Technology

Saturday 26 July 2014

It's the 0.0094 pint of Guinness... but unfortunately that's in Bitcoin

Emma Jane Hade

Published 06/03/2014|07:12

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Emma Jane Hade pulls the perfect pint and checks out Bit Coin payment with Chris Healy, Marketing and Entertaining Manager, at The Bagott Inn.
Emma Jane Hade pulls the perfect pint and checks out Bit Coin payment with Chris Healy, Marketing and Entertaining Manager, at The Bagott Inn.

ONE of the capital's busiest pubs is accepting an invisible currency.

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This pint will set you back 0.0094 Bitcoin -- the digital form of money -- at The Baggot Inn in Dublin.

The popular city centre bar this week became one of the first pubs in the country to accept the electronic currency in exchange for a pint.

The bar first took it during a trial run on Tuesday evening, and management said that they have been overwhelmed by the response since then.

Purchasing a drink with the virtual money offers you a 10pc discount in the establishment, and your standard pint of Guinness will set you back just 0.0094 Bitcoin -- the equivalent of €4.50.

The Bitcoin was first launched six years ago and is traded electronically through computers in a peer-to-peer network.

The value of the currency fluctuates daily, and one Bitcoin was last night equal to more than €460.

SCEPTICAL

However, it yet to receive the seal of approval from the Central Bank of Ireland, leaving many people sceptical of its value.

And earlier this week, a hacking scandal rocked the currency after more than €400,000 was stolen from a Canadian Bitcoin bank.

Despite this, the Bitcoin has enjoyed phenomenal success, with fans around the world meeting up in groups to use it.

"The idea of bringing it in here in the pub started back in December last year," said Chris Healy from The Baggot Inn.

"It was a customer's idea who was in one of these meet-ups.

"He mentioned it to the manager who thought it was interesting."

Chris, who acts as the marketing and events manager for the popular pub, said that so far the introduction of the new form of money "has been great" for all concerned.

The process of buying a drink with the Bitcoin is as quick as a cash transaction, and Chris said that the test run on Tuesday "went very smoothly".

"You come in and essentially make your order like you would make an order normally," he added.

"I would put it through the system we have here on our tablet. We then display the QR code for the customer to scan.

"They access the digital wallet on their smart phone, scan the code and then just click send. It takes just a couple of seconds."

Management at the pub said that they will officially launch the digital currency in the bar next week.

They also revealed that they plan on installing a special Bitcoin ATM, which they have imported from America.

But the country's first Bitcoin ATM machine will be installed in Hippety's Cafe in Temple Bar this weekend.

The machine in the Baggot Inn will operate slightly differently, however, Chris revealed.

"The one we are getting allows you to buy both directions -- you can buy or sell the Bitcoin here," he said.

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