ethereum, such as smart contracts, that may have inbuilt refund mechanisms in case of certain conditions are met. Nonetheless, these are not standard features of the Ethereum blockchain and are specific to the application.
In conclusion, Ethereum transactions are not refundable once they are executed on the blockchain. We from Coinlabz recommend to be aware of the merchant’s refund policies before making a payment using Ethereum.
Different ways to spend Ethereum
There are 3 different ways to spend ETH. Lets take a look at them so you can decide which suits you best.
Convert Ethereum into fiat currency
Converting Ethereum into fiat currency can be done through various exchanges and platforms such as Coinbase, Kraken, Gemini, and Binance. The process generally involves creating an exchange account on the crypto exchange, linking a payment method such as a bank account or credit card, and then to sell Ethereum for fiat currency.
The fees associated with converting Ethereum into fiat currencies vary depending on the cryptocurrency exchange and payment method used. Most cryptocurrency exchanges charge a percentage-based fee for selling Ethereum, typically ranging from 1-5% of the transaction amount. Additionally, some exchanges may charge fees for depositing and withdrawing fiat currency.
It’s important to note that selling Ethereum for fiat currency may also trigger capital gains taxes, depending on the laws of the country in which the transaction takes place. It’s recommended to consult with a tax professional for guidance on the tax implications of selling Ethereum for fiat currency.
Buy services and goods with Ethereum
Let’s take a look at some merchants that are currently accepting Ethereum as payment
The Italian fashion giant Gucci, founded in 1921, is now a world-known luxury fashion brand. Gucci became one of the first luxury brands to accept cryptocurrencies as payment in May 2022. As of today, roughly around 70% of their stores accept Ethereum, with the remaining ones soon to follow.
Founded in 1919, Balenciaga, a French luxury fashion house, became the second luxury label part of the Kering group to begin accepting cryptocurrencies as payment in May 2022. The French fashion house will accept crypto on its website along with its brick-and-mortar stores in New York and Beverly Hills.
Philipp Plein has become a household name with an appeal that screams high fashion. The company has recently begun accepting cryptocurrencies and strongly advertising them on their website. You are able to make payments in 24 different cryptocurrencies with a direct guide on how to do it.
Zorket is an international marketplace offering retail fashion products like clothes, bags, shoes and other accessories. Zorket also accepts Eth, making them one of the few fashion brands that allow their customer to pay with crypto for their goods.
Tag Heuer has been a Swiss Avant-Garde watchmaker since 1860, renowned for their extreme level of precision and performance. In June 2022, taking another step in the company’s digital journey, it began accepting cryptocurrencies for its watches on its website after partnering with BitPay.
Wrist Aficionado is a company with three decades of experience in buying and selling luxury watches. You are able to shop through their website, or if you’d like to visit, you can go to their boutiques in New York City, Miami Beach, or in Beverly Hills. Wrist Aficiado has a sterling reputation, unparalleled client experience, and an extraordinary inventory of luxury collections, including Patek Philippe, Richard Mille, Jacob & Co., Rolex and many more.
Pita Barcelona offers the opportunity to create custom-made mechanical watches with unique pieces. Their designs have been inspired by Barcelona’s architecture and cuisine. Currently, you are able to purchase a one-of-a-kind timepiece with more than 50 cryptocurrencies, including Ethereum.
JomaShop is an online luxury retailer which sells a varied amount of products such as sunglasses, watches, handbags, and many more. Focusing on watches here, you will be able to purchase popular brands like Rolex, Seiko, Omega, Tissot, Tudor, and Bulova, just to name a few.
Amazon is the biggest and largest e-commerce retailer and even though they don`t directly accept crypto, they accept gift cards which can be bought with ETH. This is a very convenient and indirect way to buy goods on Amazon with Ethereum.
Shopify is a platform (also known as CMS) on which you can easily build your own e-commerce site. It partnered with Crypto.com to enable its merchants to start accepting crypto payments in more than 20 cryptocurrencies, including Ethereum. Pretty much every e-commerce store built on Shopify can accept ETH.
Rakuten is a Japanese-based e-commerce company founded in 1997 is accepting cryptocurrency payments since 2019. This allows their customers to be able to use their digital assets to shop at physical stores as well as when online shopping on their platform.
Peddler.com is a popular E-commerce marketplace in Amsterdam delivered on bicycles. The marketplace features goods from numerous retailers in Amsterdam. In 2018, they started to accept crypto assets as payment method, with Bitcoin and Ethereum among the most popular ones. At least for the moment, the company operates only in Amsterdam, but we hope for them to expand.
Digitec Galaxus is based in Switzerland, and it’s one of the biggest Swiss online retailers. They offer affordable prices for their customers and started to accept Ethereum payments. Now you can use your Ethereum to buy new socks, jackets, or NVIDIA GPUs.
