Bitcoin Price Tags Bring Cryptocurrencies to the High Street

bittagpricetag04 Feb 2014 / Motherboard – Innovation in Bitcoin-land is usually limited to the development of new, still very Bitcoin-like cryptocurrencies, or fintech startups wanting to get a piece of the pie, sometimes with the help of Silicon Valleys’ coffers.

A London “creative technologist” has taken a more DIY approach to cryptocurrency innovation and built a device called the BitTag: an electronic price tag that automatically updates the cost of an item as the relative value of Bitcoin fluctuates.

Samuel Cox was motivated by a desire to bring Bitcoin out of the digital ether and into brick-and-mortar shops. “Bitcoin is currently an online currency which makes it relatively easy to pay for things online. This isn’t the case offline. So it started with the question, ‘What can I make to facilitate offline transactions with this virtual currency?’” he explained in an email.

The BitTag is similar to a regular paper tag; it shows information like product name and price in local currency, but also displays the real-time cryptocurrency price. “If the Bitcoin value suddenly fluctuates, the price on BitTag will instantly reflect this. The customer, therefore, instantly knows how much the item is worth, whilst the retailer does not incur any financial loss if the value of the Bitcoin changes,” Cox explains on his website.

It’s a simple solution to help people actually buy things with bitcoins, in the real world. As if it weren’t already tempting enough to sit on a pile of the cryptocurrency in the hope that it’ll increase in value, the fear of accidentally over-spending because of the constantly moving exchange rate is off-putting, so having a quick way to track changes is crucial. The tag can also display other cryptocurrencies if you’re more of a Dogecoin fan….. Read more

Photo credit: BitTag/Samuel Cox

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