For all that many people don’t know what a Bitcoin is, there is a whole virtual world out there that loves using the digital currency to buy things online and even as payment for say, a house. One New York City bar wants to bump Bitcoins into the material realm in a very real way, by allowing customers to use the virtual currency to pay bar tabs.
Tonight’s the first night the bar will accept Bitcoins, after training staffers on the practice ahead of time, reports CNNMoney.
“When we opened a few months ago, I said that we needed to be the first New York bar to accept Bitcoins,” said the 23-year old co-owner of the Manhattan bar.
It’s good timing — Bitcoins have shot up in value by more than 300% in the last three weeks. As of today, one Bitcoin equals $194.
So how would it work? Customers would have to tell servers they’re going to pay in Bitcoins, at which point a server will hand over a tablet with a BitPay app. The app converts what would be a $15 martini, for example, into its 0.08 Bitcoin equivalent.
Customers then scan the resulting bar code with their smartphones and the amount is deducted from their Bitcoin accounts that same day.
The bar’s co-owner notes that it’s a cheaper transaction than using a credit card: BitPay charges a 1% fee while credit cards can take off 3% to 5% per transaction.
The New York bar that takes Bitcoins [CNNMoney]