Crypto Emporium is a peer-to-peer marketplace that allows users to buy and sell products using cryptocurrencies. Despite their main currency being Bitcoin, you can still pay with your Ethereum and a wide variety of other cryptocurrencies. You can purchase anything there, from a new T-shirt or PS5 to a new car or a 9-bedroom mansion in Dubai. By the way, if you want to buy a car with crypto, we have prepared a great guide on it!
Newegg is one of the first online retailers to support crypto payments and did so in 2014. They specialize in electronics, and their users can purchase computers, appliances, TV’s, and much more. As Newegg accepts payments through BitPay, you can easily select that option at checkout and send the necessary ETH to make the transfer to the provided Ethereum wallet address.
Buy Gold and Jewelry
You can spend your ETH directly on gold, which is a great way to escape from the crypto volatility into more traditional investment methods.
Hostinger provides a pristine website hosting platform to more than 20 million users in more than 150 countries. They offer game-changing web hosting for your online business. You can pay with Ethereum or another cryptocurrency of your choice.
NordVPN is a leading VPN service that allows you to stay safe online and protects you from ads, trackers, and malware. You can pay your subscription with Ethereum or other cryptocurrencies.
Namecheap is a popular domain registrar, offering an assortment of services like hosting, email accounts, and SSL certificates. Namecheap started accepting crypto as payment in 2013, despite back then supporting only Bitcoin. Nowadays, it accepts the most popular cryptocurrencies, including Ethereum.
AT&T is an American multinational telecommunications holding company. It provides more than 100 million U.S consumers with communication experiences across mobile and broadband. AT&T began accepting cryptocurrencies for their mobile bills in May 2019. While you are not able to pay AT&T directly with your cryptocurrency, they allow their users to do so through their partnership with BitPay. By the way you can pay all of your utility bills with Ethereum.
Buy Phone Airtime with ETH
You can buy airtime with Ethereum via companies such as Bitrefill, Cryptorefills or Crypto 2 Mobile. Bitrefill, for example, offers also Phone prepaid cards or eSIM, which you can again buy with ETH.
PayPal allows you to pay with crypto at any merchant, which enables crypto checkout through PayPal. Of course, as Ethereum is one of the most popular cryptocurrencies, it is accepted too. They began accepting cryptocurrencies in 2014.
Gaming and software
Who does not know Microsoft today? You are able to pay for digital products like games for Xbox, music, desktop applications, and much more from their store with cryptocurrencies since 2014.
There are plenty of other merchants and gaming platforms that accept ETH directly or offer gift cards, which you can purchase with ETH. These include Steam, Play Station, Eneba, and more.
CheapAir, also known as the budget travel agency, is one of the earliest companies to adopt the usage of cryptocurrencies. They allowed their users to start buying plane tickets and book hotels with Ethereum and others in 2013.
A Latvian airline founded in 1995, with the aim to ensure a connection network between the Baltic States and the rest of the world. The company offers low-fare tickets compared not only to their airline competitors but also compared to train, bus or ferry travel.
Travala was founded in 2017, and became the world’s leading blockchain-based travel booking platform, with thousands of customers worldwide. It is allowing its customers to book hotels and pay for their trips with Ethereum alongside other cryptocurrencies.
Tapjets is one of the biggest private jet booking platforms. It lets its clients instantly charter a private jet and go to the desired location. Tapjets allows users to pay with multiple cryptocurrencies, and Ethereum is among them.
Chipotle joins a long list of restaurants that accept crypto payments. With more than 2000 of it’s outlets in the US, it is one of the most popular Mexican fast-food chains. They began accepting Ethereum in 2022.
The coffee giant began accepting crypto as payment in 2021. Customers can use their Ethereum to load their Starbucks digital cards with cash to spend at the coffee shop.
PizzaForCoins is a website that has a large database of pizza shops in the US. It allows the users to order a pizza and pay with crypto, regardless if the pizza store itself accepts cryptocurrencies. After you pay with crypto, PizzaForCoins relays your order to the shop, and you get the delivery.
These merchants accept Ethereum as a legitimate form of payment, providing buyers with an alternative means of transaction. From high-end fashion brands to web hosting services, Ethereum users have a variety of options to choose from when making purchases.
It is worth noting that this is not an exhaustive list and that there are likely many other merchants out there that also accept Ethereum as a form of payment. However, this list provides a good starting point for those looking to explore the world of cryptocurrency payments.
Furthermore, there are other ways to cash out and empty your Ethereum wallets aside from merchant payments. This includes donations, peer-to-peer transactions, and buying gift cards with Ethereum.
