Britain's Bitcoin Pubs Let You Binge-Drink Yourself Unconscious in Complete Anonymity

By Gary Cutlack on at

Four pubs in Hackney, Cambridge, Norwich and Peterborough have started accepting Bitcoins as payment for pints, meaning no one's ever going to be able to see the shameful truth of how much that last round cost you. The ultimate in deniability.

The Pembury Tavern in Hackney and its three sister pubs in the south east are under the management of Stephen Early, who is a former computer scientist. Now we understand. Stephen purchased a chunk of Bitcoins a couple of years ago, leaving the virtual cash to languish in his virtual wallet (and appreciate in value by a factor of 20) due to not being able to find anything to spend them on at the time.

But now, thanks to a couple of nights hacking his custom till software to work with an appropriate Bitcoin payment processor, drinkers can pay by scanning a QR code at the tille with a smartphone and handling the transaction through a wallet app. Until the booze kicks in and it all gets too complex, when unsteadily waving a £20 note at the cashier becomes the easier option.

The boutique pub chain's Bitcoin user guide helpfully gives potential users advice on what to tell the bar staff to do ("ask them to press 'Manage Transaction' and then '7'") if they look a bit confused by an attempt to pay for eight pints of Stella with the imaginary cloud money. [Individual Pubs via Guardian]

Image credit: British pub from Shutterstock