The first pint — a bottle of Kopparberg cider to be more exact — has been purchased in Ireland using bitcoin, with staff at the Baggot Inn in Dublin revealing that it was quickly followed by a flurry of other Bitcoin booze buys.
Chris Healy, marketing and events manager at the Baggot St pub, said the first pint paid for with bitcoin was bought by Michael Rudnicki — and other bitcoin fans then spent €140 between them.
The pub is now set to become the base of all things bitcoin and Chris Healy said that an element of planning had gone into Tuesday night’s events.
“The idea came up in early January and we looked into doing it,” he said.
“There was a lot of excitement and a great atmosphere in the bar.”
The Baggot Inn will officially launch its own bitcoin-friendly service on March 14, and last Tuesday it offered a 10% discount on Bitcoin purchases, meaning the first Bitcoin pint cost €4.50, or 0.0093 bitcoin. The will install a bitcoin ATM later this month.
The total amount of Bitcoin purchases came to around €150, although Chris said the process of Michal buying the first pint took “just two seconds”.
“It was a very simple process,” he said.
According to software engineer Michal: “The price is somewhat unstable, as bitcoin economy is still tiny. It’s growing rapidly, this is why you see wild price swings in both directions.
“Another thing worth noting is that while I paid in bitcoin, the barman ended up getting euros — thanks to his payment processor which does the conversion on the fly and guarantees price stability for the time of transaction. This reduces the volatility risk considerably.
“I think bitcoin is perfectly suited for over-the-counter purchases. It’s instantaneous and doesn’t have expensive CC [credit card] fees.”
A growing number of retail outlets are taking bitcoin and Ireland’s first bitcoin ATM will open shortly in Hippety’s Café in Dublin’s Temple Bar.
Mystery still surrounds the identity of the person who created bitcoin and set out the blueprint for the currency in 2008 under the name Satoshi Nakamoto.
Trinity College Dublin graduate Michael Clear and TCD computer science professor Donal O’Mahony are among those named as possibly being Satoshi, although both men have denied it.