June 26, 2013
Stephen Early, a Cambridge University computer scientist-turned-pub owner, decided to accept Bitcoin as a viable currency at The Pembury Tavern in Hackney, east London. Early’s sister bars in Cambridge, Norwich, and Peterborough are also on board.
After buying a few Bitcoins back in 2011, Early put them in a digital drawer, so to speak, and ignored them. The value of Bitcoin started climbing shortly thereafter, and Early decided people might want to spend their own crypto currencies on something useful: pints.
The Pembury Tavern got a quick upgrade and had 1,000 lines of code added to the electronic point-of-sale system Early had already designed for the pub. The new code allows customers to open their digital wallets, scan a custom-generated QR code, and have their payment confirmed.
After all is said and done, it takes less time than paying by credit card. Since adding Bitcoin on May 23, The Pembury Tavern has recorded nearly £800 in Bitcoin sales, or about $1,230 – that translates into about 11.94 BTC.
Aside from The Pembury Tavern and its network, there are countless retailers getting on board with digital currencies; there is even an entire sector of Berlin that not only accepts, but encourages the use of Bitcoin from shoppers.
With innovators like Early breathing life into the Bitcoin market, it raises an important question: are we witnessing the beginnings of a global currency? Let us know your thoughts.
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