How to Change Bitcoin Into Regular Money

A Bitcoin ATM, debit card, or online account could be just what you need

Man and woman sorting through their money
Convert your Bitcoin, Litecoin, and Ethereum to real money and go shopping. Jose Luis Pelaez Inc / Blend Images

More and more businesses are accepting Bitcoin, Litecoin, and other cryptocurrencies but it can still be hard to use your cryptocoins everywhere. Here are the three best ways to convert your Bitcoin into cash to use when shopping online and in store.

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Get Cash With a Bitcoin ATM

Bitcoin ATM in a cafe
A General Bytes Bitcoin ATM. General Bytes

Bitcoin ATMs are available in most major cities around the world and they provide a relatively fast way to quickly convert Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies into traditional, real-world money.

Many Bitcoin ATMs also allow users to buy Bitcoin with money in much the same way someone would deposit money into their bank account at a regular ATM. Most now support additional cryptocoins such as Litecoin and Ethereum as well.

Using a Bitcoin ATM to convert cryptocurrencies into money can be a convenient practice for those who get paid in Bitcoin and wish to spend their earnings. One downside though is the fees which are usually much higher on an ATM than an online service. The conversion rates can also be much lower than other methods as well which means that you may not get as much money for you crypto as you'd like.

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Convert Bitcoin Via an Online Service

Two mobile phones trading dollars for Bitcoin
Buying Bitcoin and other cryptocoins is very easy on Coinbase. DigitalVision Vectors / sorbetto

There are several popular online services that not only allow people to easily purchase Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies via their websites and smartphone apps but also sell the ones they have for real money.

The most-popular service is Coinbase while a good alternative is CoinJar. Both offer the buying and selling of Bitcoin, Litecoin, and Ethereum, while Coinbase also supports Bitcoin Cash (a completely separate cryptocurrency from Bitcoin) and CoinJar has Ripple.

Each service can connect to traditional bank accounts to pay for cryptocoin purchases. This connectivity also enables the selling of cryptocurrencies which can be converted into regular money and transferred to a bank account within a few days.

Many people use Coinbase and CoinJar to buy Bitcoin (and other coins) and cash out their profits via bank transfer as their cryptocoins gain in value. Others use their accounts to receive cryptocurrency payments from friends, family members, or customers which can then be withdrawn as money.

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Using a Bitcoin Debit Card

Monaco Card
Monaco Card is just one of many Bitcoin debit cards. Monaco

Cryptocurrency debit cards are a practical and affordable way to spend Bitcoin and other cryptocoins at traditional retailers who may not accept crypto payments but do offer support for debit and credit cards. These cards allow their users to deposit their cryptocoins via an online website which automatically converts them into a fiat currency such as the American Dollar or Euro.

Popular cryptocurrency debit cards are Monaco, Bitpay, CoinJar, and BCCPay. Each card is powered by either VISA or Mastercard which means that they can be used for both online and offline shopping at most businesses. Availability can vary by geographical region as can the daily and monthly usage limits so it's recommended to compare each card to find the right one for you and your financial situation.

Should You Convert Bitcoin to Cash?

Converting Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies to regular fiat money does make them immediately more usable in more situations. One thing to keep in mind however is that once a cryptocoin is converted into money, it will no longer increase (or decrease) in value. There is the potential for losing out on some potential earnings if the coin's price goes up. A good strategy to implement is to keep your cryptocurrency stored in a wallet or online service and only convert to money that which you'll need to spend over the following month. If there's a sudden need for more money, more cryptocoins can be withdrawn as cash from a Bitcoin ATM or added to a debit card in a matter of seconds. Remember that transferring cryptocurrencies to a bank account via Coinbase or CoinJar can take between one to five days however so it's best not to rely on this method for getting cash in emergencies.
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