130 Coffee Shops in Spain Now Accept Bitcoin

You can now purchase a coffee, and maybe even some “churros”, at more than 130 locations in the country.

The everyday adoption of cryptocurrencies for actually buying goods has always been difficult. Real-world payment rails are still rare and merchants are still not flocking to accept cryptocurrencies anytime soon. This means that most of us are still confined to using traditional finance to support ourselves. A new cryptocurrency startup called Cyclebit, however, is looking to change that.

The idea of Cyclebit is simple: streamline and make more accessible the process of creating “cryptocurrency gateways,” thus allowing for more fluidity between fiat and cryptocurrencies. As of now, there exists no real parity between fiat and cryptocurrencies. They still feel like they’re in entirely different worlds which is what Cyclebit is looking to fix.

Currently, Cyclebit works with businesses in Europe and South Korea. However, as of October 16th, the crypto startup has announced that Nostrum, a chain of coffee shops in Spain, will be using its technology to start accepting and selling Bitcoin now. Nostrum is planning on making this the case for all of their 130 coffee shop locations in Spain.

Nostrum has been known as a cryptocurrency-friendly company for some time now. Boasting not just coffee but also healthy and organic meals, the company has been around over 20 years now. Currently, the company is only based in Spain, but if the blockchain-based model works for them then we can expect to see other small-brand coffee shops and marts follow.

An Already-Working Ecosystem

What sets Cyclebit apart and why this expansion into Nostrum is good news for the crypto space is that Cyclebit already has a working ecosystem. They are deriving much of their platform from and with the help of Ibox, which is a payment platform that has an annual turnover of $1 billion.

Ultimately, the goal of Cyclebit is to make each of their point-of-sale devices cryptocurrency-friendly. Such an infrastructure will require a large payment network, one which will allow for liquidity and the quick movement of funds between cryptocurrency and fiat.

Similar to how Square works today, used by thousands upon thousands of small businesses, Cyclebit has a similar idea. Merchants would be able to install a free app for iOS or Andriod, which functions as the interface for easy payments in crypto. The app will be able to process old-fashioned bank transactions as well as cryptocurrencies, all in one. Cyclebit is of the opinion that cryptocurrency adoption by merchants could easily open up new revenue streams for them. It will also increase loyalty to the industry since many merchants today still only tangentially know about Bitcoin. The crypto space has a loyalty deficit between consumers and sellers. However, this can quickly change with an easy-to-use crypto payment system and interface. The process today, frankly, is still too complicated.

With the development of their app and payment network, Cyclebit has also said that their app will also provide for easy integration into their existing payment systems. Tools will be available for analyzing the record of crypto transactions made.

An Network of Crypto-Payments

Cyclebit’s news comes at a time when the bearish market winter has caused many crypto firms to branch out and establish loyalty from traditional industries. The first step towards this process is establishing trust. However, there is also a growing group of projects in the cryptocurrency space working on bridging this divide all the same.

“Many companies are working to provide a much easier way to buy and spend cryptocurrencies. What unites them all is the intent to simplify the user experience and bury every complicated detail in the backend, removing the skill gap for users. The idea is to make the purchasing and payment experience close to already existing well-known procedures for credit cards or contactless payments,” said Cyclebit in a statement.

Cyclebit makes the argument that organized, everyday payment systems for merchants and consumers would go a long way towards reducing cryptocurrency’s inherent volatility. However, for this to happen it seems clear that cryptocurrency’s inherent learning curve needs to be made simpler for mass use.