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How to use and spend Ethereum

How to use and spend Ethereum


19th December 2019
Updated: 11th February 2020

4a – What is ether used for?

Ether has two main usage purposes: to use as ‘gas’ to fuel smart contracts, and for ordinary everyday use like a ‘regular’ currency.

‘Gas’ is simply a unit of ether that is necessary for the successful operation of a smart contract on the Ethereum blockchain. Just like a car needs fuel to run on the road, smart contracts need ‘gas’ to operate on the Ethereum blockchain.

However, ether is now mostly used for its latter purpose. To give examples, many Australians today pay their household bills using ether, you can gamble with ether in many online casinos and betting sites, buy furniture from Overstock, and send remittance payments using your ether. Ether is particularly suited to the latter of these because it can be transferred anywhere in the world instantly with no conversion fees.

If you’re interested in learning more about ether gambling, our ‘Gambling’ pages will take you through everything you need to know. What we’re going to do next is run you through how you can spend your ether in real shops, both online and offline.

4b – Who accepts ether?

If you want to spend your ether, this is the most important question. Transactions with ether can only be completed with shops/individuals that accept it as a payment option and have a wallet address to receive ether. If this is the case, spending your ether usually involves the simple process of scanning a QR code generated by the shop’s wallet and inputting the amount of ether you wish to send.

If a shop or online platform accepts ether, it will be listed in their payment options. We’ll always keep you updated with new places that allow you to shop with your ether.

4c – What about shops that don’t accept ether?

It’s reasonable to think that if a shop doesn’t accept ether, then you can’t pay with it. While it may seem like this would make spending your ether impossible, this is actually not the case.

Companies have created products to encourage the adoption of ether into existing payment schemes around the world, rather than just waiting for every shop to accept ether directly. Ether debit cards allow you to pay with your ether anywhere that accepts ‘regular’ card payments.

Ether debit cards are loaded with ether, but allow you to pay in shops that only accept card payments. This means that it’s possible to incorporate ether into your day-to-day life easily, and you can even start paying for monthly expenses such as a mobile phone contract from your ether debit card.

4d – Where can I go to learn more?

Congratulations! You have completed our crash-course on Ethereum. Further information on everything we have discussed here can be found across Invezz. If you have any questions to which you can’t find an answer, then we’re always available via live chat to handle any queries.

By Harry Atkins
Harry joined us in 2019 to lead our Editorial Team. Drawing on more than a decade writing, editing and managing high-profile content for blue chip companies, Harry’s considerable experience in the finance sector encompasses work for high street and investment banks, insurance companies and trading platforms.
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