San Francisco taxis promote Bitcoin

Shirley Siluk
May 29, 2013 at 14:20 UTC
Updated Jul 5, 2013 at 12:46 UTC

Starting today, some 375 taxi cabs in San Francisco will start playing the “We use coins” Bitcoin-promoting video on their seatback monitors.

Unfortunately for Bitcoin fans, while the cabs will tout the digital currency, drivers will not accept it as payment for fares.

In addition, 75 out of the 375 taxis feature a still-image monitor as well as a video player facing passengers in the backseat. Bitcoin Forum member dadj said he was looking for local companies interested in advertising on the still-image monitors that they accept bitcoins as payment in their businesses.

Ironically, San Francisco’s Yellow Cab Cooperative does accept payments using its own in-house payment system: the Yellow Travel Card. Unlike bitcoins, the Yellow Travel Card allows customers to limit their users’ travel costs, cap trip numbers and designate whether trips were for business or personal use … hardly the sort of information Bitcoin fans like to surrender.

Some Bitcoiners also questioned the effectiveness of showing the “We use coins” video, as it focuses a lot of attention on how to mine — rather than spend or accept — bitcoins.

Redditor k2p acknowledged the video could do more to promote the concrete examples of Bitcoin’s benefits.

“What is Bitcoin’s most visual-friendly advantage?” he asked. “The simplicity of money transfers. Imagine someone at a garage sale trying to accept credit cards. Imagine some girl scouts going door to door selling cookies trying to accept credit cards. Now, switch that over to Bitcoin. All they need is a smartphone. They don’t need a driver’s license or credit history. It’s just as simple as taking cash, except without the need to carry wads cash wherever you go or deal with change.”

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