Living Solely on Crypto: 3 Real-Life Stories
The world’s first cryptocurrency was invented back in 2009. Since then, crypto has been used as an alternative to the traditional banking system. Some view it as a financial instrument, others as a payment method or a hedge against inflation. With the advancement of technology and the internet, Bitcoin could be considered a type of digitalized gold reserve.
A couple of questions have been bothering me: Should I invest in crypto? Would it be possible to live solely on cryptocurrencies, and how difficult of a task would that be? How do you earn your wages in Bitcoin, pay for groceries, or pay your taxes? The value of cryptocurrencies fluctuates constantly, and the price for goods and services changes every minute. But some people manage to live only on crypto, and this is their story.
The Story of Benjamin Tyler Perrin
Benjamin Tyler Perrin is a Canadian YouTuber and a Bitcoin influencer. Ben is the host of the YouTube channel BTC Sessions, and he has been living on bitcoin since September 2020. He made a one-month trial run in 2014 to see how it would go and because he was pleased with the results, he decided to live solely on bitcoin for as long as possible.
Mr Perrin wasn’t satisfied with the inflationary nature of traditional money. Because fiat money can be printed at the will of the government, its value depreciates over time. That affects the purchasing power of the population, who are required to spend more and more cash for the same goods and services. Bitcoin is the exact opposite. It has a finite supply of 21 million units and a predetermined release schedule based on the current block reward. With that in mind, Ben decided to only use bitcoin to preserve and increase the value of his personal wealth.
Ben explains how it’s easier to live only on bitcoin than people might think. He is originally from Canada, which makes it simpler to spend bitcoin than in certain other parts of the world. Because of bitcoin’s scarcity and incredible price shifts, he has become more conscious of what he spends his money on. As a result, Benjamin can save more and make more sound decisions than with traditional cash.
He works full-time for the YouTube channel BTC Sessions and is paid entirely in bitcoin. He has sponsors that pay him for advertising their goods and services and conducts private counseling with individual clients. They all pay Ben exclusively in cryptocurrencies.
As an experienced bitcoiner, he knows how to value his privacy. Ben takes advantage of CoinJoin and mixing services to prevent third parties from gaining awareness of everything he owns. For personal safety, it’s not wise to let clients and store owners know how much bitcoin you have.
Ben handles his finances in the following way:
- He determines how much he needs for monthly bills and sets that aside.
- The next step involves putting a part of his salary in long-term cold storage on a hardware wallet. The aim is to save up as much bitcoin as possible to benefit from it with future price rises.
- He uses a day-to-day wallet to pay for all the things he needs regularly.
Ben pays his Canadian bills with services such as BullBitcoin and Bitcoin Well. These companies allow users to use cryptocurrencies to pay for any kind of bills. All you need to do is enter the company's name and the type of utility you are paying. The customer will be presented with a QR code that needs to be scanned with your phone and tells you how much you need to pay and to which address. Once the payment is completed, the coins will be converted to US$ and sent to the biller. Citizens of the US and other places around the globe can pay bills using Strike or Cash App.
For day-to-day expenses, Benjamin uses Bitrefill to purchase gift cards with his bitcoin for the various products and services that he needs. Bitrefill allows customers to exchange their coins for vouchers for many different shops. You can use it to shop for food, clothes, mobile top-ups, beauty products, games and entertainment, travel, Uber, electronics, gas, etc. Of course, the offered goods and services depend on your place of living. The positive thing about Bitrefill is that it accepts bitcoin payments over the Lightning Network, allowing users to send even faster and cheaper transactions.
If Mr Perrin needs fiat money, he uses bitcoin-backed lending platforms to lend US dollars for bitcoin collateral. Such platforms give people an alternative to exchanging crypto for fiat. Once your loan is paid out, you regain custody of your bitcoins.
Since his shift from US$ to bitcoin, Benjamin has had a positive experience with crypto and has increased his wealth by 200% on average annually.
NFL Football Player Sean Culkin
Sean Culkin is a professional American Football player who plays in the NFL. During the 2020/2021 season, he earned a salary of $920,000, becoming the first National Football Player to convert 100% of his income into bitcoin. The player uses the payments application Strike that allows its customers to send and receive crypto for free and convert traditional currencies to cryptocurrencies.
