Bitcoin Buys Burgers to Beer as Shoppers Go Virtual

buyingburgersbitcoin30 Dec 2013 / Bloomberg – What do a street-van burger, a wedding bouquet and a Beatles album have in common? They’re all on a growing list of products shoppers can buy over the counter using the virtual currency Bitcoin.

From Berlin record store Long Player to the Flower Lab, a florist in Santa Monica, California, more retailers are accepting Bitcoin as consumers increasingly buy into the money, pushing up its value. In the past month, the number of businesses on CoinMap, a website showing physical companies and vendors accepting Bitcoin, has tripled to more than 2,100.

“People come to us from all over the world because we accept Bitcoin,” Vesna Sic, co-owner of the Lekkerurlaub guest house in Berlin, said by phone. “We had one man from Texas who has nowhere at home where he can spend his Bitcoins, so he came to Berlin for a week to spend them.”

There are about 12.2 million Bitcoins in circulation, according to Bitcoincharts. While online payments for everything from university tuition fees to gummi bears aren’t unusual, over-the-counter transactions are just beginning to become popular. Now the virtual currency can buy olive oil in Spain or vodka shots in Moscow as consumers seek ways to spend the digital money.

“Our news inbox has gone crazy over the last couple of months with more and more vendors saying they are accepting Bitcoins,” said Jeremy Bonney, a project manager at CoinDesk, a website that tracks the progress of the virtual currency…… Read more

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