SINGAPORE – Customers in Singapore who sought out their caffeine fix Friday didn’t have to worry if they left their bank notes at home because a new cafe accepts virtual currencies as payment.
The Ducatus Cafe in the city-state’s Central Business District opened its doors Thursday and customers have already bought drinks there using Bitcoins and the cafe’s own namesake cryptocurrency, an epa journalist reports.
Inside, the stylish, white-walled cafe looks like almost any other except for a blocky machine in the corner resembling an ATM and from which customers can obtain Bitcoins.
Singapore dollars are inserted into the machine to buy Bitcoins which can then be used to buy drinks and food using customers’ mobile phones as wallets.
Prices for items are listed on the menu in local currency – a hot cappuccino for example costs S$5.50 ($4) – but cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum and Ducatus coins, as well as credit and debit cards are used to make payments.
The volatility of Bitcoin, whose value dropped almost 15 percent on Friday after a record high of almost $20,000 earlier in the week, isn’t discouraging Ducatus’ manager and he plans to open seven more cashless cafes in Singapore by 2020.
Bitcoin, Ethereum and Ducatus coins are among more than 1,000 cryptocurrencies – virtual currencies – traded globally through online networks and trading platforms.
Though accepted for retail use in only a small number of shops around the world, the steady rise in value of Bitcoin – one Bitcoin was worth only $800 in January 2017 – has raised its status among investors and divided opinion, with critics saying the cryptocurrency is a high-risk bubble.