Spokane bar welcomes Bitcoin, giving digital currency a tryout

volstead_act_bar11 Jan 2014 / The Spokesman Review – Spokane bartender Ash Hayden conducted a simple $24 transaction this week at the Volstead Act, the bar on Post Street where he works.

That payment, made by customer Matt Rush, was a big deal to Hayden, who’s spent the past year learning about a digital currency called Bitcoin.

Rush’s payment for three drinks was the first Bitcoin transaction at the Volstead Act, one of the first Spokane-area businesses to dive into that alternative to using debit or credit cards.

In North Idaho, at least a half-dozen companies are doing the same, testing whether customers are ready for the Bitcoin option, a virtual currency system that its advocates say could change how people conduct business.

This past week, Utah-based retailer Overstock.com became the first large online retailer to accept Bitcoin. Within the first 24 hours, the company processed 780 Bitcoin orders, its CEO tweeted Friday.

Bitcoin believers say many other companies, big and small, will ultimately do the same. That’s because Bitcoin allows purchases that are more secure than other electronic payments and can be done with no ability for others to trace the name or other information of the buyer.

And merchants get the advantage of quick online payments that essentially eliminate the 3 percent service fee typically levied on plastic card payments…… Read more



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