For many of us interested in cryptocurrency, it's often something we'd love to see our friends and family take more interest in using. However, like all new things, it can be not easy to find the best way to get people engaged in something they aren't familiar with.
One of the approaches you can use to both share your interest in bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies with people but also give them a taste as well is to gift some bitcoin for a birthday, Christmas, graduation, or really any reason you'd like. This idea provokes questions though, as to how to give bitcoin as a gift? Let's explore some of the ways you could share your enthusiasm about bitcoin with those around you, and some of the things you should consider to make sure you are giving the best bitcoin gift.
The Most Important First Step
The biggest thing to consider is getting the cryptocurrency to gift, and one convenient way to do that is using P2P trading on LocalCoinSwap. Even if you are looking to buy smaller amounts of bitcoin, you can do so with just about any payment method you could want to use. It's a simple process that only involves a few steps and can quickly get you back to getting excited about preparing the bitcoin gifts you plan to give.
Simply sign up to LocalCoinSwap, and you can browse the trade offers available to find one that suits you. If you can't find just what you need, you can create your own trade offers as well. Whether you want to buy bitcoin with cash, PayPal, debit card, or things like local bank transfer using your bank account, you can with P2P trading.
Are You Going to Give a Fish or a Fishing Rod?
This question is one that provokes various opinions, but at the end of the day, it is one that you have to make the decision that is best suited to your needs. If you are gifting bitcoin to a friend or relative that you know isn't the most organized, you may want to do something a little more straightforward. Still, if possible, it can be an enjoyable experience to teach them how to best accept the bitcoin gift from you themselves.
Handing over a private key is something that would make most of us involved in cryptocurrency cringe, but if you are giving just a small amount of bitcoin to a relative that isn't tech-savvy at all (or is prone to losing things), it may be the right solution in those cases.
The problem with you having access is that you have never "completely" given the gift away if you also have a copy of the private key. So if it is practical to do so, the best way to go is to teach your gift recipient how to accept and store the bitcoin themselves. If you do have to go for the simpler approach, you could gift a bitcoin paper wallet. Provided your recipient stores the wallet safely, they don't have to worry about too much. If you are going to gift bitcoin and want to use a paper wallet, you could opt to help them generate one themselves to ensure that only they have access to their private keys.
Why Bitcoin Gift Cards aren't the Best Choice
While a bitcoin gift card might seem like a straightforward way to give bitcoin gifts, there are a few issues and concerns to take into account when contemplating this option.
Firstly, bitcoin gift card providers tend to offer gift cards that, once redeemed, give the cardholder the value of the card at the current rate of bitcoin. The problem with this is that if you gift the card and then later bitcoin increases significantly in value. Suddenly your gift can start looking more like a missed opportunity, especially if the cardholder assumes that the card holds actual bitcoin value, not fiat value.
The other concern that comes with gift cards is that they promise the future redemption of bitcoin, so holding them longer-term, you run the risk of the company shutting down or other related problems with this promise of later redemption. If you do wish to use gift cards, bitcoin can be obtained with them by selling them on LocalCoinSwap. You can trade with many popular gift cards as payment methods; you may even be able to re-gift an unwanted gift by using one to purchase the bitcoin and get rid of a gift card you didn't intend to use anyway.
Bitcoin ATMs Don't Make the Best Choice Either
Like gift cards, bitcoin ATMs (sometimes called BATMS) can be a method to obtain some bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies, but for gifts, they have one significant problem, you still need a wallet to receive them typically. The fees for using bitcoin ATMs are also generally significantly higher than most other alternative ways to buy bitcoin.
As there are more economical ways to get bitcoin without having to drag yourself down to wherever the nearest one happens to be, and it's usually best to skip this option when giving the gift of bitcoin. Perhaps the aging ATM is just a better solution to dealing with cash and is better left out of your bitcoin purchases.
One of the Best Bitcoin Gifts is a Hardware Wallet
Suppose you are planning on giving a more considerable amount of bitcoin that you assume will be held onto for a while, or are perhaps giving one of your children an introduction to bitcoin. In that case, hardware wallets can be a fantastic gift idea.
There's a range of wallets to choose from, so you'll likely be able to find one you like and in your price range. As bitcoin isn't your average physical gift, giving a hardware wallet alongside it can really make it feel real to someone new to bitcoin and cryptocurrency. Wherever possible, the best thing to do in this regard is to sit down with the person and guide them through the setup process and show them the basic functionality if they aren't someone that could breeze through it themselves already. Giving a hardware wallet as a gift preloaded goes against the "not your keys, not your crypto" philosophy many of us share, so is best avoided unless there's no other practical option.
Finding Convenience When Gifting Small Amounts of Bitcoin
Sending smaller amounts (especially to numerous recipients) can make it challenging to find a suitable simple approach that doesn't involve buying everyone a hardware wallet or running your printer dry printing paper wallets. One option to consider for this could be mobile wallets. You could simply guide your recipient to a mobile wallet you recommend and then have them up and running in a matter of minutes, ready with their address to receive your bitcoin gift. If you are giving a cryptocurrency other than bitcoin that is a little harder to find compatible wallets, you may find mobile wallets an attractive solution to that problem.
While keeping any significant amount of bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency for that matter in a mobile wallet is easy to argue against, if your only goal is to give someone a taste of bitcoin, then it can be a practical introduction. If any of your recipients do take to it and start getting more involved, be sure to suggest they upgrade from this method of storage later. If you do go this route, try and spend at least a couple of minutes showing them how the essential wallet functions work, such as how to find their receiving address or back up their private keys or seed words.
Don't Mail or Email Private Keys
While slipping a couple of dollars into the mail in a card can be convenient enough, it's never ideal to send private keys via email and especially not via snail mail. The problem with doing this is that you are trusting that no one has seen and recorded the keys along the way, and trusting things you can't verify is never a good option when it comes to bitcoin. If you give bitcoin as a gift, it pays to take care when doing so to make the most of it and do so as safely as you can.
For the less tech-savvy and those with the habit of reusing passwords online between sites, sharing these delicate things by email poses the risk of someone stumbling on them if they gain access to the account. However, when you send bitcoin via email, you still have the trust issue as well as that data is stored somewhere you have no control over, think twice when mailing or emailing bitcoin!
Can You Gift Physical Bitcoin?
If you haven't seen these before, this question likely sounds rather strange. Over the years since the inception of bitcoin, many companies have produced what you could casually refer to "physical bitcoin," while it's not really physical bitcoin it typically takes the form of a coin that has a tamper-evident sticker or similar covering the private key while having the public address printed where you can see it.
The problem with these and the likely reason they don't seem to be very available anymore is a straightforward one; you don't know if that key is truly still private. Perhaps someone somewhere has been collecting them all at some point during production only to one day use them, it's always hard to say, and when you can't verify it yourself, you probably shouldn't trust it. While these can be a simple way to gift bitcoin, they do have their caveats.
The Best Bitcoin Gift Giving Experience
Part of what makes giving bitcoin as a gift great is that it can involve a little shared learning as well. Many approaches to gifting bitcoin can result in being able to share some of your knowledge with the recipient, which can make the gift feel all the more personal. If you want to give bitcoin as a gift for your next special occasion, spend a little time considering the most suitable approach for your situation and don't just send bitcoin, send your enthusiasm for this new technology along with it!
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