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UK High Street store takes Bitcoin

Well, this is interesting. The UK operation of CEX, the used DVD/videogame/etc. retailer, has started accepting Bitcoin. In its brick-and-mortar shops.

We’re proud to be first national UK retailer adopting Bitcoin, adding it permanently to webuy.com. Yes, you can now buy with Bitcoin and sell your old gadgets, phones and games for Bitcoin on webuy.com in the UK.

To celebrate the online launch we have turned our Glasgow Sauchiehall Street store into a pound free zone from 13 to 15th May and introducing Scotland’s first Bitcoin ATM, only the 4th in the UK. We’re excited to run such an innovative trial. Like you, we live and breathe technology so it’s only natural we looked at Bitcoin as a choice to offer you when you buy and sell games, phones, gadgets and films.

I actually stumbled across this when I wandered into the Sauchiehall St. branch this afternoon. (Should’a taken some pictures. Damn.) The “Pound-free zone” thing is, as they say, a temporary promotional gimmick, and all the price tags were still in Sterling, with GBP/BTC rates plastered liberally around the place. I’m not sure how well it’ll work, since the rate can still fluctuate quite a lot over the course of a day, but it’s fascinating to see a national retailer commit to the e-currency so wholeheartedly.

(Not sure why their blog post is dated next Thursday, mind you…)

3 Comments

  1. John Galt says:

    I’ll know that bitcoins have taken off when I can wander into a travel agents or bank hand over a bundle of cash and get back it back as notes (technically voucher keys I suppose) that I can scan or enter into a bitcoin wallet.

    The bitcoin key could be a one use short-code covered by a scratch off panel as once the bitcoins are purchased and transferred from whichever financial institution they were purchased from into my bitcoin wallet, the physical voucher is no longer required.

    Such a short-code would be necessary as private keys and bitcoin addresses are a bit lengthy for human use.

  2. NickM says:

    So what.

  3. Sam Duncan says:

    Seriously, Nick? A private, non-inflationary, currency that plenty of smart-aleck commentators have claimed won’t amount to a hill of beans is being accepted by a national retailer, and it’s just “so what”? It’s not an earthquake by any means, but I honestly think this is a moderately big deal, a step out of the ghetto of online drug dealers and along the road towards widespread acceptance of the thing. Sure, it’d be an even bigger deal if it were Marks & Sparks or WH Smith’s, but this surely makes it that tiny bit more likely that one day it will be.

    Or maybe not. Maybe in ten years’ time, we’ll all look back and ask ourselves, “Remember Bitcoin? What the hell was all that about?” But either way, as I said: it’s interesting.

    JG: Good points. I should have inquired more closely about how their BTC “ATM” actually works, but I was in a bit of a rush.

    [Edit - Wish I'd never decided to post under a pseudonym in the first place.]

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