Buy a coffee with your Bitcoin? This Aussie café aims to represent the future
One of the issues with Bitcoin, and other cryptocurrencies, is that we might think about these things as a kind of currency (it’s right there in the name), but their application when it comes to making the kind of retail purchases that we use currency for is severely lacking. One Australian café, Crypto Coffee, is aiming to showcase a future in which crypto is a form of payment as easy and convenient as a credit card or cash.
As reported in the Daily Mail, Crypto Coffee, which is based in Brisbane, uses the Swyftx platform to accept payments in Bitcoin, Ethereum and Ripple. Prices are typical of an up-market, city-based café, with a serving of toast setting you back the equivalent of Aus$6, and a full breakfast costing Aus$18.90. Given the current value of Bitcoin, at the time of writing, this is a ten-thousandth of a fraction of a coin, ranging from 0.000093 BTC to 0.00030 BTC.
The café leans heavily into this crypto theme, naming its menu after various popular crypto (“Shiba toast”, for example). Despite this on-the-nose branding, you can still use more conventional means, such as EFTPOS and cash, to pay for your orders.
For the most part, if you want to use your crypto assets to make conventional purchases, much like stock, you need to first liquidate the assets. One of the potential advantages for crypto in the long term is that it could be used as a direct payments system, as well as behaving like a stock asset.
The problem is that all cryptocurrencies are so volatile that you might wander into a café expecting to pay the equivalent of $5 for a coffee, stand in line for ten minutes, and end up ten or twenty cents, or even a dollar or more above the price you would have paid walking in. For this reason, the utility of crypto for small purchases remains very much in doubt. It will be interesting to see just how many coffees people end up buying with Bitcoin at Crypto Coffee.