In response to the world’s first Bitcoin Boulevard
, in the Netherlands, an entrepreneur in Cleveland, Ohio, has rounded up a community of local merchants to create a similar shopping district.
Bitcoin Boulevard US
in Cleveland Heights will launch May 1, with at least seven merchants in the Cedar Lee business district adopting the currency on that day.
The seven confirmed soon-to-be Bitcoin merchants are:
These businesses will be joining the wine spot, which began accepting Bitcoin in February. (Note, The Bottle House Brewing Company will get on board, too, pending compliance between Bitcoin acceptance and liquor licensing laws.)
Bitcoin Boulevard is the creation of Nikhil Chand, CEO of local Bitcoin company CoinNEO. Chand said in a statement earlier this month that the success the Wine Spot found inspired nearby businesses to look into digital currencies.
“Bitcoin Boulevard US, realized through hyperlocal partnerships, satisfies three early and important goals for CoinNEO: 1) Create a local destination for commerce using a global digital currency, 2) stimulate discussion about the roles of digital currencies, and 3) increase brand awareness for us as innovative Bitcoin-friendly businesses.”
Benefits of Bitcoin Acceptance
Data support Chand’s goals — adopting Bitcoin has historically boosted a business’ sales.
CoinDesk reported earlier this month that businesses tended to see a sales increase of about 10% after Bitcoin adoption.
Two things merchants tend to notice immediately: The lower transaction costs, and the PR that comes from being a Bitcoin business.
“From a business standpoint, it cuts out the middle man and eliminates any transaction or credit card fees,” Nick Pappas, an American restaurant owner, recently told CoinDesk. “Also, by accepting Bitcoin we are the ones accepting the volatility and the risk, not my customers. That was important to me.” An increase in sales in Cedar Heights would be nice, as that would provide a nice lead-in before next year’s planned streetscape, for which the Northeast Ohio Area Coordinating Agency has awarded $1.5 in funding.
“The Cedar Lee district is one of the hottest, fastest-growing areas in Northeast Ohio,” then-Cleveland Heights mayor Ed Kelley said back in 2011. “It’s going to be bursting at the seams, and we need to make the whole area more attractive and inviting.”