What's the Latest Development?
A tiny but growing number of small businesses are offering customers the option to pay for their purchases using Bitcoin. One owner, specialty grocer Adam Sah, says that two months after he began accepting the digital currency in late April, at least one customer pays with it every day at each of his three store locations. In addition to standing out from his competitors, he says he also saves money on credit card swipe fees, which can be as high as three percent of sales. Atlanta-based BitPay, a company that processes Bitcoin payments, say they have had more than 8,000 merchants sign up for their service over the past two years.
What's the Big Idea?
Despite the rising interest in Bitcoin, most major retailers don't even have it on their radar as a payment alternative. Also, legislators in several states recently issued warnings to digital currency exchanges about activities that could violate laws regarding the transmission of money. Plus there's its volatility, moving from $5 per unit last year to $266 per unit this past April to approximately $103 as of earlier this week. It may be for this reason that some merchants say that, although they accept Bitcoin, they convert it to traditional currency as quickly as possible.
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