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May 13, 2014

Bitcoin-only shopping launches in Glasgow

Second-hand games store CeX running three-day in-store trial.

By Vinod

A Glasgow shop has become the first in Britain to exclusively accept the Bitcoin cryptocurrency as its sole method of payment.

The city’s branch of second-hand computer games and gadgets retailer, CeX, will run a three-day trial during which it will switch from the pound to the popular cryptocurrency.

The Sauchiehall Street store will become a ‘pound-free’ zone from today until Thursday, according to the retailer, which posted a photo of long queues outside the shop earlier this morning.

The trial will also introduce Scotland’s very first Bitcoin ATM in the store, (the fourth in the UK) so that customers can withdraw the currency to pay for their purchases.

"We’re excited to run such an innovative trial," a statement on CeX’s website says.

"Like you, we live and breathe technology so it’s only natural we looked at Bitcoin as a choice to offer you when you buy and sell games, phones, gadgets and films."

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CeX is also extending the trial to its online site, where the currency will become a permanent way to pay for items.

"We love Bitcoin and are proud to be the first national UK retailer adopting it permanently on," the company wrote on its Facebook page.

The decision comes at a time of heightened attention regarding the issue of Scottish independence, with the country due to go to the polls in September. CeX believes that the trial may offer an opportunity for the country to show it could potentially manage without the pound.

"While we are temporarily dropping the pound from our Glasgow store, at a time when Scottish Independence is high up on the news agenda, we are doing so to give customers a choice in how they trade with us," David Butler, commercial director at CeX, said.

Last month, underground Bitcoin vault service provider Xapo unveiled a new credit card service which would allow users to use bitcoins like cash, greatly expanding the potential reach of the currency.

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