Walking you through how to actually buy something using cryptocurrency

DETROIT – I recently asked a handful of people to do a little one word free association with me. When I say “cryptocurrency”, do you mean…?

  • Meaghan (Gen-X Manager of our special projects): “Bitcoin.”

  • Karen Drew (president of the ‘Club of women dressed as aviators’): “Computer”.

  • Devin Scillian (Baller): “Pyramid scheme.”

  • Rod Meloni (Lovable Curmudgeon): “Fakeness.”

  • Ken Haddad (30-something social and digital genius): “Volatile.”

  • Kimberly Gill (Basil’s mom): “Curious.”

  • Derick Hutchinson (nearly 30-something sports and digital expert): “Confused.”

It’s worth noting that Rod Meloni is also a certified financial planner. He just goes to show how different opinions are when it comes to crypto. And whether he has a positive or negative opinion on cryptocurrencies, I’m willing to bet he could use a lot more education on the matter.

For example, when I was assigned this story, I didn’t know where to start or who to talk to. While researching that, I researched a YouTube rabbit hole on the different aspects and how to understand it. Just when I thought I had enough drive to break a story, our assistant news director asked me how people could buy things with it.


So I went back to investigate. I also fully understand why people overlook the subject and then give up because in many ways it is like learning a foreign language. Although I know a lot more than I used to, all I can really say about cryptocurrencies with confidence is, “Where’s the library?”


Read: Cryptocurrency could be part of your financial future – here’s how it works

How to use cryptocurrencies

With that being said, I would 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 accept cryptocurrencies as payment, although in many cases, it is only Bitcoin. It often requires a few extra steps in addition to using your credit card or a linked bank account. However, once you set up that connection, it will be simpler.

It is important to note: some stores use a specific crypto wallet. In my story, we use Starbucks, which requires you to use the Bakt crypto wallet. (Crypto wallets are like a bank account.)

Once you set up Bakt and connect your bank account, buy some Bitcoin.

Then 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 the barcode on your phone when you pay, and you’ve just bought a coffee using Bitcoin!

That’s just one example of using crypto to buy something. It might be a different process for Amazon, Home Depot, AMC, Overstock, or wherever you’re shopping.

Another way to use crypto for *anything* is to check your wallet, like Bakt, Coinbase or Blackchain.comand 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 that 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 what a thing could look like in five years.

Did you ever expect to do most of your communication via email back then?

If cryptocurrency is here to stay (and most experts believe it is, in a way), then it’s important to at least have a working knowledge of it so you don’t get scammed or invest in the wrong type of currency. etc


Who knows, in a couple of years, you might even say, “Can I go to the bathroom please?”

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