A newsstand located in downtown New York is now accepting bitcoin for purchases.
The owner, identified in a newly posted YouTube video as Kay, says he is the first newsstand in the city of 8 million to take the virtual currency.
Kay's stand, located on 34th street and 2nd avenue, sells typical newsstand fare, including: cigarettes, prepaid phone cards, magazines and snacks. Perhaps the most noteworthy aspect of the business, however, is that Kay accepts bitcoin, but does not take credit cards. He explained:
"I think it's riskier dealing with credit card companies than it is with bitcoins. With credit card companies you have chargebacks, whereas with bitcoin you don't."
Kay's bitcoin journey
In the video, Kay details his journey to becoming a newsstand owner, indicating that his parents owned a similar small business when he was young. Kay said he left a previous position to follow in the footsteps of his parents, noting that it's a job that he truly enjoys, even if it provides him less income.
The newsstand owner received positive feedback on reddit threads for his ability to understand and advocate for bitcoin. Particularly popular was Kay's prediction that the currency will become more widespread for its potential benefits to international travellers, as well as its security advantages.
"It's much safer to carry around a phone than it is to carry around thousands of dollars in cash."
In addition, Kay noted that he has become a bitcoin supporter because he no longer pays transaction fees or any statement fees for accepting payments.
An emerging bitcoin processor
The video was posted to the YouTube account of EasyBitz, a payment processor that provides local businesses with QR codes owners can display to accept payments. EasyBitz sends merchants text messages to confirm the transactions.
The company claims to have been featured in The Financial Times and The Wall Street Journal, however, web searches did not reveal any content on these sites containing the term "EasyBitz". StatsCrop.com indicates the site has been live for just two months.
Despite the company's underdeveloped Internet profile, Kay was outspoken about the company and the ease-of-use it provides: "I get paid on the spot in real-time: no transactions fees, no processing fees [...] it's win-win, both on my part and the consumer's part."
Downtown Image via Shutterstock