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Despite the hot mess of press following the Mt. Gox hack earlier this year, Bitcoin is gaining traction in the retail world. Thanks to services like San Francisco-based BitPay, merchants can accept Bitcoin as easily as a credit cards; some even claim they prefer the cryptocurrency to plastic because there's a lower risk of fraud, Mashable reports.
Why are local small businesses like Samovar Tea Lounge and Cups and Cakes Bakery early pay-with-Bitcoin adopters? Mashable says that some retailers accept Bitcoin as a marketing play to demonstrate that they're forward thinking. But while it's relatively easy to pay with Bitcoin —the merchant can use a tablet to
read a QR code off the purchaser's phone display a QR code that the purchaser scans with her phone— few customers actually try paying with Bitcoin. (At Samovar, approximately 100 customers have tried it.) Perhaps a Bay Area mega-retailer could make the process more popular. Gap? Levi's? Sephora? Who's going to step up as the leader in retail crypto currency?
Correction: As an eagle-eyed commenter noted, the customer must scan the merchant's QR code to complete the transaction.
· Retailers Who Take Bitcoin Love It [Mashable]
· Why Everybody Who Doesn't Hate Bitcoin Loves It [Freakonomics]