THUNDER BAY – A local electronics store will begin accepting digital currency as payment.
Alex Daniels, head of advertising at The Power Center, said main reason behind the decision to start taking Bitcoin as payment was because of how simple the process is, adding it’s also the wave of the future, so why not get in on the ground floor.
“It’s really no effort on our part to start accepting it. All the companies around the world and all the banks around the world are starting to get into this space. We figured it’s really easy for us,” we might as well jump in,” Daniels said on Tuesday in an interview with CKPR Radio, hours after announcing their capability to accept Bitcoin as payment.
According to Forbes magazine, Bitcoin is a decentralized digital currency that can be bought and sold directly without the assistance of a bank, based on cryptrographic truth rather than trust. It operates outside the control of governments.
Transactions are recorded digitally, which the magazine says makes it tough to reverse or fake them. Bitcoin was first launched in 2009, and according to Morningstar for Currency, as of Tuesday one Bitcoin is worth about $74,169 Canadian.
Daniels said there hasn’t been any consumer response yet, but he expects it will happen, though rarely.
“If I had to guess, I would say that there might be this year one or two people who take us up on it. That’s my guess. I have no idea what sort of response to expect,” Daniels said.
One of the stumbling blocks is the fact that it’s not going to be an instant payment, like a credit card might be.
“So when the customer does choose to use Bitcoin, it will take about 10 minutes for it to get into our account, just because of the nature of how Bitcoin works,” Daniels said. “Then from there it will kind of be up to our owner. I don’t know what he wants to do from there.”
Bitcoin’s rising and falling value has made headlines around the world in recent years. It’s risen nearly 48 per cent in March alone. As recently as 2012, one Bitcoin was worth just US$5.27.
“We can transfer it instantly into Canadian funds. Or if we want, we can leave it in Bitcoin and let it sit. The one attractive part about leaving it in Bitcoin is that, at least historically, it’s an appreciating asset (versus) a deflationary currency, so it might actually be better for us to keep it as Bitcoin for a little while.”
Daniels said he believes the Power Centre is the first retailer in Thunder Bay to accept Bitcoin as payment. TBNewswatch has reached out to the Thunder Bay Chamber of Commerce to see if they're aware of any other businesses currently accepting digital currency.