Irish Pub Abandons Bitcoin, Cites Legal Concerns

Nermin Hajdarbegovic
Oct 1, 2014 at 13:25 UTC
Updated Oct 3, 2014 at 10:04 UTC

UPDATE (1st October 17:00 BST): This article has been updated with comment from Ronan Lynch, a co-owner of the ATM previously installed at The Baggot Inn.


Dublin’s first bitcoin pub has removed its bitcoin ATM and stopped accepting payments in the digital currency, citing legal issues.

Earlier this year, The Baggot Inn became the first pub in Ireland’s capital to accept bitcoin, announcing its first transaction via Twitter back in March.

The pub’s Robocoin bitcoin ATM arrived later that month. However, according to the machine’s co-owner Ronan Lynch it was removed following a change in management.

Although The Baggot Inn’s previous owners were keen to install the machine and accept bitcoin payments, its new owners do not want to be associated with the digital currency, he said.

Legal status

The Baggot Inn issued a statement explaining its decision to suspend its bitcoin services:

“We regret to announce, but due to ongoing issues regarding the legality of bitcoin ATMs in the Republic of Ireland we can no longer accept bitcoin payments.”

However, Lynch was keen to dismiss this. “There is no legal issue or question surrounding Bitcoin in Ireland. In fact, Arthur Cox, the most prominent law firm in Ireland, published a report on the matter over the summer,” he told CoinDesk.

CoinDesk contacted the venue for further comment but no response had been received at press time. The bitcoin section of the pub’s website is still live, but the main page states: “Unfortunately we can no longer accept bitcoin payments.”

Although other establishments in Ireland have started accepting bitcoin, as far as active ATMs go, the country is now down to one – a Skyhook machine operated by BitEx.ie, installed at computing retailer GSM Solutions on Abbey Street, Dublin.

Lynch said he is still looking for a new location for his Robocoin machine.

ATM woes commonplace

New Zealand’s Bitcoin Central was forced to shut its doors late July, after local banks refused to provide financial services to the company. Bitcoin Central had launched its first Robocoin ATM just a month prior on 3rd June.

A planned rollout of Robocoin machines in Taiwan was derailed after the local regulator said it would block the installation of bitcoin ATMs.

Taiwan’s Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) cited a joint statement it made in partnership with the country’s central bank, which stated that bitcoin is not a currency and that no bank deposits are allowed in bitcoin.

Installing a bitcoin ATM would require FSC approval and the regulator made it clear that approval would not be granted.

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