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First Australian photography studio to accept bitcoin offers 50% discount

A Sydney-based photography service is offering a bargain introductory rate for customers willing to pay in bitcoin.

Oct 28, 2013 at 10:14 a.m. UTC
Updated Sep 14, 2021 at 2:10 p.m. UTC

Looking for photography services in Australia? Customers willing to pay via bitcoin to Seagull Photography in Waitara, New South Wales, which is just outside of Sydney, can get a bargain.

Anyone in need of a photographer that pays 1 BTC to the studio will receive an AU$400 voucher. Based on the current bitcoin price in Australian dollars, that's a 50% discount for using bitcoin.

And it is cumbersome Australian banking processes that influenced Seagull's decision to promote bitcoin, says Mohammad Soltani, who helps his wife Azam Vahabzadeh with the technical side of the photography studio.

"It takes one full business day to receive the payment from another bank which is effectively three calendar days if the payment is done on Friday. As a business we think that this is not acceptable," Soltani told CoinDesk.

In Australia, people use bank transfers to make payments. And moving money from one bank to another is what causes this delay, Soltani says. "Eighty percent of our customers transferred from a different bank which took a day or more".

"As a photography business, we were ready to accept bitcoin but we were not sure if any of the clients will be interested in paying by bitcoin, so we just decided to do this promotion and find out," says Soltani.

Since photography by its nature is not structured with a high volume of people coming through the door, Soltani thinks that similar businesses should try accepting bitcoin.

"My advice is to add bitcoin to the list of your acceptable payment methods. Photography businesses are not like a retail store and don't deal with lots of customers. So it's easy to handle the overhead caused by accepting new payment methods," he said.

There are other incentive-based concepts being tried by businesses to encourage bitcoin spending. Coinbase, for example, has a program whereby if a bitcoin enthusiast sends a new user 1 BTC and they end up buying or selling at least one bitcoin, each gets $5.

Although he believes in its potential, Soltani isn't sure that Australians are fully convinced bitcoin will take off yet.

"From what I have seen, only about 20% become believers and are ready to bet on the future of bitcoin, and the rest think that some day the US government will intervene and ban bitcoin, so they see it as too risky at this stage," he said.

Still he sees this effort as a way to legitimize the decentralized virtual currency.

"We just hope that this little drop will make some ripples and will spread to other Aussie businesses."

What do you think about giving special incentives for customers paying in bitcoin? Do you know of other businesses offering special deals for bitcoin spenders? Let us know in the comments.

DISCLOSURE

The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.

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