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An innovative Guisborough pub has become the first Teesside watering hole to start accepting cryptocurrencies as a method of payment for drinks. The Tap and Spile in the quaint market town of Guisborough believes it is the region’s first public house to allow payment of Bitcoin and other digital currencies to cover the cost of pints. The pub’s landlord, Phil Barkley, has been investing in Bitcoin himself for a number of months and opted to start allowing his customers to pay using Bitcoin and Litecoin – even though the pub doesn’t accept card payments as it’s not deemed financially viable.

Visitors to The Tap and Spile can pay for their round of drinks using cryptocurrency by scanning a QR code which automatically removes the cash value of their beverages from their cryptocurrency wallet. Several other pubs have accepted Bitcoin as a form of payment in the last few years, with the trendy Pembury Tavern in London’s East End and Edinburgh’s Royal Dick having two of the most prominent crypto-conscious landlords.

Mr Barkley insists the world is “changing”, thanks to the ability to “pay for something across the world in seconds using Bitcoin without relying on banks or third parties to get involved”. Barkley’s pub does not have a card machine as the costs of hiring the machine and paying for each transaction were deemed too extravagant for a pub that doesn’t serve food. He believes the addition of Bitcoin and Litecoin as acceptable payment methods is a more suitable option, as it is the “future of money”.

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If the pub’s valued customers grow accustomed to using Bitcoin and Litecoin to pay for their drinks, crypto-payment methods are set to be rolled out across other pubs in the region operating within the same pub group. This includes The Miners Arms in Eston and The Fountain in Ormesby. Barkley intimated that he would be hosting a talk about Bitcoin and Litecoin in a bid to educate his customers about using cryptocurrency in his establishment. Buying Bitcoin has become easier than ever for first-time buyers, as there is a huge range of rated and reviewed Bitcoin exchanges that allow individuals to buy and sell Bitcoin between one another.

Litecoin, regarded as Bitcoin’s little brother in the cryptocurrency world, was specifically designed to be used as a payment method for goods such as beverages. As the silver of cryptocurrency, Litecoin is faster to process transactions, which is music to the ears of establishments such as public houses. It can confirm payments four times faster than a Bitcoin transaction. This makes Litecoin a more secure crypto-environment than Bitcoin, minimising the chance of so-called double-spending attacks. This cyber-criminal activity sees hackers spend the same cryptocurrency twice to pay for two separate transactions. There’s also a market cap of 84 million Litecoins – four times as many as the 21 million Bitcoin market cap.

Of course, time will tell whether pubs such as The Tap and Spile will be viewed as trailblazers in the years to come.

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