Bitcoin revolution comes to Penrith

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Downtown Brooklyn General Manager Christopher O’Shea says the interest in Bitcoin is slowly growing. Photo: Kate Reid

You might have never heard of it before, but Downtown Brooklyn is pushing Penrith into the future by accepting Bitcoin as a payment method for your favourite burgers, desserts and drinks.

Since the start of this financial year, Downtown Brooklyn General Manager Christopher O’Shea made the decision to accept Bitcoin as a payment method.

“I’ve been in Bitcoin since 2012, but the laws around it in Australia with a double GST tax were abolished on July 1, so we started accepting it,” Mr O’Shea said.

“We probably get about four to five customers a week paying in Bitcoin, so it’s slowly building but it’s still very unheard of.”

Mr O’Shea believes that interest in Bitcoin is growing in Australia, and while every now and again people make odd comments, the reception is positive.

“Over 300,000 businesses around the world now use Bitcoin as a payment method,” he said.

“You can jump on Expedia or Webjet and book a flight overseas with Bitcoin, so it’s slowly building.

“It’s a decentralised digital currency that you can use.

“People know what Bitcoin is, but I don’t know if they understand what Bitcoin is.”

Operating since 2009, Bitcoin is a peer-to-peer system where transactions take place between users directly, without an intermediary like a bank.

Mr O’Shea praises Bitcoin as a different way of sending money that allows for privacy free from financial institutions that track all your details.

“Banks have all your details, whereas using a coin is kind of anonymous, and you can’t be traced,” he said.

“But there’s also less fees. In Eftpos transactions [businesses] are charged 1.5 per cent, where this is nothing, you just tap and go.”

Every day, there are different forms of ‘coins’ created as more users jump on the digital bandwagon.

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