A recent reader email mentions that major Italian newspaper accepts digital subscriptions via Bitcoin. Il Giornale has the bitcoin logo boldly stamped on the digital subscription page. There's also a statement that says:
"The Journal is the first newspaper in Italy and in Europe who accepts payments in Bitcoin."
Il Giornale is one of Italy's top 20 newspapers, with a reported number of readers of approximately 700,000 in 2012. The digital subscriptions permit fans to browse through all articles and new categories in PDF files that are optimized for iPads, smartphones, and other mobile devices. The cost is 0.45 cents/day with a twelve-month subscription. Even though Il Giornale is the first newspaper in Europe to accept payments via Bitcoin, it is not the first in the world.
TheChicago Sun-Times has been accepting subscription payments via Bitcoin since April, because they want to do everything in their power to keep the newspaper "current and evolving with changing technology."
Back in February, The Sun-Times placed a Bitcoin paywall to test the way people interact when they are asked to use the digital currency. Users were asked to make a donation, and believe it or not, there were 713 donors who used Bitcoin to contribute to a non-profit.
The Italian community reacted positively to Il Giornale's decision to adopt bitcoin. Davide Barbieri, Bitcoin Foundation member and entrepreneur says:
"I heard that today on a national TV interview Paolo Berlusconi (yes, his brother), told that it will possible to buy his newspaper ‘Il Giornale‘ with bitcoin. It’s basically an endorsement [of bitcoin]".
This opinion was also shared by Sebastiano Scrofina, who hopes that other newspapers will follow the footsteps of Il Giornale. He mentions:
“This is good news. Unfortunately, il Giornale is heavily politically sided, so this could stir up controversy and label bitcoin as a right-wing conservative thing.”
About Il Giornale
Launched in 1974, Il Giornale went through a financial crisis in 1977, when member of the company and editor Montanelli sold the newspaper to Silvio Berlusconi, a politician who later became Italy's prime minister. In 1994, Berlusconi sold Il Giornale to his brother. Receptive to innovation, the paper became Europe's most powerful newspaper, and now it accepts bitcoins for subscriptions. Together with Chicago Sun-Time, a US newspaper that recently announced it is accepting Bitcoin payments for subscriptions, too, Il Giornale's goal is to embrace advanced technology and be one step ahead of the competition.