El Tapas Grá in Derry to start accepting Bitcoin as a form of payment

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The restaurant on Waterloo Place has decided to start accpeting the cryptocurrency as a form of payment in order to get ‘ahead of the curve.’

Sáne Stewart is the owner of El Tapas Grá and he explains how it works, “People call it ‘internet money.’ Its a virtual coin that has a value and that value fluctuates depending on each given day and each given time. As we do the transaction and issue the bill, the value of bitcoin at that exact time will be the amount you have to pay. The app does it automatically so there’s no risk of losing out if the value crashes 5 minutes later. We have an account with CoinCorner and the same way you would tap your card, you scan the QR code on your phone and pay the equivalent in bitcoin. We’re fans of cryptocurrency and I’d say over the next few years we’ll see it being used more and more as a form of currency.

“The number of people who have bitcoin is growing at a couple of million a week across the globe but there’s only ever 21 million bitcoin in existence. It shoots up in value and increases more and more every month. I know a lot of people who have cryptocurrency, myself and some friends included. Since the pandemic, it’s really started to kick off and more and more its being adapted for payments and more people will start accepting cryptocurrency as a form of currency. I have a keen interest in it myself, so I thought it would be worthwhile to introduce it. We’re the first restaurant in Ireland to do it but I imagine in a few years time it will be used everywhere, websites, retail. We decided to start accepting Bitcoin as a form of payment to get ahead of the game.

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“Bitcoin is probably the strongest appreciating asset out there, if you look at assets like gold, silver, real estate, stocks, shares, cryptocurrency is just another asset. It was created in 2009 and grows 200% a year on average. It is looked at as a long term hold, just like stocks and shares, the value will increase over time so it’s an investment strategy for businesses to hold it. We can either convert the Bitcoin straight into cash or we can hold it in our account, the choice is ours.

“In terms of El Tapas Grá, this provides the option of different payments for customers and especially the younger generation who grew up online, they are used to paying for things virtually. I think cash will be out of circulation in a few years time anyway so we like to stay ahead of the game. Whether or not people use it, we’ll have to see about that.”

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