Dutch startup BitStraat has launched a project aimed at turning Amsterdam into Bitcoin City, providing one hundred merchants with a free tablet-based POS terminal they can use to process mobile payments made using the virtual currency.
BitStraat has partnered with payment processor BitPay to launch the service. Fifteen retailers have signed up for the Bitcoin City project so far and the partners expect to reach their target of one hundred merchants by the end of February 2015.
The terminal is designed to provide a slick way to accept Bitcoin, Bitstraat co-founder Max Barendregt explained to NFC World+. “We have developed a product that looks professional because merchants can already accept Bitcoin on their phone or on a laptop but we believe that it shouldn’t be that way.
“We believe that it shouldn’t be something merchants have to get their phones out to accept or get a laptop out from under their counter to start accepting it. That’s why we built the terminal to have the same professional feel as a credit card terminal.”
The terminal is a tablet on a stand and is being provided free of charge for the first one hundred merchants that sign up. After that, merchants can either pay €10 a month to rent the device or buy the terminal outright from BitStraat for €120.
“We have about fifteen set up around Amsterdam which are already physically ready in the stores and I guess we have some ten to twenty more that have shown interest which we have to follow up in the next couple of weeks. We think we will achieve our goal of getting the hundred merchants before the end of February 2015. As for the city, Amsterdam has always been very liberal, a really liberal character.
“We think that Bitcoin has the same kind of character that is not restrained by government or third parties and it is also a really liberal currency. Amsterdam is really technologically advanced with a high density of progressive technology companies so that’s why we think that it is very suitable for this purpose.”