To say that cryptocurrency is popular is an understatement. The cryptocurrency craze that started with Bitcoin is in full swing, and there are now dozens, probably hundreds, of different cryptocurrencies to choose from.

Online dating site OK Cupid made news when it started accepting Bitcoin in 2013, but it stopped accepting the currency in 2016, which begs the question: what is Bitcoin even good for?

Well here’s part of it: the technology underlying Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, blockchain, is one of the most important technological advancements of our time. Blockchain has the potential to revolutionize information-sharing and record-keeping, and could have huge implications especially for the healthcare and financial industries.

The expert prognosis for cryptocurrencies is less sunny. Bitcoin draws comparisons to Napster: that is, a good idea that had to die yet changed an entire industry in the process. (Though Napster is back up and running, and sites like The Pirate Bay enable illegal peer-to-peer file sharing, many of us will remember the legal inferno that Napster founder Shawn Fanning initially endured.)

But that’s not my purpose today. Today, I’d like to spend a day using only cryptocurrency in order to see what kind of life is possible when one lets go of the outdated notion of fiat currency. Come with me on a journey of travel, pets, and South American regimes.

First stop: Bitcoin

I wake up this morning, a Monday, no less, excited about the possibilities my challenge will bring. The first cryptocurrency that comes to mind is Bitcoin, of course.

After some digging, I am surprised to discover that the list is growing for places that accept the OG of cryptocurrencies. Well well.

I navigate to a site called Bitcoin Coffee for some morning fuel — AH NO WAIT THIS IS A PORN SITE. I really thought that was a website that sold coffee, and it took me a surprisingly long time to realize that it didn’t.

Ok that’s ok let’s try again. Phew! Apparently KFC Canada accepts Bitcoin, so that’s what I’ll have. It’s not Popeyes, but this just shows that Bitcoin has a way to go.

As I tear into my fried chicken, I note that travel website Expedia also accepts Bitcoin. I book a trip to San Francisco, as it’s ranked the best place to spend Bitcoin by CNN. Then I notice that Buenos Aires is #3 for some reason, and I wish I had taken the two seconds to scroll down a just a little farther. Ah well, I have no time in my cryptocurrency schedule for regret.

The US Libertarian Party also accepts Bitcoin, so I make a sizable donation. It’s important to note that I have no idea what the party platform is, and at this point I am simply using Bitcoin because I can. You’re welcome, Robert Nozick!!

Onto Dogecoin

I think of dogecoin as the of cryptocurrency: a sign that the craze has gone too far. That being said, Shiba Inus are so cute, and the currency itself looks adorable.

Surprisingly, not many places seem to accept dogecoin. Highlights include a website that allows me to trade in my virtual dogecoin for physical dogecoin, and a place where I can order a portrait of my pet. Tempting, if we’re being honest.

But actually there’s a pretty fire-looking hot sauce and peppers retailer that accepts dogecoin, so I’m going to do that. KFC Canada forgot the hot sauce in my order, so this works out pretty good.

Next stop: Ethereum

Ethereum is the second most popular cryptocurrency, and according to the NYT, it also has “elements of a bank account, an email address and a Social Security number.” One Ethereum coin is currently worth about $487, which is much less than Bitcoin’s $8146 valuation. (The question of what this even means when it’s so darn hard to offload these things is another issue altogether.)

I tried to find places that accept this second fiddle currency, and the absolute best thing I could find was a website called Cryptopet. This treasure of the internet sells dog bowties and neckties in such a dazzling array of colors that it makes my head spin. Could I put one of these babies on my cat? The possibilities are endless, and the bowties are only $7.20 each!!

My bubble of joy is punctured after scrolling down: it seems my research was wrong and this place only accepts Bitcoin, Dogecoin, Litecoin, and something called Dash.

This seems like a good time to point out that information on which outlets accept which cryptocurrency is hard to find and harder to keep updated.

According to reports from a year ago, Ethereum was finding some use on the Dark Web, due to the authorities increasing ease in tracking Bitcoin. Ok, not going down that road, but good to know.

Let’s really get into this TrumpCoin thing

I want to leave politics out of this, but I’d be remiss not to mention TrumpCoin, a digital currency created as a “worldwide grassroots fundraising tool for projects the president deems fit for improving America.”

Looking over the FAQ on the TrumpCoin site, it looks like an exercise in directly giving money to Trump, though it’s unclear if the money ever actually goes to Trump.

This is actually not the only Donald Trump-themed coin available, nor is it the only politician-themed currency. Notable currencies in this genre include the Ron Paul Coin and Mao Zedong, but my favorite has to be the Billary Coin, the cryptocurrency that boasts on its website that “democracy is so overrated,” for some reason.

Moving on…


I really really don’t think Catcoins can be used for anything at all. When I tried to find places that accept Catcoins, all my search came up with was a grumpy cat coin purse, which is actually really cute. I wonder if I can pay for it using Catcoins?

To be honest, I’m not sure my experiment is working too well, and I am feeling a bit faint from eating nothing but KFC all day. In fact, those dog bowties are looking pretty tasty right about now….


The day is winding down, and I don’t really feel as if I’ve gotten very far. I must conclude that, while many retailers accept Bitcoin and I love the idea of cryptocurrency, attempting to subsist off of dogecoin and Ron Paul Coin feels a bit like an exercise in futility.

One sort of worrying trend is that of embattled regimes and companies attempting to redeem themselves using the promise of cryptocurrency and blockchain. Long Island Iced Tea did this recently, and hilariously got itself removed from Nasdaq for misleading investors with lies about blockchain.

Venezuela’s government is attempting to ride on Bitcoin’s coattails as well with a new currency called Petro. According to reports, the Petro is not a cryptocurrency, and plans to make it one are vague at best. Venezuela has been plagued by inflation and economic instability, so the introduction of the Petro feels more like the Maduro government’s attempt to fix these issues with a new sort of currency.

Apparently the Petro can only be used to pay your taxes in Venezuela, so I think I’ll hold off on buying any for now. After all, I’m tired and the hour is late. Also, I just don’t have any taxes to pay in Venezuela at the moment.

What I learned

The main thing I learned today is that the dog bowtie industry is booming.

Just kidding, sort of.

The main thing I learned in my journey through cryptocurrency is that there is a lot of creativity in the space. While it remains to be seen if Bitcoin and other currencies will change our economic system, I am loving the fun people are having experimenting with the technology. (Except Venezuela. Whatever they’re doing doesn’t seem very fun at all.)

So go forth with your cryptocurrencies while always keeping your information safe. After all, your privacy is worth a million dogecoin.