An app called Hotspot allows bar and restaurant patrons in Seattle, Washington to earn discounts on drinks when paying with bitcoin, according to GeekWire. It also allows the establishments to accept bitcoin payments.
The merchant incurs a transaction fee of a half to one percent compared to 3 to 4 percent credit cards charge in fees.
Sixty venues in Seattle, where Hotspot is based, are accepting bitcoin with the app. Users get a free drink for signing up for the app on the Hotspot website.
The app will not only benefit the patrons who want to use their bitcoin to buy drinks. It will also benefit the retail establishments by catering to the growing number of consumers who use cryptocurrency.
Jasjit Singh, co-founder and CEO of Hotspot, said retail businesses that sell drinks work on 10% to 15% margins. Hence, credit card processing fees between 3% to 4% are “pretty egregious” compared to one half to one percent paying with bitcoin through the app.
The app offers merchants an easy way to begin accepting bitcoin since it handles both bitcoin and credit card transactions. “We take care of all the converting bitcoins to dollars and so on,” Singh said.
App users will be able to connect to Coinbase wallets due to Braintree’s partnership with the wallet.
Hotspot currently allows 7,000 users to pay for discounted drinks at Seattle establishments. The app is currently organizing open-bar gatherings where users will pay a $10 to $15 entrance fee via the app, thereby making it possible to cover the cost of an entire evening using cryptocurrency.
Hotspot is also working with venues to allow patrons to pay their entire tab through the app, thereby reducing the risk they will mistakenly leave their credit card at the bar.
In addition to qualifying users for discounts, the app also allows them to earn free drinks when they text friends to meet up at the bar, according to the company’s website.
Hotspot is available on Android and iOS. It is only available for Seattle users at present.
Hotspot secured $200,000 in seed funding last year from the Yale Entrepreneurial Institute and other investors, GeekWire reported.
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