Panic! Your sister’s birthday is coming up. She got you a really nice pair of shoes for you last time around…but here’s the problem: she’s really difficult to buy for.
You don’t want to be unimaginative and resort to buying perfume yet again. Equally, you’re keen to avoid giving them a gift card for their favorite store. (And this is probably wise, some estimates suggest that up to $3 billion goes unused on gift cards every year.)
But here’s a novel idea — what about giving crypto as a gift?
With crypto achieving mainstream acceptance like never before in 2020, and an increasing number of e-commerce giants accepting digital assets as a payment method, Bitcoin on birthdays and Cardano at Christmas could be about to become more commonplace. If your loved one decides to hold onto their cryptocurrencies, they could also end up thanking you years down the line.
A heartwarming story recently emerged on Reddit on the impact that this could have. All the way back in December 2013, a pizza delivery driver was given a 0.0069 BTC tip, which was worth about $5 at the time. Reports suggest that, more than seven years on, he’s now cashed out this crypto for a cool $400…making a remarkable profit.
But how do you go about gifting someone crypto? Here are your options.
Paper wallets are often touted as the simplest and easiest way for giving crypto as a present. As you’d expect, the piece of paper has all the details required for the lucky recipient to get their hands on Bitcoin — including a private and public key. QR codes, which have become increasingly popular in recent years, are also a common feature. If you do end up using this method, it’s crucial to stress that paper wallets should only be used as a temporary measure, and that the funds should be transferred to a more secure environment as soon as possible to prevent the coins being lost.
This method might be a little bit more expensive, but it could be ideal if you know that your loved one is interested in crypto investing. Hardware wallets will help keep their digital assets safe and secure, thanks to how they are a form of cold storage that’s disconnected from the internet. Some devices support dozens of cryptocurrencies, and they can even come with small displays where you can check up on the current balance. Using one of these wallets can require a little bit of technical knowhow, so it’s always best to give them a little bit of training when they open their gift.
Another idea might be helping your loved one to set up their own account on a crypto exchange such as Binance, Coinbase or Square’s Cash App, and then sending them the funds when everything is up and running. Alternatively, you might be able to use PayPal if its crypto service has been rolled out to the country where you live. All of these platforms offer an accessible user interface too, meaning that it won’t be a steep learning curve.
Bitcoin Gift Cards
Bitcoin gift cards are a straightforward, easy-to-understand way of giving crypto as a present. They’ll normally come with a code that will need to be inputted on a company’s website. From here, the cash value of the gift card will be converted into Bitcoin at the current market rate. If you’re going to use this approach, just make sure that you choose a trustworthy provider.
Other Ways to Gift Crypto
In the early days of Bitcoin, a range of physical coins were created by the likes of Denarium and Casascius. Such a generous gift is almost like owning a piece of crypto history — and in certain cases, their value can appreciate like fine wine and art. Some of these coins contain a piece of paper featuring a private key, and even once this crypto has been redeemed, they may still have value thanks to how they’ve been lovingly created using precious metals.
Of course, Bitcoin doesn’t only have to be a gift to your loved ones — it can also be donated to a plethora of charitable organizations. Donors can receive some compelling advantages, because of how they can sidestep capital gains tax and claim a deduction on their income tax. Some of the world’s best-known good causes now accept crypto, meaning that it’s never been easier to make an impact.