The businesses embracing Bitcoin in Gloucestershire

Interest in cryptocurrency Bitcoin is growing and more businesses than ever are accepting the digital currency across the globe. SoGlos takes a closer look at the firms embracing 'digital gold' as payment for goods in Gloucestershire.

By Emma Luther  |  Published
The number of UK companies accepting Bitcoin as payment for goods and services is on the rise, with six independent Gloucestershire businesses embracing the cryptocurrency in 2024.

A growing number of people, disillusioned by inflation devaluing their hard-earned savings, are considering a new money model that was created in 2009 — Bitcoin.

The digital currency, which isn't controlled by one person or organisation, comprises of 21 million Bitcoins that are yet to all be digitally mined.

Transactions are recorded on a public ledger and, in offering financial freedom from corporate control, investors are increasingly attracted to it as a money model that empowers them.

And it's a big talking point globally. In the 2024 US elections, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is vocally positioning himself as a cryptocurrency champion, appealing to 67 million Americans who hold cryptocurrencies.

Enthusiasm for Bitcoin remains somewhat tentative in the UK. At present, 233 businesses in the UK accept Bitcoin as payment for goods or services.

In Gloucestershire, there are six independent firms using the tender. They include Feast with Henry Herbert in Nailsworth, Spago restaurant and The Tall Ship pub in Gloucester, outdoor activity and mountain board centre Bugsboarding near Gloucester, cryptocurrency accounting and financial consultant Myna, part of Nephos in Cheltenham and Sacklyn Roofing near Hartpury.

Along with running Hobbs House Bakery during the day, Henry Herbert accepts Bitcoin payments for his floral-inspired, candlelit feasts he hosts above the Nailsworth bakery at weekends.

He has been learning about Bitcoin over the last three years and says it has humbled him and changed his views on many things.

He said: 'Bitcoin is a decentralised, permission less, transparent global monetary network that anyone can access. It can bank the unbanked, bootstrap renewable energy and its fixed supply means that your value can't be inflated away.

'It's here to stay, so you might just want to get some, in case it catches on. Even my 11-year-old daughter gets it. 

'It has helped me to manage my monthly finances better, plan for the future and understand how energy grids work.

'Bitcoin has made me realise how hard it is to send money to another country, the inequality of our current money in how it rewards the rich and steals from the poor.

'Other countries are being way more proactive and having really interesting debates and discussions around Bitcoin. It's even being discussed by Biden and Trump. Here in the UK, we talk a lot about being world leaders, but we are sleepwalking past this movement that is gaining momentum.

'I believe it is like the internet or the wheel. It can't be stopped.'

Joe David, founder and CEO of Nephos Group which oversees Myna, said: 'As an accounting firm that specialises in working with clients who accept cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, we at Myna have embraced Bitcoin payments ourselves. The decision to adopt Bitcoin was driven by our commitment to innovation and our belief in the transformative potential of blockchain technology.

'Accepting Bitcoin offers several benefits, including increased transaction speed and reduced fees compared to traditional banking methods. It also provides a level of security and transparency that is unmatched. For our global clients, Bitcoin facilitates seamless international transactions without the need for currency conversion, making it an ideal payment method in our increasingly interconnected world.

'By integrating Bitcoin into our payment system, we aim to support the broader adoption of cryptocurrencies and ensure that we remain at the forefront of financial technology advancements.'

Just over the border and in the Cotswolds, independent family-run The Circus restaurant in Bath started accepting Bitcoin in May 2024.

Nearby Bristol has six businesses which accept Bitcoin including a restaurant, art club, art shop, gold dealer, poet and Avon Valley Adventure and Wildlife Park.

Cardiff has three outlets: a newsagent, financial advisor and electronic cigarette seller. While Oxford has two — including a dog walking agency and Oxford City Football Club.

Further afield in the south east of England, Samantha Coe runs The Suffolk Jungle Room, a cafe and house plant shop in Halesworth. Bitcoin has helped keep her business afloat.

She said: 'Accepting Bitcoin has been extremely helpful to our cafe. During a tough time for hospitality, finding a whole new stream of revenue and customers, plus the publicity that it has attracted, has been valuable.'

The value of Bitcoin remains volatile. At the time of publishing, one Bitcoin is worth around £52,000. At its peak to date it reached an upper value of £57,639.18 on 14 March 2024.

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