How I personally use Bitrefill to live on cryptocurrency here in Colombia. Bitrefill has over 60 products specifically for this country, so I can buy almost everything I need directly with bitcoin or altcoins.
So many ways to spend your Bitcoin
Until about 2 weeks ago, using cryptocurrency to buy things in Colombia was very difficult. Places that accept it directly are very rare. Apart from the difficulty of spending your Bitcoin or altcoins at a store, restaurant, or coffee shop, the exchange options here in Colombia to convert your coins to Pesos are also very limited.
Most people use LocalBitcoins or LocalCoinSwap, and if they’re lucky enough to have a bank account, they use Buda.com. There are a couple other exchanges also, but they lack liquidity, and trades can take a while to complete. Bitcoin ATMs here will let you buy BTC, but not sell it for pesos. Recently, this has all changed very dramatically.
On September 8th, 2020, Bitrefill launched 66 gift cards for a lineup of Colombia’s most popular stores, ecommerce, restaurants, grocery stores, pharmacies, health and beauty, and services. With the new additions to the catalog, I can now actually live on crypto with ease. I can get almost anything imaginable, eat out at the best places, and get almost anything I need, delivered directly to my door.
On a typical day if I need to do some grocery shopping, there is a wide range of options available. I can get groceries at Carulla, Exito, Superinter, Merqueo, Metro, Jumbo, and Surtimax. Basically, with these gift cards, I can purchase almost any food item in existence, even gourmet and imported products.
If I need to get some clothes, shoes, or if my wife wants to shop for her and my son, there are a lot of options for shopping for name brands at the best stores. I usually get stuff from Patprimo. My wife loves Falabella, Dafiti, Pepe Ganga, Spring Step, Tennis, Fuera de Serie, Velez, Facol, Totto, Boots & Bags, and Pilatos. There are lots of other stores as well, both brick and mortar and online.
You can get home electronics and appliances at Alkosto, and also at Exito and Falabella, which I mentioned above. If you need to print anything, or just restock on your office supplies there’s Comercial Papelera.
If I need to go to the pharmacy there’s Unidrogas, and my wife has been buying her makeup and hair care products from W7 and Fedco. If you need to get a new pair of prescription glasses or designer sunglasses, you can get them at Lafam.
If I can’t find what I am looking for at one of the stores, I can always order online from Linio, it’s like Colombia’s version of Amazon. My wife likes ordering things from Loro, also. If I don’t feel like going out, I can order almost anything with Rappi, and get it delivered to my home, there’s takeout cuisine from lots of local restaurants, and essential items from hundreds of stores.
If I don’t feel like cooking and can’t find something to order from Rappi, I can always pick my favorite restaurant and get a meal delivered from Domicilios.com, or get dessert, drinks, or food to prepare at home from Amicasa.
Since we’re talking about restaurants and food, Bitrefill also added lots of gift cards for eating out. There’s lots of great food options like Don Jediondo, Presto, Sandwich Qbano, McDonald’s, Pizza Hut, Burger King, Cali Mio, Cali Vea, Kokoriko, Pizzeria Aurelio, and La Brasa Roja. I can even take my son to Popsy for an ice cream.
As far as entertainment is concerned, there’s Netflix for movies and TV shows, Spotify for music and podcasts, Playstation for gaming, and Tuboleta.com for live events, festivals and concerts. I can even keep in touch with family in the states with Skype.
If you feel like taking a trip, Antojese Travel, Hotelgift, Hotels.com, and Flightgift, can help you book your next vacation. They have deals on resorts, flights, car rentals, cruises, and bus fares. You can finally take a trip domestically here in Colombia or abroad, and pay with BTC.
Wishlists & Gift Cards can be powerful tools for living on crypto
One of the most useful things I have stumbled upon recently is Bitrefill’s new wishlist feature. A wishlist is a list which you can add products to, and then share with friends and family. For example if your birthday or wedding is coming up, you can create and share your wish list
I have been sending my wishlist to my family members in the US, and they have been able to buy us things from the wishlist, instead of sending money. For my son’s Birthday, my mom was able to send him a Pepe Ganga gift card so he could buy some new toys. If you feel like taking a look at our wishlist, you can see it here. They make giving a gift super easy.
If you’re a Bitcoiner in Colombia, I can’t recommend it enough that you take a look at the selection of gift cards available from Bitrefill.
You can see the whole catalog here.
Living on crypto in Colombia used to be very difficult, time consuming, and expensive. Selling your Bitcoin for Pesos was stressful and often the buyer did not want to pay you a fair price. You also had the risks associated with making a cash transaction with a total stranger.
Now thanks to Bitrefill, that has changed. Living on crypto now is really easy and convenient, as using gift cards is much better than using an exchange as far as privacy goes. On top of that, it just feels good to go into a store and make a purchase knowing that you paid with Bitcoin, even if the cashier doesn’t know it.