Merry Christmas from You, Me, and BTC! It is December 25th and you have probably already opened most of your gifts. Hopefully your shopping is complete as well, but if you still need a little something for that gift exchange, why not consider Bitcoin?
Bitcoin is new, revolutionary, and exciting. It would be easy to dismiss the idea of gifting Bitcoin simply because it is a little hard to understand and the recipient might not even know how to use it, but I think that should be all the more reason to give it away. Sometimes it just is not worth trying to explain it all. A potential adopter will probably learn a whole lot more by actually using cryptocurrency than they will listening to your ramblings about the blockchain and private keys.
On the one hand, a recipient might be annoyed that he will have to do some kind of research and create some sort of wallet simply to use his present. On the other hand, he will be well rewarded for his effort in the end, and he should be willing to forgive you. Bitcoin is amazing in so many ways and will bring loads of benefits to anyone who is wise enough to begin understanding it and using it. Not only that, but the Bitcoin itself has value. At the very least, a recipient could exchange it for the fiat currency of their choice and still have a fairly nice gift.
In fact, the exchange value of Bitcoin will very likely intrigue the new user quite a bit. You could give someone $10 or $20 worth of Bitcoin right now and they might just set it aside and forget about it. But give it a year or so and that coin might be worth two, three, or ten times as much. Maybe even more! Then your special someone will have a very good reason to go digging through his drawers for that QR code that you gave him.
This brings us to figuring out how to give Bitcoins away as a gift. There are any number of possibilities, but I think a QR code on a paper wallet might be one of the best solutions. One easy way to create a paper wallet is at bitaddress.org. In just seconds you can generate any number of key pairs and print them all out, one per page.
I would recommend adding a bit of Bitcoin advice to each wallet as well, so the recipient will know what to do with what he has just received. You could mention the Mycelium Android app which allows you to scan a private key QR code and add the funds to a regular electronic wallet. You could also mention some of your favorite places to spend Bitcoins or point new users to bitpay.com/directory where they can explore a list of thousands of merchants that accept Bitcoin. You could also explain to more skeptical users that they could just exchange their gift for dollars at an exchange like Coinbase.
It is the season of giving! Why not give something that people will love and that will benefit an entire community? When you give Bitcoin, you are not just giving a little bit of money. You are giving an investment that will almost certainly be worth a whole lot more down the road. And when your loved one finally does spend that coin, progress happens. That is what we all need. We need a growing, booming Bitcoin economy, and you have the power to contribute to that.