For some people, giving money is an insult. It shows that you didn’t take the time to purchase a thoughtful gift. For others, money is the best gift, because it saves the giver time of finding something that won’t end up in the garbage (for the right price) and saves the receiver the stress of pretending to like it. Win-win! When you gift bitcoin, you have the benefit of playing both sides, gifting something awesome, unique, and valuable… that’s also spendable on goods and services.
The cool thing about giving bitcoin as a gift is that no matter which side of the debate you land on, bitcoin is a perfect fit.
Bitcoin is money, so if you give someone bitcoin they can save it or spend it. It’s up to them. Plus, they get the added bonus of having the value of that money grow over time if they choose to save it! There are many stories of people sending five or six bitcoins to friends as a quirky gift in 2011, which, as you probably know, could now buy several houses.
Bitcoin is also a very thoughtful gift. Bitcoiners love Bitcoin, and for many, it turns out to be a kind of hobby. We read books about it. We listen to podcasts about it. We go to meetups and we wear the swag. Giving some bitcoin to your bitcoiner friend, family, wife, husband, child, or girl/boyfriend is also something very thoughtful to do, especially if bitcoin isn’t really your thing.
If you know a Bitcoin Guy or Bitcoin Girl, and they won’t shut up about Bitcoin, it’s obvious they will like anything to do with Bitcoin. There are lots of different bitcoin gifts out there, but for many people, the best gift you can get a bitcoiner is more bitcoin so they can add to their stack. That $20 or $50 or $100 or whatever you get them today could be worth 100x in a few decades. Just don’t get jealous if you see the value of your gift skyrocket in the next few years.
Just in case, you may want to grab some bitcoin for yourself while you’re at it. Don’t forget, there’s a lot of stuff you can buy with bitcoin these days!
How To Give Your Friends & Family Some Bitcoin
1. EASY: Send Them An Email
The easiest way to give someone bitcoin if you know nothing about bitcoin and don’t even want to mess with touching it is to simply sign up for a service called Swan, and they’ll do the rest. Swan is designed for newbies, which includes you, so if you have any questions at all they usually respond via email in just a few minutes.
After you sign up and pay with your card or bank account, the person receiving the gift will receive an email with instructions on how to collect it.
You can schedule the email to be sent on whatever day you want, and include a message too. After the receiver gets the email, they’ll be prompted to create a Swan account if they don’t have one already, and from there, they can choose to leave the bitcoin on Swan, or withdraw it to their own bitcoin wallet.
If they’re a long-time bitcoiner, they probably have their own wallet already, and if they don’t, please remind them: not your keys not your coins. If they’re a brand new bitcoiner, Swan has some awesome educational resources and a great support team to help them get a hardware wallet and properly secure their coins. Of course, their coins are safe on Swan, but it’s just “best practice” to hold the keys to your own coins.
Giving bitcoin via Swan is a very hands-off solution, and surprisingly, they are the only service I know of that offers something like this.
2. MEDIUM: Download An App
One method that requires slightly more work for you, but is still pretty easy nonetheless is to just download your own bitcoin wallet on your phone and buy some bitcoin, then transfer the bitcoin to them. This is more of a “peer-to-peer” solution and is a chill way to give someone some bitcoin. One option for getting bitcoin really fast is through CashApp, which is owned by Block (formerly Square).
CashApp is trusted by millions as a mobile bank, so you won’t have to worry about navigating some complicated, unknown bitcoin app to buy some bitcoin. With CashApp, you just connect your bank account via Plaid, then you can send money to yourself directly from your bank. Once you have a cash balance on the app, you can trade it for bitcoin directly inside the app. You can then see your cash balance and bitcoin balance on separate tabs within the app.
Once you have however much bitcoin you want, you can then send that bitcoin directly from the CashApp bitcoin wallet to any else’s bitcoin wallet.
While you’re in the app, you can switch the unit denomination from “bitcoin” to “sats”, which are like dollars ($) and cents (¢). Instead of sending someone ₿0.0001, you can send them 丰100,000! Both are bitcoin. Same thing. Just a different way of counting.
3. HARD (But Cool): Give Them An Opendime
So, this third method is a little challenging if you’re not familiar with bitcoin, but it’s very cool, and worth the effort if you want to really give that “I tried” impression. Plus, once you learn it, you can just repeat this process for any holiday or event, and it’ll always be a hit. I guarantee it.
First, you’ll need to buy a little device called an Opendime. It’s like a USB stick specifically for bitcoin.
There’s a video below with the full tutorial, but I’ll give you a brief overview.
- First, you need to acquire some bitcoin. CashApp works great, as mentioned above.
- Next, you need to generate the keys on your Opendime using a computer (one-step process)
- Third, you need to get your receive address on the device (QR code)
- Then, use your CashApp to scan the QR code and send the bitcoin to this address
- Last, remove the Opendime from the USB port and give it as a gift!
That little USB stick now contains bitcoin on it, and the person can verify it hasn’t been tampered with. They can continue to load the stick with more bitcoin, or they can break the seal and withdraw the money to their own wallet.
Since Opendimes are only sold in 3-packs, you can use each one as a gift for the next three times or give some bitcoin to multiple people this year!
One last bit of advice here: since this is a gift, the orange one is probably the coolest option since it’s “bitcoin orange”, but the green one disguised as a standard flash drive is kind of cool too.
Cutting Edge: Mutiny Gifts
Mutiny Gifts just launched two minutes ago, and it’s a pretty cool thing. Mutiny is a browser-based lightning wallet that allows you to use lightning in a way that gives you full control over your bitcoin. The details are a little complicated, but in a nutshell, you get to use the cutting-edge fastest/cheapest way to send bitcoin, without trusting someone to hold your bitcoin for you. The best of both worlds!
With Mutiny Gifts, you can gift someone the power of lightning bitcoin directly in their browser. You’ll need sats in your own Mutiny wallet, and a Premium subscription to the wallet (丰21,000 sats). Go into Settings > Gifting, and put in how much you want the gift to be for. Send them the URL (https://app.mutinywallet.com/gift?amount=etc123) of the gift or have them scan the QR code, and Mutiny will load in the browser with their new wallet ready to send lightning bitcoin (or deposit sats into their current Mutiny Wallet)
The Second Best Gift For A Bitcoiner
The best gift for a bitcoiner is more bitcoin, but do you know what the second best gift is? Any Bitcoin enthusiast would be absolutely thrilled to hear that you bought yourself some bitcoin as well. Bitcoiners love to orange pill their friends and family, but very often, it’s an uphill battle. If you really want to impress them, keep a little stack for yourself, and maybe even get yourself a bitcoin book and learn a little bit about how bitcoin works. I guarantee you that if you ask them some questions about bitcoin next time you see them, they’ll be happy to talk about it with you.
Video: Gifting Bitcoin & Taxes
Here’s a good breakdown of what to expect as far as taxes go for US citizens when gifting bitcoin. It’s mostly basic stuff, but has some interesting details about include an actual “gift letter” saying what the current fair market value is so they can actually determine how to pay their own taxes if they decide to sell.