Normally I focus on security topics, but technology in general should always be on this blog. I've written about Bitcoins before and I am of the mind that they have a bright future. The price continues to climb and while no one can say for sure what will happen, I figure with the money flowing into via investment it is here to stay. Litecoin is also beginning to rise and I am behind that as well. Anyhow, today I wanted to talk about my first purchase with Bitcoin.
I purchased a number of ASIC USB Erupters and a hub to begin to support Bitcoin. I won't get a return on my investment, but that wasn't the point. After a month of mining I had finally mined about 0.1 Bitcoins so I decided lets see what I can do with it. First, I setup a spending wallet with Coinbase. They allow for easy transfer to USD if that was your aim. They follow all the money transmitter regulations, so they will perform KYC. Then you add your bank account and you're ready to go (you don't have to add it if you don't want to).
Another layer of security added is an app to generate a one time code before you can login to your account. I suggest using it to keep your account nice and secure. Once that is setup, then you can setup an account with Gyft. It is a website (and mobile app) that allows you to buy gift certificates with Bitcoins. They have a decent list of vendors, but it isn't the best just yet. Amazon is on there and that's about all that I need.
You select your gift certificate, the amount, and then checkout. You select Bitcoin and it generates a QR or you can choose pay with Bitcoin again. If using your mobile app, it will pull up the CoinBase app and then the address you'd like to send it too. Within 15 seconds your funds are sent and within a minute you'll receive your gift card.
Good luck and enjoy!