You Can Now Buy Booze With Bitcoins

By Bryan Le 07/15/13

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

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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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Bryan Le grew up in the 90's, so the Internet is practically his third parent. This combined with a love for journalism led him to The Fix. When he isn't fulfilling his duties as Editorial Coordinator, he's obsessing over fancy keyboards he can't justify buying. Find Bryan on LinkedIn or Twitter