Buy Beer for Bitcoin in London’s Rotate Bar

Rotate, a beer bar located in the heart of Shoreditch, north central London, has become the first bar in the city to accept bitcoin via the Lightning Network.

Rotate only started taking bitcoin in March, but for a long time before that, the bar had been a hangout for cryptocurrency investors and enthusiasts. Twice a month, 30 to 40 of them would gather in the bar to exchange ideas and find partners. Taking bitcoin for payment seemed like a natural development.

The people who pay with bitcoin are the same regulars interested in cryptocurrency. Now at last, they could buy beer with their crypto savings and get 20% off coffee and drinks.

Rotate partnered with Lightning Pay, a UK payments startup, which will take care of transactions over the Lightning Network. The bar’s owner, James Stell, said Lightning Pay “helped us set up our payments solution and [will] provide ongoing help when required.”

He also said Lightning Pay offers immediate conversion to fiat and transfer of funds to bank account should they wish it, which the bar owners plan to do “as the transaction volume becomes more meaningful.”

Before moving to the LN, customers who paid with Bitcoin had to wait for at least one block confirmation on the BTC network before they could leave the bar. Things sped up thanks to Lightning, and waiting for confirmation is no longer necessary since transactions are processed off-blockchain at the time of purchase, and then confirmed on-blockchain at a later time, probably long after buyers has been served their drinks.

The bar generates invoices through BTC pay server, but James said he wants to set up a custom on-site solution with a Lightning and Bitcoin node.

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