All change as pub drops Bitcoin
Published 30/09/2014 | 02:30
A DUBLIN pub which sold the capital's first alcoholic drink in exchange for a virtual currency known as Bitcoin has suspended the service, citing "ongoing issues" with the legality of Bitcoin ATMs.
The Baggot Inn in Dublin city centre claimed to have sold the country's first beverage, a bottle of Kopparberg cider, for 0.0093 Bitcoin last March.
In a statement, the pub's management said a Bitcoin ATM on the premises had been removed, adding: "We regret to announce (that) due to ongoing issues regarding the legality of Bitcoin ATMs in the Republic of Ireland, we can no longer accept Bitcoin payments."
A spokeswoman from the Central Bank of Ireland said it does not have regulations in place for Bitcoin as it does not consider it legal tender.
However, Healy's Lounge in Ballycastle, Co Mayo, which claimed to have completed the first such Bitcoin transaction as early as February, has sold up to 200 pints since introducing the service and has deemed it a big success in the area.
Local man Padraic Mitchell, who set up the service for the pub, said it sold the bulk of these pints during the August Bank Holiday weekend.
"We had a lot of people down for Healyfest, a music festival that's held every August Bank Holiday at the pub," he said. "But it's more of a novelty thing."
Meanwhile, GSM solutions, which installed one of the first Bitcoin ATMs in Ireland and also accepts the five-year-old currency, said it has remained a popular alternative to cash or credit cards.