Did you know that in March 2018, it was the fourth anniversary of Ireland’s first bitcoin ATM? Did you also know that the Bitvendo product was installed inside a phone shop in Upper Abbey Street? Long before the world went bitcoin barmy, a small group of tech enthusiasts were downloading online wallets, scanning QR codes and withdrawing money from their crypto accounts in the city centre. Even back then, those on the inside could have never predicted what was going to happen in 2017. When bitcoin went live in 2009, it was worth less than a cent. Within a few years, it had boomed and busted multiple times, largely without the general public realizing. However, all that would pale in comparison to the 2017 boom. Within the space of 12 months, the value of the leading cryptocurrency soared from $900 to almost $20,000. This unprecedented rise made bitcoin a mainstream hit and, in many expert’s opinions, something that will continue to impress for many years to come.
“Bitcoin ATM” (CC BY-SA 2.0) by zcopley
For the early adopters that were instrumental in setting up Ireland’s first bitcoin ATM, the recent developments will be welcome news. But what about those that weren’t previously in the know? Is Dublin still a place where bitcoin is both an accessible and useful commodity? Well, the evidence would suggest it is. Head down to Aungier Street and you’ll find Nash Basel’s Crypto Café. Set-up by Basel after he made a mint investing in cryptocurrencies, the café is a place where you can buy your coffee using cryptocurrencies. With an eatery already part of his portfolio (Jerusalem restaurant on Camden Street), Basel knows that you have to cater to as many customers as possible. With this in mind, he also accepts traditional currencies i.e. Euros. However, for those that want to embrace the future, a scanner will read the QR code linked to a user’s online wallet. At this point, the funds will be sent from the customer to Basel’s wallet. From here, the entrepreneur can convert the money into another cryptocurrency or Euros. Naturally, before a customer can pay for a latte in a different way, they need some cryptocurrency. Fortunately, as the industry has evolved, it’s become easier to own bitcoin and the like.
“Beer + Bitcoin” (CC BY-SA 2.0) by zcopley
The first step any new bitcoin owner needs to make is to create an account with a CFD provider or exchange. Once you’ve got a place to store your credits, you can buy bitcoin with PayPal at Coinlist. This process is almost identical to the one you’d go through if you were buy something from eBay. Once you’ve decided on how many credits you want to buy, you simply go through the PayPal login process, confirm the transaction and that’s it. With a wallet full of bitcoin, you then have the ability to exchange them for other cryptocurrencies such as Litecoin or Ripple. Alternatively, you can spend them online or one of Dublin’s bitcoin-friendly stores. The Crypto Café is the obvious place if you want a coffee and some cake, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. The phone shop GSM Solutions also accepts bitcoin, as does the Ring Farmhouse B&B. Cryptocurrencies may not be flavour of the month anymore, but Dublin is still hot on the technology. From investors to consumers, the city is continuing a trend it started back in 2014.
Feature Image: “Bitcoin (BTC) Scam” (CC BY 2.0) by Infosec Images