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U.K.'s first retailer accepts Bitcoin: Stunt or support?

Posting in Finance

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Bitcoin may have had little positive press recently, but a U.K. second-hand exchange has chosen to accept the volatile currency for three days in one of its stores.

High street chain CeX buys and sells electronic goods. Within its Sauchiehall, Glasgow store, CeX will host a trial and accept Bitcoin instead of the British pound for three days.

David Butler, commercial director at CeX said that "it's only appropriate we looked at Bitcoin as a way for our customers to buy and sell electronic goods," and "not only does Bitcoin have a number of security and access benefits, but it is also gaining popularity amongst consumers the world over."

The security comment, considering the demise of many Bitcoin exchanges online due to cyberattacks -- resulting in the theft of vast quantities of Bitcoin -- can be debated. However, the novelty of digital currency has captured the attention of investors worldwide, and offering customers a choice in ways to pay can be beneficial for both customer and business.

Butler goes on to say:

"While we are temporarily dropping the pound from our Glasgow store, at a time when Scottish Independence is high up on the news agenda, we are doing so to give customers a choice in how they trade with us."

It is unsurprising that this trial is taking place when Scottish independence is high on the political agenda -- and CeX says that the trial is meant to highlight that Scotland can make do without the pound.

CeX is the first retailer in the U.K. to accept Bitcoin in place of the British pound. Whether the trial is a political stunt or not, CeX is the latest company exploring the digital currency as an alternative to traditional payment methods worldwide, where Bitcoin is accepted for services including cab fares, coffee and food.

Read on: Yahoo

Image credit: Flickr

— By on May 13, 2014, 1:45 AM PST

Charlie Osborne

Contributing Editor

Charlie Osborne is a freelance journalist and photographer based in London. In addition to SmartPlanet, she also writes for business technology website ZDNet and consumer technology site CNET. She holds a degree in medical anthropology from the University of Kent. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure