Cryptocurrencies like Dogecoin have come a long way from their early beginnings as niche online curiosities. Today, Dogecoin and other major cryptocurrencies are increasingly being accepted and used for real world transactions and payments. In this article, we'll explore some of the practical use cases where you can actually spend your Dogecoin holdings.
Buying Goods and Services Online
One of the most straightforward ways to spend Dogecoin is by using it to buy things online. A growing number of e-commerce merchants and online services now accept Dogecoin as a payment method.
For example, the Dallas Mavericks NBA team famously began accepting Dogecoin for tickets and merchandise sales back in 2019. The popular e-commerce retailer Newegg also takes Dogecoin for buying tech products on their website. There are even VPN providers, web hosting companies, and other online services that welcome Dogecoin payments.
The benefit of paying with Dogecoin online is fast transaction times and minimal fees, especially compared to credit cards and other traditional payment rails. You can conveniently spend your Doge wherever it's accepted without conversions or middlemen.
Fundraising and Tipping Content Creators
Another popular use case for Dogecoin is for fundraising campaigns and tipping content creators online.
In the past, the Dogecoin community on Reddit has come together to raise funds for various causes like sponsoring service dogs for children or raising money for clean water projects in developing countries. The lighthearted nature of Dogecoin makes it perfect for charitable fundraising and causes.
Likewise, Dogecoin has often been used to tip Twitch streamers, YouTube creators, Reddit posters, and other content producers across the internet. It offers a quick and easy way to show your appreciation and support for their work.
Buying Gift Cards and Mobile Top Ups
There are a growing number of platforms that allow you to purchase gift cards and mobile top ups using your Dogecoin.
For example, sites like Bitrefill let you spend your Doge to buy gift vouchers for major brands like Amazon, Netflix, Uber, Hotels.com and more. There are hundreds of options.
Similarly, you can use your Dogecoin to instantly top up prepaid mobile phones on various carrier networks around the world. This provides an easy way to convert your Doge into practical digital credit to spend on the things you regularly buy.
Shop In-Store at Brick and Mortar Locations
While the majority of Dogecoin spending happens online, there are some brick-and-mortar businesses that accept Dogecoin payments in store using tablets or mobile POS systems.
Electronics retailer FASTTech is one major merchant that accepts Dogecoin at physical retail outlets. There are also cafes, restaurants, and other local businesses that take Dogecoin using tools like GoCoin POS and CoinPayments.
Of course, brick-and-mortar adoption is not yet widespread. But there are pockets of retailers willing to take Dogecoin as more users look to spend their coins in real life rather than just trading them online.
Pay Freelancers, Services, Bills
You can also use your Dogecoin holdings to pay for a variety of services, freelancers or bills.
For example, if you hire a designer on Upwork or programmer on Freecodecamp, you can often request to pay in Dogecoin. Freelancers in many fields will accept Dogecoin payments if the client prefers it.
Additionally, certain bills like utilities, cell phone bills, or payments on loan/credit services can be paid in Dogecoin through merchant integrations or using Doge-to-USD converters. Converting Doge to USD through integrated exchanges provides liquidity to pay almost any conventional bill.
Transfer Money Across Borders
One of the original intentions behind cryptocurrencies like Dogecoin was facilitating speedy cross-border money transfers. Dogecoin offers a fast way to send money worldwide with minimal fees.
For example, if you need to send money to family overseas, you can convert fiat to Dogecoin, transfer the Doge, and have them convert it to their local currency. This can be up to 50-75% cheaper than traditional wire transfers or remittance services.
Of course, mainstream adoption from banks and financial institutions is still limited. But the underlying technology of Dogecoin allows for inexpensive cross-border transfers and payments. As adoption increases, so will its usage in remittances and international money transfers.
How Can Businesses Accept Dogecoin as Payment?
For any business owners interested in accepting Dogecoin payments from their customers, there are a few easy ways to get setup:
- Integrate a crypto payment processor like BitPay or CoinPayments. This allows you to accept Dogecoin (and other coins) directly on your website with minimal headaches.
- Post your Dogecoin wallet address manually. Simply publishing your public Doge address allows customers to easily send payments, though conversion/tracking may be more complex.
- Use a Dogecoin POS app or API. GoCoin, CoinAccept, etc offer turnkey solutions to accept Dogecoin in retail stores or brick-and-mortar setups. Apps can be installed on tablets or phones to take Dogecoin on the go.
Overall, accepting Dogecoin can be rewarding for businesses looking to attract a new demographic or those who appreciate the convenience and low fees of crypto payments. As more users look to actually utilize their coins, businesses that accept Dogecoin open themselves up to new sales opportunities.
What Will Widespread Adoption of Dogecoin Look Like?
If Dogecoin gains mainstream traction as a payment method, what can we expect from society? Here are some potential impacts:
- Increased speed and reduced costs of transactions compared to traditional financial networks. This would facilitate more e-commerce and peer-to-peer money transfers.
- New demographics brought into the digital economy. Unbanked or underserved populations may gain easier access to financial services through Dogecoin apps and tools.
- Further decentralization away from banks and institutions. Individuals would gain more control over their money, for better or worse.
- Unpredictable volatility. Widespread use of Dogecoin could exacerbate price volatility as supply/demand fluctuates. This may introduce risks.
- More creativity and crowdfunding. Dogecoin's culture facilitates fun community fundraising for innovative projects or acts of goodwill. We may see new ideas come to life.
- Scams and bad actors. Criminals or shady operators may also try to take advantage of Dogecoin users through promises of false returns or other schemes. Users should stay vigilant.
While the full impact can't be predicted, it's clear Dogecoin adoption would represent an interesting shift toward decentralized money. There would be both positives and negatives to manage and mitigate.
How Does Dogecoin Have Value and What Drives Price?
For those unfamiliar with cryptocurrencies, a common question is how does Dogecoin have any real value. What drives the price up or down?
Some factors that impact Dogecoin's value:
- Supply and Demand - Basic economics applies to Dogecoin's price. If demand grows faster than supply, the price may rise. Scarcity increases perceived value.
- Usage and Adoption - The more real-world usage Dogecoin gains for payments, transactions, etc, the more underlying value it accrues through utility.
- Market Perception - Speculation and hype on social media can raise Dogecoin's profile. But perception can be fickle and impact volatility.
- Development Activity - Upgrades to Dogecoin's core technology may improve functionality and security, raising utility. But development sometimes stalls.
- Confidence in Future - If people believe Dogecoin is here to stay and will have a role in the future economy, they may be willing to pay more per coin. But that requires faith.
In essence, the value proposition of Dogecoin is still being defined. But increased adoption and integration into mainstream finance can solidify the cryptocurrency's status and base value over time.
While many still think of Dogecoin mainly as a meme-based crypto asset used for trading and speculation, it is slowly coming into its own as a legitimate payment method. As more businesses and services accept Dogecoin, real world use cases like the ones discussed here will help provide underlying utility value for the currency.
Of course, there is still much progress to be made in Mass adoption and regulation remain limited. But the examples covered in this article show the growing ecosystem for actually spending your Doge as a currency rather than just buying and holding it as an investment.