The Ballad of Bitcoin
Despite some false starts and stumbling blocks, cryptocurrency is slowly creeping into the county.
While investors scramble to decipher the intricacies of buying and trading digital currencies, local businesses across a wide range of fields and services are already beginning to adopt cryptocurrency technologies in preparation for a day when they could be as common as Apple Pay or credit cards.
Currently, there are about a half-dozen locations throughout Westchester County that accept digital currencies or offer related services. Erica Gendler, owner of popular Thornwood restaurant License 2 Grill, was pleased to begin accepting cryptocurrency for online orders, as it cost her essentially nothing: Her online ordering system is powered by Menufy, which partners with cryptocurrency juggernaut Coinbase to accept digital payments on behalf of local businesses. “It was something they offered, and we just said, ‘Why not?’” Gendler notes.
Bumper Ball USA — a Stamford-based entertainment company with Westchester locations — began accepting cryptocurrency in early 2017, before the end-of-year boom that saw Bitcoin’s value soar to nearly $20,000. (At press time, it was hovering around $7K.)
“The US has not fully gone into the adoption phase, like many Third World countries that desperately need an uncorrupted currency,” says Bumper Ball USA president Patrick Nunez, who is also a cryptocurrency expert. “When it does, we’ll be ready.”
Nunez adds that market fluctuations in these early days make cryptocurrency more attractive to investors than consumers, but stability will inevitably have these coins seeing more everyday usage.
Update 5/10: Since printing, Menufy has transitioned from accepting cryptocurrency payments via Coinbase to the platform BitPay.