So you’ve created a wallet. You set up an account at an exchange, or a service such as CoinBase.com, or you even to met someone in person via localbitcoins.com. Last but not least you actually bought some bitcoins! Congratulations! Now what?
There are a few things you can do.
Sit on the bitcoins in the hope that they will escalate in value and we can all become gazillionaires. If I see another prediction that each bitcoin will be worth 10 or 100,000 dollars I’m going to pull the few remaining hairs out of my head. No one has a clue what bitcoins will be worth in the future. However it is a fact that many if not most bitcoins in existence are simply sitting in addresses and have never been spent. Speculating on their potential increase in value is perfectly reasonable. Of course they could just as easily fall in value, thus the term “speculation”.
Rather then simply sitting on your coin, one fascinating thing you can do is to loan your bitcoin via a number of peer 2 peer lending services. Since bitcoin exists within a totally decentralized infrastructure, you don’t have to get anyones permission to loan bitcoin to someone else. There are a number of peer 2 peer lending services. In particular I’d suggest checking out BTCjam.com. You look at requests for loans, the interest rate they will pay you and the time period for the loan. Pay attention to the detail of the people requesting loans and the suggestions from the site on how to reduce your risk. Overall it’s a very cool way to try to earn money from your bitcoins and help some folks out at the same time.
You can sell your bitcoin, via a service such as localbitcoins.com and try to make some profit by selling for more then you paid. Of course feel free to sell for less but that usually won’t last too long.
Last but not least, you can buy stuff! Yes you can actually buy good and services. The biggest “store” that accepts bitcoin directly is Overstock.com. It’s great fun and just cool to go to Overstock and click on paying with bitcoin. The transactions are as fast as using a credit card, you get a confirmation, just like using a credit card and everything is smooth. I can’t say that as a consumer there is any great benefit to using bitcoin versus a credit card, but if you like the idea of denying that extra little fee to a big bad bank (and doesn’t that put a smile on your face) then bitcoin it. Another cool way of buying lots of different things is via the “Gyft” service. Gyft is a company that let’s you buy other companies gift cards. However you can pay for your Gyft card via bitcoin! So if you want a giftcard from CVS, or Zappos or Sephora you can simply put money into your Gyft account and even better use an app on your phone to buy products with the supported gift cards. And you can pay for it all with bitcoin. Very snazzy!
There are more and more places that accept bitcoin. Naturally there are web sites that keep track of this such as SpendBitcoins. Now you have no excuse to not buy bitcoin and do things with it, so go forth and consume.