Scotland just got its first bitcoin eatery thanks to Jonny McDonald, manager of the Brooklyn Cafe.

Located in Glasgow’s Shawlands, the family-run Brooklyn Cafe is a cosy little bistro that serves all-day breakfasts and giant burgers, as well as desserts and coffee.

The idea of embracing bitcoin came from McDonald, who has been with the cafe for more than a decade. In addition to free publicity, McDonald believes bitcoin can speed things up and make transactions easier.


Brooklyn Cafe began accepting bitcoin payments back in December, but the Daily Record reports that the first official transaction was carried out last week.

McDonald said his first bitcoin payment was very exciting: “When the customer said how he wanted to pay, we checked the value of bitcoin on various sites, and I gave him the best exchange rate I could find at the time.”

“A lot of people have been talking about bitcoin and we have found that a lot of our customers know about the currency, although not many actually have them so far.”

McDonald also pointed out that bitcoin transaction fees are often much lower than the customary 2 to 3% on credit cards. Additionally, bitcoin transactions are faster than credit card payments:

“Our credit card machine takes around 45 seconds to process a payment, whereas a bitcoin transaction takes just 10 seconds.”

Brick and mortar

He added that the Brooklyn Cafe is the first brick-and-mortar business in Scotland to accept bitcoin, although there are a few Scottish companies that accept the currency online.

Dozens of bars, cafes and restaurant across the world are already accepting bitcoin payments, from China, through Russia, to Israel, Europe, North America and even Australia. Although adoption is still comparatively low, and – as always – many businesses are embracing bitcoin as a publicity stunt, things are slowly changing for the better.

McDonald said that he plans to expand his cryptocurrency network over the coming weeks:

“[We] hope to open up litecoin transactions soon followed by any other cryptocurrency our customers have kicking about on their hard drives! … We will currently take any coin with prior notice but can only accept bitcoin on a drop in daily basis.”

The Glasgow cafe is also giving away a free Ice-Cream Sundae to every table who pays a £20+ bill with bitcoin this week.

Breakfast Image via Shutterstock

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