The list of items you can buy with Bitcoin hasn’t changed much since 2014. Yes, there are some good websites in the group of 100,000+ that accept Bitcoin, and there are restaurants that accept crypto, but there have been very few large transactions done in Bitcoin… until now.
To date, Bitcoin has been a buy and hold or trade investment. The practical uses of crypto as a currency have yet to be proven. Sure, as more merchants come on line, and more large dollar transactions are completed in Bitcoin, it may become the alternative means of transacting the founders envisioned. Until then, Bitcoin is primarily an investment.
And this is how the IRS views Bitcoin – as a capital asset and an investment like a share of stock. Whenever you sell Bitcoin or exchange it for another cryptocurrency, you have a capital gain or loss that must be reported. Likewise, whenever you exchange Bitcoin for something, anything, you have a taxable event reportable on Schedule D of your personal tax return.
As I said, there has not been much change to what you can buy with Bitcoin in 2018. Sure, there are a few more merchants, and Coinbase and others have improved their user interfaces, but nothing exciting has gone on in the offshore space… until now.
The motivation for this article is the fact that you can now buy real estate in Belize using Bitcoin. You can complete the entire transaction is Bitcoin, including taxes and fees. I expect Belize to begin allowing purchases in Ethereum in the next few weeks.
The second unique offering of Bitcoin is residency in Panama. If you’re from the US, EU, UK, or any of the top 50 countries, you can get residency with in investment of $20,000 plus fees in crypto. More on this later.
The ability to buy real estate in Belize using Bitcoin is a big deal. It means that, for the first time, you can exchange Bitcoin for real estate in a private offshore transaction. You can use Bitcoin to plant your flag offshore in a country that believes in the values that Bitcoin was founded on – privacy, security, and freedom.
Belize has always embodied these principles. Taxation is minimal and the right to privacy is absolute. You can live, work, and do things your way in Belize without government interference.
The other reason buying real estate in Belize using Bitcoin is a big deal is that this is the first large dollar offshore transaction available to those holding crypto. Many early adopters have a lot of Bitcoin that they don’t want to convert to dollars and don’t know what to do with.
These early adopters are looking for an efficient way to diversify out of Bitcoin in a private transaction. Belize is the first jurisdiction to provide a path to convert relatively large amounts of Bitcoin into an asset like real estate.
Yes, there have been one or two real estate transactions in the US that were completed with Bitcoin. These were one off transactions where the seller agreed to accept Bitcoin from the buyer… and the sale was reportable to the IRS and other US agencies by the exchange / wallet and through the escrow agent.
Belize is the first country where you can easily buy real estate using Bitcoin without all the red tape. Systems are in place to facilitate the transactions and it may even be possible to get a mortgage from a local bank, such as Caye Bank, to support a Bitcoin transaction.
You can also buy residency in Panama using Bitcoin. Invest the equivalent of $20,000, plus legal and government fees, in this country’s reforestation visa program and get permanent residency. After 5 years of residency you can apply for citizenship and a second passport from Panama.
Panama’s residency program is open to citizens of the US, EU, UK and other “friendly nations.” These are basically those from top 50 countries. Some on the list, such as South Africa, are surprising, so click here for more information.
If you’re not from a friendly nation, you can buy residency in Nicaragua with Bitcoin. This program requires an investment of $35,000 and costs are about $10,000 per person. You can complete the entire program using Bitcoin and it’s open to citizens of China, India, and most other countries.
Like Panama, you can apply for citizenship and a second passport from Nicaragua after 5 years of residency. The catch with Nica is that you must spend 180 days a year in country to maintain your residency. Panama does not have a physical presence requirement.
What else can you buy with Bitcoin? Here are the more common options:
- Over 100,000 merchants now accept Bitcoin. Click here for a list.
- Here’s a list of restaurants throughout the United States that accept Bitcoin.
- The most common way to spend Bitcoin today is by transferring crypto to a US dollar gift card. These cards can then be used in hundreds of stores online and in the US. The top crypto to gift card platforms are eGifter and Gyft.
- You can spend Bitcoin for travel on Expedia and Cheap Air.
I hope you’ve found this article on what can you buy with Bitcoin to be helpful. For more on residency in Panama or Nicaragua, or to be connected to a real estate expert in Belize, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll be happy to introduce you to a local expert who can assist you diversify your holdings.