Good news came last week from Beijing, Chine. You can now have a good night out in Beijing on digital cash. The Cafe Bar 2nd Place became the first bar in Chine to accept payments in bitcoin. It was opened by Japanese proprietor Rin, in June 2011 and today is known as a small but funky venue in Beijing’s Wudaokou neighborhood, 10km from the city center and a popular hangout for students at several nearby universities.
“I did it to attract new customers and also for my own self study,” admitted ‘Rin’. A person who advised Rin of bitcoin’s viability as an everyday payment option was an American living in Beijing, Jake Smith. Smith got into bitcoin himself earlier, he attempted to mine it himself and buy through Mt. Gox, thought less successful.
Smith was organizing some Bitcoin meetups in Beijing. The Beijing Bitcoin meetup group has been holding its meetings at 2nd Place since around April 2013. Smith has already managed to convince a couple of other local businesses to accept bitcoins as well, such as IJustWannaBuy.com and entrepreneur hangout The Garage Cafe.
In an interview Smith said 2nd Place is one of his favorite bars in Beijing: “Rin was always apprehensive but curious, and as I started doing more and more interesting stuff (traveling for bitcoin related work, and getting a full time job in bitcoin space), I think he started to realize that bitcoin is actually serious business and began asking more and more questions about it.”
“Rin is still not a bitcoin user himself; we made an arrangement that he keeps track of the RMB value of the drinks paid for in bitcoin, and then I settle the bill with him and receive the BTC he’s collected. But he checks out the BTC price every day now, and it’s my hope that sooner rather than later, one day he’ll tell me he doesn’t want to sell me the BTC and just hold onto it instead.” It is worth to mention that another local Beijing Reddit user ‘wudaokor’ is apparently spreading the word further by entering a ‘Bitcoin Team’ at local pizza restaurant and bar Lush/Pyro’s pub quiz. Wudaokor wrote: “The more people that show up, the more oomph there is behind the message that accepting bitcoin can create business, so I’d like to get as many people to go as possible”.