DETROIT – I recently asked a handful of people to do a little one-word free association with me. When I say “cryptocurrency”, you say…?
Meaghan (Gen-X Manager of our Special Projects): “Bitcoin”.
Karen Drew (President of the “Women Wearing Aviators Club”): “Computer”.
Devin Scillian (Baller): “Pyramid scheme.”
Rod Meloni (Loveable curmudgeon): “Counterfeit.”
Ken Haddad (30, social and digital expert): “Volatile”.
Kimberly Gill (Basil’s mother): “Curious.”
Derick Hutchinson (nearly 30, a sports and digital genius): “Confusing. »
It should be noted that Rod Meloni is also a Certified Financial Planner. This shows how wildly different opinions are when it comes to crypto. And whether you have a positive or negative view of crypto, I’m willing to bet you could use a lot more education about it.
For example, when I was given this story, I didn’t know where to start or who to talk to. During my research, I went down a YouTube rabbit hole on the various aspects of it and how to figure it out. Just when I thought I had enough fluency to report a story, our deputy news director asked me how people could buy things with it.
So, I went back to research. I also completely understand why people skimp on the subject and then give up because in many ways it’s like learning a foreign language. Even though I know a lot more than before, all I can really say about crypto with confidence is “¿Donde esta la biblioteca?”
How to use cryptocurrency
That said, I’d like to walk you through how to buy something with crypto, as it moved pretty quickly in the TV version of the story.
Several companies support crypto as a means of payment, although in many cases it is just Bitcoin. Often this requires a few extra steps beyond just using your credit card or linked bank account. However, once you set up this connection, it will be easier.
It is important to note: Some stores use a specific crypto wallet. In my story, we used Starbucks, which requires you to use the Bakt crypto wallet. (Crypto wallets are like a bank account.)
Once you’ve set up Bakt and connected your bank account, buy Bitcoin.
Next, go to the Starbucks app and load some money onto your card, but instead of loading it through your bank account, select the Bakt option.
Scan your phone’s barcode when you pay, and you’ve just bought a coffee using Bitcoin!
This is just one example of using crypto to buy something. This could be a different process for Amazon, Home Depot, AMC, Overstock, or wherever you shop.
Another way to use crypto for *anything* is to go through your wallet, like Bakt, or Coinbase, or Blackchain.com, and set up a universal “credit card”. Use the same kind of steps as before to transfer your crypto funds to the credit card, and you should be able to use this digital card when shopping almost anywhere.
Like I said, it’s a learning process. But think back to 1996 and the use of the Internet. You had no idea what it had to offer and how it could actually be a thing five years from now.
Did you ever expect to do the majority of your communications via email back then?
If cryptocurrency is here to stay (and most experts think so, one way or another), then it’s important to have at least a working knowledge of it so you don’t get scammed or investing in the wrong type of coin, etc.
Who knows, in a few years you might even say, “¿Puedo ir al baño por favor?”
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