In three previous posts, I have recorded my newbie experiences in crypto:
Now we find out whether the whole thing has been worth it: I’m going to try to buy something.
My Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is burning a hole in my virtual pocket. I want to buy something. I Google for suggestions and come across something called the Bitcoin Superstore.
I’m really not sure about it. The business is registered in Florida and has only been going since January – but I decide to give it a go.
When you click on Purchase Now at the top of the page, you find that Bitcoin Superstore doesn’t actually have any products. It buys them for you from other retailers, including Amazon. You’re invited to browse on a retailer’s website and copy the web address of the item you want into a box on the Bitcoin Superstore page.
I have a look on Amazon and decide to try this:
I paste the URL and the product name into the box on Bitcoin Superstore, as instructed:
Now I’m asked to enter the price in US dollars. I find that the £5.99 converts into $7.92, so I put that under >Product Price. (I’m not sure what happens if you aren’t as honest as me about the dollar conversion figure.)
And here’s the summary of my order in dollars – with just $0.16 added in Taxes & Fees:
Now Bitcoin Superstore converts the dollars to BCH and asks me to transfer them to it:
When I confirm the order, Bitcoin Superstore comes up with a QR code that only lasts a few minutes, to show me its address, to send the money to:
I’m now using the Centbee wallet, so I open it on my phone:
The opening screen is a choice between Receive, on the left, and Send, on the right. I press Send. Next, you have to decide how you want tell Centbee who to send the money to:
I choose the top option because I can just scan the QR code that Bitcoin Superstore has created. Now all I have to do is enter the amount in BCH and send the money to Bitcoin Superstore. Done.
Being a little cynical, I thought that would probably be the last I heard of the matter, and that someone in Florida, or someone with a hard-to-trace online connection to Florida would be the happy recipient of my hard-won BCH.
How wrong I was.
Less than 24 hours later, an Amazon package arrives on my doorstep. In it, the light bulb. Thank you Bitcoin Superstore – that’s great service!
So was it a good deal? Well, as I write, the BCH I spent is worth £5.97, so the whole thing saved me two pence compared to what I would have paid on Amazon. It could have been up or down a bit depending on currency movements but the point is that it wasn’t substantially more expensive than the cost in pounds, even with the small Bitcoin Superstore fee included.
And as you get used to it, the basic process of payment is simple – not much more than the photographing of the QR code, and the pressing of Send.
As an idea, crypto isvery different. But anyone who’s grown up in the past few decades will have experienced a series of new technologies – email, websites, social media, smartphones – that were a little clunky when they started but which users have grown to appreciate while they improved, and which they now feel they couldn’t live without. Given its potential usefulness, it’ll be surprising if the same doesn’t happen to crypto.
And funnily enough, some other light bulbs that I ordered from Amazon in the normal way didn’t turn up and I have had to spend time trying to get a refund. Crypto works!
Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (segwit) Chain are Referred to as BTC coins. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is today the only Bitcoin implementation that follows Satoshi Nakamoto’s original whitepaper for Peer to Peer Electronic Cash. Bitcoin BCH is the only major public blockchain that maintains the original vision for Bitcoin as fast, frictionless, electronic cash.
For my next trick, I’m going to attempt to move the crypto from the exchange into my Bitcoin.com wallet, so that I’m ready to spend it.
I’m starting where I left off last time, in the Coinbase account on my laptop. Clicking on Accounts at the top of the page takes me to a screen with a list of currencies. The only one with any money in is BCH – the £20 I transferred to it last time.
I’m trying to move the money into my Bitcoin.com wallet, from where I’ll be able to spend it. I click on Send and get to this:
I need fill in the Recipient box with an address that will tell Coinbase where I want the money sent to, so I go to my phone and open my Bitcoin.com account – which will be the recipient:
I click Receive and am shown a QR code. Tapping it copies the long code underneath the QR image to my clipboard. This is my Public Key – the crypto equivalent of an email address, a way of telling people where they can send me money.
I paste it into an email, send it to myself and open it on my laptop (just because it’s such a long code, this is a quick way to access it on my laptop (or I could have photographed the QR image with my laptop camera).
Now back on Coinbase (on the screen two up from here), I paste the long code into the Enter a BCH address box, choose to send $10 and press Continue at the bottom. Coinbase sends a verification code to my phone and I enter that on my laptop and Confirm.
It works! Bitcoin.com shows that I have money in my wallet:
All that remains is to work out how to spend it. That’s for next time.