PS5 shortages have been going on for months, but paying with crypto could enable you to access an untapped supply that other shoppers may not know about.
It was one of the most-anticipated releases of a games console for years — the PlayStation 5.
Sony’s latest hi-spec model also couldn’t have come at a better time. Making its long-awaited debut in November 2020, gamers had high hopes of keeping entertained during a harsh winter… and averting boredom during coronavirus lockdowns that kept us confined indoors, unable to go to restaurants, and away from our loved ones.
Alas, many of us were left disappointed because of stock shortages. Around the world, PS5s would sell out instantly as soon as shops got a batch — and Sony admitted that a shortage of semiconductors was having a detrimental impact on its production processes. (The lack of chips has also been affecting the distribution of Bitcoin mining hardware.)
Even now, frustrated gamers are having trouble getting their hands on this console, with the likes of Amazon sold out. Twitter trackers have been set up so people can find out when the PS5 is back in stock, and opportunistic scammers have been preying on those who are desperate to make a purchase. On some second-hand marketplaces such as eBay, buyers face hugely inflated prices, too.
It doesn’t have to be this way, though. One of the best-kept secrets when it comes to PS5 stock lies in how a number of crypto-focused marketplaces have brand-new, shiny consoles that are ready to be shipped to your door. How do we know this? Because we got one.
Buying a PS5 using crypto
One website that has PS5s in stock is Exeno, a website that specializes in allowing people to purchase top gadgets such as iPhones, iPads, laptops and electric scooters using digital assets. Prices are presented in Bitcoin, Bitcoin Vault and Ether — alongside a dollar amount for comparison.
Beyond that, the process is incredibly similar to any other fiat-focused eCommerce site that you may have encountered. In-depth information is provided about each product’s specifications, and users have the freedom to leave reviews.
When an account is registered using Exeno, individual wallets for each of the three cryptocurrencies supported are automatically set up — meaning that you can top up your account through your wallet or chosen exchange.
A common worry that some shoppers may have when using cryptocurrencies is that the rates may suddenly change or could be out of date. Exeno says it gets around this through a partnership with Kanga.Exchange. A seamless experience has been built that ensures the process of making a payment is completed in under a minute — and during this time, an item’s price is frozen to deliver certainty to the consumer.
Of course, there’s also an argument that making a purchase using Bitcoin might not be a good idea anyway. Some horror stories have emerged over the years, such as the sorry tale of Laszlo Hanyecz, the man who paid 10,000 BTC for two pizzas in 2010. (At the time of writing, this stash would be worth an eye-watering $580 million.)
This isn’t a concern for Exeno’s CEO Tom Babiak, who told Cointelegraph: “Every currency fluctuates. In a situation when Bitcoin has been bought at a knockdown price, paying for goods with it when its value is rising, is an excellent solution.”
Another argument might be that making a purchase using crypto directly can be more efficient — especially if you were only going to convert your Bitcoin into dollars to snap up an item anyway. Given how these transactions are taxable events, shoppers then need to go through the process of declaring any profits they made from holding on to their crypto, adding on another cost to paying in fiat.
The delivery arrives
Registering an account and making a purchase feels very familiar through this website’s interface — and if anything, using cryptocurrencies is rather novel. A fixed fee of 1.8% is added on top of the purchase.
We speedily received a notification telling us that our package was on its way, alongside an estimated delivery time and a link where we could track the shipment. Six days later, I was the envy of many gamers in London as I unboxed a brand-new PS5. One thing that immediately surprised me was the size of the package (which was lovingly secured with Exeno-branded tape.) This console was going to look intimidating next to my dainty Nintendo Switch.
The PS5 was well packaged, something that’s crucial given the perils that can be associated with international shipments. Another nice touch from Exeno came in the form of a colorful card that says “thank you” in multiple languages.
Seeing prices for everyday products quoted in crypto is certainly a surreal experience — a Samsung smartphone for 0.01899551 BTC here, a printer for 0.535773 ETH there. And it seems like this could become much more normal in the future — especially considering how major platforms such as PayPal, Visa and Mastercard are all beginning to embrace digital assets.
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