A visit to a cashless café

By Veenu Anand

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I read so much about cryptocurrency. Especially for the past one year and its rise and fall; countries and central banks banning them and all the speculations around them, but amidst all this, there are bitcoin gurus who want to make cryptocurrency our day to day currency including Starbucks who sees its potential.

One morning while on my way to the office, I saw a street board standing on the pavement saying Ducatus Café, the words, ‘cashless café, use your cryptocurrency here!” caught my attention

I went back and re-read the board - Ducatus Café, Singapore’s first cashless café. I got intrigued by it, and I wanted to try it. After researching, to my surprise I found out that there are about 20 other retailers (as per MAS) in Singapore who accept cryptocurrency.

Penning down few retailers who accept cryptocurrency in Singapore, if you want to give it a try: Ducatus Cafe Sarnie’s café Oyster Bar CAD Café Artistry Café Den Mariko’s Skyline (club)

So yesterday, I decided to have my morning coffee at Ducatus café. As I entered the café, the lady at the counter introduced me to ‘the in-store ATM’ and left me to figure out how it works.

They had written the steps to follow on the wall, I had to get the Blockchain app, create an e-wallet. The ATM is an exchange to buy cryptocurrency with real money there I got my virtual currency from a $50 note. I tapped my e-wallet and bought the coffee. It worked like any payment wallet or pay-wave/apple-pay. It was simple to use. I got comfortable, sipped my coffee and realised that the coffee tasted the same but the whole experience of trying out a new technology at a very basic level made me more inquisitive about bitcoin/cryptocurrency and the impact it can have in our day to day lives.

If want to have food in a cashless café in Singapore but you do not have cryptocurrency there are many platforms/apps which help you get them. Few popular ones are Coinbase, Coinhako, NuMoney.

This leaves me with many questions like – Is cryptocurrency going to introduce us to another virtual world where we can buy all our stuff with cryptocurrency? Is the time coming when we would just need our smartphones to buy almost anything? Do we all need to understand the ecosystem across cryptocurrency sooner than later?