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HOT TOPICS: Drug and Alcohol Treatment  Heroin

You Can Now Buy Booze With Bitcoins

A pub in England is now accepting the digital currency known for online drug purchasing.


Scan your bar code. Photo via

By Bryan Le


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The digital currency primarily used for payment on under-the-radar sites like Silk Road, Bitcoins are finally seeing the light—of a pub, at least. Enterprising computer scientist-turned-bar owner Stephen Early has modified his bar's cash register to accept the private, untraceable digital money. At the Pembury Tavern in Hackney, England, patrons can now use a Bitcoin app to snap a photo of a special QR code and charge a round of drinks to their Bitcoin account. “Its so simple,” says Luke, one of Pembury Tavern's bartenders. “It’s a matter of two buttons to bring up the QR code. You can then just do it on your phone on screen or we can print you off a receipt with the QR code on and how much it costs in Bitcoins and pounds.” The server is set up to calculate the rapidly fluctuating exchange rate twice a day to prevent hyper-inflation. Though the digital currency has only been in circulation for a few years (the DEA made its first seizure of the currency last month), the pub has made about £1,800 ($2,718 USD) in Bitcoin revenue since they began accepting it just over a month ago. And Early claims that the number of customers paying with Bitcoin is growing.

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