Sean attended the University of Missouri, where he holds a degree in finance and economics. When he was a young boy, his father taught him about the values of gold. Through his education at “Mizzou”, Sean saw a correlation between gold and bitcoin. He stated that BTC is the future of finance and decided to be entirely paid in the oldest crypto in the world.
Sean says he is not worried about the volatility of bitcoin because, in a long term crypto investment, the value of the coin is set to rise. It’s a rare and deflationary asset that represents the opposite of fiat money. The player has been looking into bitcoin since 2016, the first time he heard about it. Following risk assessment and financial guidance, he finally decided to start accepting the coin in March 2020. He opted to use Strike to do the automatic conversion for him so that he doesn’t have to follow market movements before deciding when to invest. Strike does it for him.
Sean became a cryptocurrency geek while studying for his degree. He can now be considered a bitcoin advocate after recommending his fans to invest some money in cryptocurrencies. Many professional NFL players are becoming more and more interested in bitcoin, so they turn to Sean for guidance.
Olaf Carlson-Wee, The First Coinbase Employee Paid in Bitcoin
Olaf Carlson-Wee is the founder and CEO of the cryptocurrency hedge fund Polychain Capital. But before he became a successful investor, Olaf sent an email to Coinbase in February 2013 asking for a job. He wrote a 90-pages college thesis on bitcoin and included that alongside his application letter.
He made quite an impression because he soon became Coinbase’s first employee and started working in the customer service department. During the three years he spent at Coinbase, he was paid solely in bitcoin. He made quick progress in the company, eventually becoming the Head of Risk & Product Manager.
Olaf started accepting bitcoin as his salary when one coin was valued at only $20-$30 and at a time when it wasn’t as popular as it’s today. Nevertheless, he understood its value and felt like speculating where it might go. For him, bitcoin was a long term crypto investment. His initial idea was to negotiate a fixed sum of bitcoin annually. But instead, the company paid him a dollar-denominated salary converted to bitcoin when it gets paid out.
Carlson-Wee sees bitcoin as a much fairer type of currency because it’s not controlled by a government or institution. It allows him to preserve and increase his personal wealth. He mainly shopped with merchants who accepted bitcoin, but he often traded his coins for fiat with friends and roommates when he needed real cash.
During that time of his life, he used a bitcoin debit card that withdrew money from his wallet. Those coins got converted into US$ in places that didn’t accept crypto but accepted card payments. He used various tricks to pay with fiat money when needed, like giving bitcoin to friends to pay his rent or restaurant bills. Using bitcoin for online shopping was much easier, especially for electronics and computer gadgets. Many IT merchants were, in fact, early bitcoin adopters.
For Olaf, bitcoin is an excellent way to increase his purchasing power. However, he has no intentions to sell his coins. Instead, he dreams of a world where he can only use cryptocurrencies and not worry about traditional paper money. Bitcoin gives him control of his money that he doesn’t have when the money is sitting in a bank account. The financial crisis of 2008 that caused many Americans to lose their life savings is proof of how insecure and speculative the banking cartel is.
Carlson-Wee loves to travel and uses the services of travel agencies that accept payments in bitcoin. Olaf kept his faith in bitcoin through all of its volatile swings and says that the thing that scares him the most is quantum computing. A powerful enough quantum computer could, in the next 50 years, potentially be configured to expose the private key from a public key. But even if that happens, the software could just be upgraded to a quantum-resistant algorithm.
Olaf is confident that he made the correct decision considering what his digital assets were worth back in 2013 and what they are worth in 2021.
Living only on cryptocurrencies is possible, but it greatly depends on where you are from. The more crypto-friendly a nation is, the easier it is to find merchants and services that’ll happily accept your coins in exchange for their products. Luckily, there are payment providers who supply clients with various debit cards that allow simple conversions from crypto to fiat in places where digital coins aren’t accepted, but payments via credit/debit cards are. So, before you ask yourself, should I invest in crypto, please consider how easy or difficult it would be to spend digital assets in your country.
Popular cryptocurrencies like bitcoin have one quality that traditional money lacks. They are an anti-inflationary asset with a proven track record of being a 1st-class store of value. But not only that. Cryptocurrencies are international, and they have no borders. It’s the quickest and safest way for irreversible money transfers to be conducted across countries.
Changing your lifestyle to live solely on crypto requires good planning, skills, and determination. But it’s worth it. It’s a satisfying feeling looking at your digital wallet and noticing how your purchasing power is increasing every month. To swap your crypto, head to ChangeNOW exchange service.