Beijing’s Cafe Bar 2nd Place has become the first bar in China to accept payment in Bitcoin.
At the beginning of the year, when BitInstant’s Charlie Shrem adapted his New York City bar Evr to accept the stateless crypto currency, it seemed like at best a proof of concept, at worst a stunt.
Now, at the close of the year, you can get blasted halfway across the world without tipping your hat to fiat money and the restrictions it enforces on its users.
Cafe Bar 2nd Place is in the funky Beijing neighborhood of Wudaokou, adjacent to a number of universities, whose students, along with a substantial population of expatriates, patronize the establishment, which opened in 2011.
Since April, a number of Bitcoin enthusiasts have been holding meetups at the bar, with the approval of its Japanese owner. One of them, an American named Jake Smith, made the case for Bitcoin as a payment option and Rin eventually decided to go for it.
Smith is something of a Sino-Johnny Appleseed, having convinced several other Beijing businesses to adapt to the currency. He got so into it that he now works for a Bitcoin-powered private equity fund, BitFund.pe.
“I did it to attract new customers and also for my own self study,” Rin told CoinDesk.
Interestingly, the biggest Bitcoin exchange in the world is no longer Mt. Gox in Japan, but China-based BTC China, which has been pushing the price of the currency up.
China is China and as financially sophisticated as the nation is, 2nd Place treats the use of Bitcoin in a typically novel fashion. Not knowing Bitcoin from the inside out, Rin keeps a running tab of the value of the Bitcoins paid to him and exchanges the Bitcoins with Smith for Chinese currency.
Hat tip: Coindesk