23 Aug 2014
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American Sandwich Co. Using Bitcoin Digital Currency

The America Sandwich Co. in Coopersburg is the first restaurant outside of an urban area in the United States to use Bitcoins.

American Sandwich Co. Using Bitcoin Digital Currency

American Sandwich Co. has become the first restaurant in the nation to bring the digital currency called bitcoins to "Middle America."

Bitcoin is a system of owning and transferring amounts of Bitcoins, in a manner similar to online banking, but pseudonymously and without reliance on a bank.

Once exclusively the domain of tech-savvy "geeks," this virtual currency shot to prominence after a rise in value and the financial crisis in Cyprus.

Related story: Buying Into the Bitcoin Craze

American Sandwich Co. is the first restaurant in Pennsylvania to accept Bitcoin —and the first outside of a major urban area to so, according to a press release.

In order to accept Bitcoin as a payment method, Rich Piotrowski, who owns the restaurant with his wife Ellen Blickman, worked with Bitpay, the Bitcoin payment processor, and the software development company Menubus, to create and develop American Sandwich Co.'s ordering site.

"The strong response proves that Bitcoin is on the edge of breaking into the mainstream. On our first few days of accepting it, we had people driving an hour or more out of their way to visit us and pay with Bitcoin. It's no longer just a hip urban thing. We're in the small town of Coopersburg. You can't get more 'Middle America' than here."

Blickman said that she and her husband are part of a growing number of business owners and investors who believe that Bitcoin will ultimately change the face of American economics. However, their motive is simple:

"We want to provide our customers with an easier, safer and more economical option to credit cards, which is a $25 billion a year industry."

Blickman points out that retailers and restaurants pay very high fees to accept credit cards and most consumers aren't aware that these fees are indirectly passed along to them through higher prices.

American Sandwich Co. is one of Yelp's top-rated restaurants in Coopersburg.

In addition to its website, you can find American Sandwich Company on Facebook and follow the business on Twitter.

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