Austrian and German energy provider Switch has begun accepting Bitcoin for gas and electricity bill payments.

In a press release and Facebook post Wednesday, Switch, which is wholly owned by EnergieAllianz Austria, said the move marked a first for Austrian energy customers.


“With the introduction of cryptocurrency Bitcoin as a payment method in Austria we’re aiming to cater principally to digitally-aware customers and other interested parties,” CEO Christoph Schmidt said in the accompanying release.

Billing literature can now also be issued in Bitcoin for those opting to use it for payments.

Austria is fast becoming a fan of cryptocurrency at consumer level, with the wholesale goods retailer Yipbee announcing last month that orders paid in Bitcoin now accounted for 10 percent of its total sales.

Before that, back in February a dedicated Bitcoin information point opened in the country’s capital Vienna, providing education on virtual currency as well as Bitcoin ATMs.

The developments put Austria considerably ahead of its neighbor Germany, which has been unusually slow to embrace crypto-based innovation at regulatory level.

Across the border in Switzerland, however, progress is considerably more advanced, with a Bitcoin certificate currently the most traded product on its main exchange SIX.