Cryptocurrencies are becoming more and more useable by the day. Once upon a time, cryptocurrencies were an obscure curiosity for nerds. Then, they were elevated to the currency of choice for online drug sellers and arms dealers. However, slowly but surely, cryptocurrencies are becoming more prominent in our everyday lives.
But there are still relatively few places that will allow you to spend your cryptocurrency directly. Even with Bitcoin, the most popular of all the cryptocurrencies out there, buying everyday items is difficult. Converting your Bitcoin into cash enables you to actually use it, but how do you go about doing it?
Selling on an Exchange
This is the most common means of converting cryptocurrency into cash. Crypto exchanges are just like Forex markets, except without the same level of regulation. These exchanges allow crypto owners to trade one cryptocurrency for another. Different exchanges will support different coins. Some tokens – notably Bitcoin and Ethereum – are available across just about every exchange. Others will feature on most exchanges, and some of the smaller coins will be tradeable only on a small number of exchanges.
Different exchanges also have different interfaces, which can make for some very different user experiences between them. Some exchanges can be very difficult to start using for complete novices. Anyone who has experience trading on a Forex market will feel at home with most crypto exchanges, they tend to offer the same features and operate on the same fundamental principles.
Not all exchanges will allow users to cash out their cryptocurrency as fiat, however. In fact, the majority of exchanges exist to trade cryptocurrencies but do not directly buy or sell them for fiat currencies. Of the exchanges that do enable users to trade their crypto for fiat, they usually only allow a narrow range of coins to be exchanged for cash. These ‘entrycoins’ are Bitcoin and Ethereum, the big two of the crypto world.
If you want to sell your crypto for cash online, you will usually need to first convert it into Bitcoin or Ethereum. Some exchanges will take a couple of days to process your withdrawals, so don’t worry if your money doesn’t show up straight away. Carefully read the terms & conditions of any exchange before you send them your cryptocurrency so you know what to expect. You should also check online for user reviews of any exchange before you entrust them with your crypto.
Find a Bitcoin ATM
Bitcoin ATMs are still relatively rare, but their number is steadily increasing. As the name suggests, these are just like the ATM machines that you are familiar with when using fiat currency. Some of these ATMs allow users to buy Bitcoin, but not to sell it. However, the proportion of machines that enable two-way functionality is steadily rising.
If the ATM does allow you to sell your Bitcoin, you will first need to verify your identity. There are a small number of machines that don’t require this step but they are rare. You will then need to send the amount of Bitcoin you want to sell to the ATM wallet address; this is done by scanning a QR code. Some machines will pay out instantly, others will make you wait until the transfer has been confirmed by the Bitcoin network.
Use LocalBitcoins.com to Find a Cash Buyer
This is another simple and straightforward way of converting Bitcoin into cash. LocalBitcoins.com is a service that allows users to advertise when they have Bitcoin to sell. Interested parties can then browse listings and contact any sellers in their local area. Buyer and seller then arrange to meet and the buyer will hand over physical cash to the seller in exchange for Bitcoins.
This is one of the few ways that you can directly convert physical cash into Bitcoin, or sell Bitcoin for physical cash, rather than receiving a bank transfer or using another digital method. Of course, a little extra vigilance is required when you are going to be meeting up with a stranger. Choose somewhere public to meet them, and don’t go anywhere you feel unsafe.
Sending the Bitcoin to the buyer’s wallet is easy. All you’ll need to do is enter the amount you want to send and scan a QR code on the recipient’s phone. The transfer won’t occur instantly; Bitcoin takes time to send and this time will vary according to the amount you are willing to pay in mining fees, transactions with higher fees are processed as a priority.
Convert it Into Online Casino Winnings
There are a growing number of online casinos that accept Bitcoin and these can provide a path to converting cryptocurrency into fiat. Of course, this is dependent upon you winning, it’s possible you could end up losing your precious funds instead. If you are confident in your card game skills, or you just enjoy the thrill of gambling, online casinos are a viable means of converting your cryptocurrency into fiat.
Converting your Bitcoin into cash means that you will be able to spend it wherever you like. For all the advantages of cryptocurrencies, they are still not as easy to use as fiat currency. Whether you are looking to cash out some or all of your crypto portfolio, the above methods are the most reliable.