Millennials are not intimidated by financial technology (Fintech). They have taken to the decentralized system of cryptocurrency like the proverbial ducks to water.

Predicted to be the largest demographic in the world by 2020, this younger generation continues to remain on the periphery of solid investment such as property and the stock market. The traditional savings mechanisms like 401k, bonds, and mutual fund are sidelined in favor of cryptocurrencies, with Bitcoin gaining the market share.

Crypto Investment IN Traditional Savings OUT

There are two excellent reasons why Bitcoin makes good financial sense, especially to millennials.

  1. Bitcoin investments have performed better than fiat savings banks.

We are living in a ‘debt based,’ zero interest rate world economy. Savings accounts will never catch up to crypto investment earnings. There is little doubt that a savings account with $672 (the price of a single bitcoin in Aug 2016) would ever show the same gains in a two-year period. Chart

  1. Cryptos Speed, Ease

Mobile devices and decentralization give cryptos the edge over the traditional banking system. However, a (Crypto) Debit or Credit card reverts from the blockchain decentralization to centralized banking.

How to Live on Bitcoin

Living on Bitcoin is becoming no different to living with a traditional debit or credit card. Many people have been using “plastic” money in favor of hard fiat currency for years; it is easier and safer.

Before leaping into the deep end, it makes good sense to understand how to use your Bitcoins with a Debit or Credit Card to pay for rent, groceries, travel and many other day-to-day necessities.

What is a Bitcoin Debit card?

Assuming you already own Bitcoin, the next step to living off your investment will be to get a “crypto” Debit or Credit card. These are either in the plastic form or as a virtual card using a mobile device.

The mobile card functions wherever online Visa/MasterCard is accepted. The plastic card is more flexible when traveling; accepted at ATMs worldwide, which is not a feature of the virtual card.

The cards work in two ways, (i) top up from BTC into fiat currency or (ii) exchange instantly from BTC to fiat at POS (point of sale). In both instances, the exchange rate from BTC to fiat money is given at the Bitcoin rate at the time of the exchange, and only the amount of BTC required to change to fiat is used.

Why do you need a Bitcoin debit card?

Bitcoins have not caught on as acceptable currency with merchants, and in some countries, like China, the Government has prohibited their use as a form of exchange for goods and services, although some hotels and businesses are accepting them.

Debit cards like Visa and MasterCard are a recognized form of payment worldwide. This means that a Bitcoin debit card is regarded as a universal form of payment, making it beneficial for everyone, especially tourists and business travelers.

The Benefits of using a Bitcoin Debit Card

  • Keep your BTC increasing in value; this means that your BTC bankroll is safe from inflation in the real world and you only top up to spend what you The flexibility of a debit card allows you to convert BTC to use or hold more than one fiat currency depending on the place where you are paying: GBP, EUR, and USD.
  • Honest and painless; If you choose the right card, conversion and transaction fees and rates will make this one of the simplest forms of using foreign fiat currency. The conversion from BTC to fiat is invisible, instant and cost-effective.
  • Buy everything with Bitcoin; Having a Bitcoin Debit card in your pocket gets you where you want to go for everything from paying for fuel, airline tickets, hotels, a night out, pizza and groceries.
  • Rewards; Some providers offer incentives for using Bitcoin debit card. These can be good for users and better than spending the cash.
  • More flexible; the use of either plastic or virtual makes the BTC debit card far more accommodating than anything we have seen before.
  • Privacy; Some BTC debit cards allow user anonymity with small purchase amounts.

Bitcoin Debit Card Fees

As with most debit cards, the card providers charge a variety of fees:

  • The initial charge varies between $0.50 to $3.00 for the virtual card (smartphone) and $5 to $15 for a plastic
  • Monthly and annual service charges – also vary by provider.
  • Exchange fee; charged to convert Bitcoins to fiat currency and dependent on the rates of exchange at the transaction.
  • Loading fee is charged for a top-up to both plastic and virtual cards and is usually a nominal charge.
  • Transactions made abroad (outside country of issue) attract about 3% charge, and it only applies to plastic cards.
  • ATM charges differ when using a BTC debit card to withdraw money “in country” and abroad. They are usually lower on international transactions than local.

Choosing the right card is essential.

Due diligence is vital. There are many card providers, and only a handful will give the flexibility and support needed to make a living on Bitcoin easy. Features to look out for when choosing the right BTC debit card are:

  • Limits to amounts allowed in loading and transactions.
  • Reputation and reviews by customers
  • Online payment options including “card unloading” (allows BTC to be unloaded after top-up), links to PayPal and other types of money transfer platforms.

Top Providers

Do your homework. Here are six of the most reputable international Bitcoin Debit Card providers to investigate when making your choice.

CryptoPay

The oldest provider of BTC debit card registered in the UK giving prepaid users a choice of GBP, EUR, and USD.

Bitpay

USA based company is offering US and EU citizens payment services.

Wirex

UK based with offices in London and Tokyo.

Monaco

Swiss registered Visa Debit Card supporting 23 cryptos in 120 countries,

SpectroCoin

Lithuania based, offering users virtual and plastic Visa debit card facilities in more than 20 million outlets globally.

ESR WALLET

Based in the UAE and offering a universal prepaid credit using MasterCard in both plastic and virtual system since 2017.

Final Thoughts

Living on Bitcoin is very doable, and you do not have Bitpay to be a BTC millionaire!