With the recent announcement from Facebook that they’re releasing their own cryptocurrency called Libra, and the value of Bitcoin surging to its highest value in over a year, digital currencies are stepping back into the limelight.
Bitcoin is slowly moving away from being an internet-only currency, and an increasing number of highstreet shops and restaurants are starting to accept bitcoin. If you’re out of cash and you’re looking for retailers to spend your bitcoins in London, here’s a quick guide to some of the city’s bitcoin-friendly businesses for fashion, beauty, and lifestyle.
1. Fifth Dimension Tattoo & Piercing
This Shoreditch vegan tattoo and piercing studio has glowing reviews, and the team of resident body piercers and tattooists are skilled and friendly. Fifth Dimension also hosts guest tattooists on occasion.
Tattoo styles include watercolour, dotwork, sacred geometry and cover-ups. All work is done using high-quality vegan inks, and the studio is spotlessly clean.
Tattoos start from £80 and larger pieces can be done in a full day session, which costs £500 – £600. Consultations are free, but you’re required to pay a deposit for your booking (you can pay with bitcoin, of course!) Piercings don’t require booking ahead and cost from £30.
16 Bacon St, Shoreditch, London, E1 6LF
Open 11am – 7pm Wednesday to Friday, 1 – 7pm Saturday, closed on Monday and Tuesday.
2. Himalayan People
Himalayan People presents a selection of handmade woollens created by master weavers and craftspeople in the Himalayas. The collection includes hand knitted scarves, socks, woollen slippers, and woven bags and iPad covers.
Socks start at £12, scarves are £30 to £60, and bags are around £30. Koolah traditional slippers are priced at £25.
The brand also sells herbal skin and bodycare products made from ingredients sourced in the Himalayas, a selection of teas, and Himalayan chilli dips and sauces.
Himalayan People Ltd, 152 City Road, London, EC1V 2NX
3. Totem Hair
If you’re in desperate need of a haircut, blow dry, or beard trim, but don’t have time to head into the salon, give Candice at Totem Hair a call. Totem hair is a mobile hairdressing service that brings a pop-up hair studio to offices in central London.
There’s an easy online booking service, payable by Bitcoin, so you can arrange everything from your desk. All services (haircuts, trims, blow dries, and up-dos) are charged at £22 per 30 minutes. It’s also possible to arrange for the company to pay or subsidise payments, if you want to offer this service for the staff at your business.
Mobile service only – no salon
The number of London bars and restaurants that accept bitcoin is on the rise. Nincomsoup was one of the first to embrace digital currencies, and is well worth a visit for its delicious food, freshly squeezed juices, and speciality coffee.
As you might expect from the café’s name, soup dominates the menu. Nincomsoup offers 80 different soup varieties, and the selection changes daily. Vegetarian, vegan, wheat-free, and dairy-free options are always available. There’s also a breakfast menu including cereals, toast, fruit, and yogurt, and sweet and savoury bakery treats. Soups start from £2.25 for a small bowl.
5-7 St Agnes Well, Old Street Station, London, EC1Y 1BE
Open 7.30am – 7.30pm Monday to Friday.
5. BrewDog Canary Wharf
If you’re shopping or working in Canary Wharf and feel in need of refreshment, pop into BrewDog for a selection of Scottish craft beers and casual food menu.
The pub, which opened in October last year, also gifted a bitcoin cash wallet pre-loaded with between £12 and £100 to its first 100 customers. BrewDog is planning on eventually rolling out bitcoin payments to the rest of its 61 bars in the UK.
2 Churchill Pl, Canary Wharf, London, E14 5RB
Open 11am – 12am Monday to Friday, 12pm – 12am Saturday, and 12 – 10.30pm Sunday.