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Currywurst? That’ll be 0.0019 bitcoins please

Currywurst? That’ll be 0.0019 bitcoins please

Dozens of Swiss outlets sell their goods and services for bitcoin

The traditional favourite snack of late night revellers – the currywurst, or curried sausage – has just entered the digital world. It can now be paid for using the cryptocurrency bitcoin in Switzerland.

The Wurst & Moritz company has responded to repeated demand from customers to spend their hard-earned bitcoins in its restaurants in Zurich and Bern. With the price of a single bitcoin reaching nearly $5,000external link in recent days, that makes a currywurst worth 0.0019 bitcoins.

“We have reached a tipping point in the number of recurring bitcoin users in Switzerland. So we decided to be one of the early adopters in servicing that demand. There is no way back now – bitcoin is here to stay,” Wurst & Moritz boss Samuel Manz told swissinfo.ch.

Working out the exchange rate between the volatile bitcoin price and francs is remarkably easy, according to Manz, as is the process of making the transaction.

“All customers need is a digital wallet and accompanying app,” he said. “We work out the bitcoin price and make the sale in seconds. You don’t have to be a technical superhero to work it out. A year ago, this would not have been possible, but it’s very simple now.”

Bitcoin galore?

There are, in actual fact, dozens upon dozens of outletsexternal link that accept bitcoin payments in Switzerland. These range from cuisine, art, dental work, watches, business consultancy, IT and even local government services in canton Zug.

Earlier this summer, one enterprising home owner put his holiday villa up for sale in bitcoin in the Italian-speaking canton of Ticino. This is all perfectly legal as the Swiss financial regulator recognises bitcoin as a legitimate means of payment.

But despite the growing enthusiasm for cryptocurrencies, the bitcoin retail trade still barely registers in Switzerland, according to Bitcoin Association Switzerland. Most cryptocurrency holders see bitcoin, ether, litecoin and the like as a promising investment opportunity – preferring to hoard their digital assets and watch them (hopefully) grow in value.

It may therefore take some time before conservative Switzerland catches up with Japan, which is establishing itself as the global leader in bitcoin retail therapy.

Full story here
Swissinfo.ch
SWI swissinfo.ch – the international service of the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation (SBC). Since 1999, swissinfo.ch has fulfilled the federal government’s mandate to distribute information about Switzerland internationally, supplementing the online offerings of the radio and television stations of the SBC. Today, the international service is directed above all at an international audience interested in Switzerland, as well as at Swiss citizens living abroad.
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