Invented by an individual (or an anonymous group of programmers) who goes by the name Satoshi Nakamoto, the bitcoin is the first cryptocurrency or digital currency that assures secure peer-to-peer transactions through cryptography and blockchain technology without going through a middleman. Although decentralized and not regulated by any political entity or government body, bitcoin is getting to be widely accepted across countries for a variety of transactions. However, not all countries accept the cryptocurreny. Where in the world can you spend your bitcoin?
Countries who are tech-friendly lead the pack in allowing bitcoin purchases in their economy. Some of these countries include:
- South Korea
- The Netherlands
- United Kingdom
- United States of America
Countries like Denmark and Sweden are implementing programs towards being cashless economies and have officially recognized the bitcoin as a medium to facilitate payments.
Countries that do not allow bitcoins and consider any activity related to bitcoins illegal and punishable with possible imprisonment are:
Most of the countries where the bitcoin is illegal prefer to use monetary systems that are backed by assets kept within the respective countries. Some of these countries have strict anti-money laundering rules and only allow legal tenders issued by the country’s governments.
In countries where bitcoins can be used, transactions cover a range of products. Bitcoins can be used to conduct online purchases of digital content from Microsoft, computers from Dell, furniture from Overstock, space travel from Virgin Galactic, and airfare and show tickets, to name a few. There are a growing number of bars, coffee shops, hotels, and even jewelry shops that are brick-and-mortar establishments that allow bitcoin payments in countries like the United Kingdom, the United States of America, and South Africa.
Just like any currency, the bitcoin can be used to purchase a variety of goods and services. More countries are starting to recognize and acknowledge the concept behind Bitcoin as an online currency for secure, quick peer-to-peer transactions with low transfer fees. Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are the breakthrough ideas best suited for the online medium they serve but are now crossing over to the mainstream and redefining existing paradigms.