Every year there is the Oktoberfest in the Bavarian capital, Munich. Millions of people from every country in the world travel here to secure a place in one of the fourteen marquees or huge covered tents. Last year alone 6.4 million people who drank 6.7 million liters of beer visited the largest beer festival in the world.
Of course the modern day event has transformed with time and not completely in line with the original idea of the "Wiesn." But as Oktoberfest has become more technologically advanced, so is the method of payment. Undoubtedly, out of these 6.4 million visitors, there will certainly be some visitors who would be happy to pay with their beloved bitcoins for beer at Oktoberfest. And now this is possible!
RockCiti, a new company that offers external batteries that are as small as debit cards, for smartphones this year, has now made payment with Bitcoin at the Oktoberfest 2014 possible making the battery the first item ever you can buy with Bitcoin at this year’s Oktoberfest.
Co-founder of RockiCiti, Fabio Bossi stated:
“The Munich Startup RockCiti Mobile Energy has just approved the first Bitcoin transaction in the history of the traditional Oktoberfest in Munich. 0.07151674 BTC or € 19.50 changed hands on 10/04/2014 in the ’ Winzerer’ marquee. Benefiting from the Mycelium App, the payment process went smoothly. The entire team from RockCiti around the founder Marc Lenhof and Fabio Bossi are happy about that milestone.“
Bitcoin could improve service at Oktoberfest
According to a RockCiti press release, the Bitcoin payment option could also bring several advantages to the hosts of the marquees:
- The payment with the virtual currency is faster than paying with fiat money. Businesses accepting Bitcoin could service more people in a given time period.
- No counterfeit money. At the entrance to Oktoberfest, police caution visitors against the illegal use of countefeit cash. In the case of Bitcoin, however, this problem doesn`t exist.
- Little to none transaction fees. Paying with a credit card could end up costing you a lot in fees. Bitcoin has little to no fess.
- No predatory fiat currency exchange rates. An American visitor, for example, will need to change money from Dollars to Euros. A significant chunk of this amount is usually taken by the exchange service. If Bitcoin is used instead, the fees are negligible. Conveniently, a bi-directional Bitcoin ATM is also available in Munich where it is possible to withdraw cash in return for your bitcoins.
Also for visitors to the city of Munich who wish to venture outside of Oktoberfest, there are also two local businesses in which a payment via Bitcoin is already possible:
1. Niederlassung (Buttermelcher Steet 6, 80469 Munich)
Niederlassung is a small cozy bar near the Gärtnerplatz, where you can order all kinds of beer and cocktails. Bitcoins have been accepted here since April 2013. The monthly Bitcoin cracker barrels take place here too.
2. Vietha Vietnam Cuisine (Landsberger Street 104, 80339 Munich)
The Vietha is a nice little Vietnamese restaurant, close to the Theresienwiese, where Oktoberfest is held. Here you can pay for original Vietnamese dishes with your bitcoins.
As of September 10, it is also possible to buy bitcoins nearby as well. In the "Entrepreneurship Center" at the Ludwig-Maximilian-University, located on Gisela Street 10, you can find a two-way Bitcoin ATM from Satoshibay.
Now the question is would you like to pay for your beer with Bitcoin?
[Editor's note: the article was originally written by Felix Vogele and the previous title was 'Bitcoin at Octoberfest 2014: RockCiti enables Beer for Bitcoin Transactions' - this was changed to reflect the fact that RockCiti is not a payment processor and is not directly involved with these transactions.]