Ireland’s first Pint of ‘bitcoin’ Guinness

March 6, 2014 22:58 UTC

Ireland’s first pint of Guinness has been paid for with bitcoin! The Baggot Inn, a bar in Baggot Street in central Dublin sold its first pint of Guinness for bitcoin on March 4th, just 13 days before St. Patrick’s Day. The rumours are that this trendy bar intends to put in a Bitcoin ATM in the next few days and if it does it will prove to be Ireland’s second.

Update: GSM Solutions on Upper Abbey Street in Dublin got a Lamassu machine on 12th of March.

Ireland’s attitude to Banks

Ireland has gone through a massive economic upheaval in the last few years and there is a palpable distrust of banks that are perceived to have caused this crisis. There is a story told of a small boy in school that was asked in class by his teacher what his parents did for a living, He said, ” My father is a drug dealer, he sells loads of drugs; my mother is a dancer in a bar and some times Daddy makes her work on the streets as a prostitute!” The teacher was horrified and went to the boy after class and asked him if what he’d said was true. The boy admitted it wasn’t. ” They are both investment bankers but I was too ashamed to admit it.”

Ireland was forced to borrow funds following the collapse of Anglo Irish Bank and the need to bail out other financial services providers. The terms imposed placed a great financial burden on many citizens and there is a high level of bad feeling towards banks on the foot of this. Many see banks in Ireland more as part of the the problem than as part of the solution. People here hate banks and are thus more positive to cryptocurrencies than most other economies. BitVendo was set up in 2013 to give the Irish faster and cheaper access to bitcoins.  They report that although they are having some success getting their business into the media it is always in articles with a comment included about ‘Silk Road’ or Mt Gox. Newspapers are working hard here to associate Bitcoin with fraud although the public seem a lot more positive. There is a sense that anything the banks are against can’t be all that bad. Giles Byrne, head of marketing at BitVendo states:

“Initially people think the banks are behind Bitcoin and are instantly turned off. There is a huge hatred of the banking system here, and some people want to support us just to spite the banks.”

Bitcoin groups have been growing in popularity in Ireland with Eircoin.net and The Irish Bitcoin Foundation, which called for the Irish Central Bank to regulate Bitcoin in January. Irish businesses currently accepting bitcoins include a pub, a bed and breakfast and a CCTV provider.  BitVendo has stated that it is their intention to put at least three more ATMs in ireland during the year. Looks like we can look forward to enjoying some good nights out from our bitcoins over here!

Last modified: October 6, 2014 10:21 UTC

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@P.J. Delaney@delboyir

Masters in Public Administration, Bachelors in Mgt., I live in Ireland, I have a bit of a background in Economics and lots of opinions on everything else.

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