Operators would consider using cryptocurrency, snap poll finds

By Rebecca Weller

- Last updated on GMT

Blockchain technology: 49% of 75 publicans would consider using cryptocurrency (Credit: Getty/ MF3d)
Blockchain technology: 49% of 75 publicans would consider using cryptocurrency (Credit: Getty/ MF3d)

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Almost half of publicans who participated in a snapshot survey of The Morning Advertiser readers said they would consider using cryptocurrency in their pub.

Of the 75 licensees who participated, 49% (37) said they would consider using cryptocurrency, while 39% (29) said they would not use it in their pub, and 12% (9) said they were interested in learning more about it.

The poll results came after many venues became cashless businesses due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, with one licensee incentivising his staff with cryptocurrency bonuses and claiming blockchain technology is going to change the world.

Operator of the Potters Arms in Amersham, Buckinghamshire Peter Gilbert, said: “I feel the world is skewered at the minute; the banking system doesn't work.

Changing the future 

“Blockchain technology is the future. It’s going to change the world like no one can believe.

“In the 1970’s the internet was born but no one really made mass adoption till the 1990s and 2006, I think it was, when blockchain technology came out with BitCoin being the first thing, and people are now realising the power of blockchain technology."

However, not all operators shared Gilbert’s enthusiasm for online currency with licensee of the Red Lion & Sun in Highgate, north London, Heath Ball, having said he felt it needed to be more mainstream to be considered a viable option and cryptocurrency was not something he was prepared to count on at the moment.

Some however, were keen to understand more about blockchain technology and the benefits cryptocurrency could potentially offer.

Licensee of the Unruly Pig in Bromeswell, Suffolk, Brendan Padfield, said: “I wish I really understood what cryptocurrency was, but I've only got the vaguest idea. I would like to understand more though and I certainly wouldn't dismiss it.

Mixed reactions 

“We’ve not been taking cash since the beginning of covid because of the risk of contamination via notes etc. and moving cashless has been a great thing for us, the end of cashing up at night, the end of bank reconciliations, the end of bank charges on cash.”

The idea of cryptocurrency being used in pubs not only received mixed reviews from the hospitality sector, but finance experts were also divided.

Cryptocycle chairman and co-founder Tony McGurk warned licensees to do their research before investing in or using cryptocurrencies due to their volatility and rapidly fluctuating value.

Whereas Freed Community co-founder Sam Dempsey added: “There would be no need to have all your finances go through a bank anymore.

“All the bureaucracy could be removed, and a relationship between the owner and staff could become much more streamlined and efficient.”

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