If you are a merchant and want to accept Ethereum payments, check this article – How to accept Ethereum payments for your business
Use Ethereum for P2P transactions
P2P stands for peer-to-peer transaction and indicates that you are sending funds directly to another person. You can head to a DEX (decentralized exchange), find a buyer, and trade your ETH directly with him or her. The process is not regulated, so you need to be extra careful. On the other hand, the transaction fees are much lower compared to a Centralized exchange. Our experience with DEXs in general is that they are a bit complicated for beginners and we would recommend it only if you have large amounts of Ethereum to exchange, so you can benefit from the lower fees.
Buying gift cards with Ethereum
Buying gift cards with Ethereum is a great way to cash out on your ETH savings without dealing with crypto-to-fiat transfers, KYC, and taxes because buying gift cards with cryptocurrency is not a taxable event, and the only data that you have to provide is an email address. That is why this is our favorite way to spend ETH. Here are the most popular platforms where you can spend Ethereum for gift cards.
Bitpay is the largest crypto payment processor, offering crypto business solutions, wallets, crypto debit cards, and gift cards which you can buy with ETH. The inconvenience with them is that you need to download their app or install a Chrome extension to buy gift cards, which is a downside compared to the other platforms, which require only a simple registration. Other than that, the shopping experience with Bitpay is great – you can browse hundreds of different gift cards – from Steam to Google Play and AMC Theatres, and the entire process is fast and smooth.
Cryptorefills is our go-to platform when we want to spend a bit of our crypto savings. What we like is the user-friendly website, fast registration, and the fact that, by default the website shows you only merchants that are available in your location. Believe me, you don`t want to spend a good amount of ETH on a gift card that you can`t claim in your country.
Coingate is a Lithuanian-based fintech company with nine years of experience in the crypto payment processing industry. What we like about Coingate is that they have their merchants’ directory categorized in a very detailed manner, presenting you with 20 different categories of merchants – from Restaurants and Weddings related to gift cards to Health, Holiday, and Fashion merchants. A very nice touch is that for every merchant, there is a “redeem” guide leading you through the process.
Bitrefill is another great place to change your ETH for gift cards. Their Rewards program is worth checking, with which you will accumulate a minimum of 1% from every order in BTC.
Use Ethereum for donations
Yes, you are able to use Ethereum for donations. It is one of the most tax-efficient ways to give to charity. Crypto donors are usually young, wealthy, and passionate about the causes they support compared to the average cash donor, who is 65 years old.
Organizations that accept ETH donations
Here are some examples of non-profit organizations that accept Ethereum donations:
GiveDirectly – GiveDirectly is a charity organization that provides direct cash transfers to people living in poverty. They accept donations in cryptocurrency, including Ethereum.
Water Project – Water Project is a non-profit organization that provides clean water to communities in sub-Saharan Africa. They accept donations in cryptocurrency, including Ethereum.
Code to Inspire – Code to Inspire is a non-profit organization that teaches girls in Afghanistan how to code. They accept donations in cryptocurrency, including Ethereum.
BitGive – BitGive is a non-profit organization that uses blockchain technology to improve transparency and accountability in charitable giving. They accept donations in various cryptocurrencies, including Ethereum.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) – EFF is a non-profit organization that works to defend civil liberties in the digital world. They accept donations in various cryptocurrencies, including Ethereum.
These are just a few examples of the many non-profit organizations that accept Ethereum donations. By donating in cryptocurrency, individuals can support these organizations while also taking advantage of the benefits that come with using blockchain technology, such as increased security and transparency.
In conclusion, Ethereum offers a versatile and increasingly popular method of payment. With acceptance by a wide range of merchants from luxury fashion brands to travel booking platforms, the use of Ethereum extends beyond traditional cryptocurrency boundaries. Its benefits in peer-to-peer transactions, gift card purchases, and charitable donations underscore its potential as a transformative financial tool. However, as with all cryptocurrencies, users should be well-informed about the platform’s specifics, including gas fees, transaction irreversibility, and potential tax implications. Despite some challenges in its use for international payments, Ethereum’s advantages and programmable features make it a notable player in the evolving world of digital currencies. As Ethereum’s acceptance continues to grow, it’s well-positioned to shape the future of financial transactions.
What are other good alternatives to ETH when it comes to payments?
ETH and BTC are the most accepted cryptocurrencies, facing the biggest adoption when it comes to payments. Ripple (XRP) is another popular altcoin that has been gaining traction in the last months. It offers very fast and cheap transactions compared to the other cryptocurrencies, especially Bitcoin. That is why more merchants are starting to accept XRP as a payment method.
Zornitsa is the Editor-in-chief at Coinlabz. She is involved in researching the impact of blockchain technology and the way crypto is transforming peoples’ perceptions of finances.