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Bitcoin for Videogames as UK Store Goes Digital

 

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A second-hand exchange store in the U.K. has started dishing out virtual currency bitcoin to customers in return for old videogames.

London-based CeX recently announced that you can receive bitcoin when you sell your old gadgets, DVDs, phones and games in the U.K. However on Monday it went one better. To coincide with the move, it has confirmed that its main street store in Glasgow in Scotland will accept and pay out with the cryptocurrency for three days this week.

“To celebrate the online launch we have turned our Glasgow Sauchiehall Street store a pound free zone,” the company said on its website.

“We’re excited to run such an innovative trial. Like you, we live and breathe technology so it’s only natural we looked at bitcoin.”

Bitcoin – a “virtual” currency that allows users to exchange online credits for goods and services – has received criticism and praise in equal measures since appearing in the spotlight back in April last year. Seen as a libertarian movement with no central bank, the price rallied to well over $1,000 last November before regulatory moves in China and problems at major exchange Mt.Gox curbed investor appetite.

The cryptocurrency has proven a useful marketing tool for many companies hoping to boost their brand. Billionaire entrepreneur Richard Branson announced that his commercial spaceflight venture would accept bitcoin as payment. Meanwhile a university in Cyprus, a sustainable grocer, a travel website, a delicatessen and a guitar repair shop are just some of the smaller businesses that have received attention online thanks to their decisions to accept the cryptocurrency.

CeX states that their decision means they are the first national U.K. retailer adopting bitcoin. They currently have 250 stores in the country and have outlets now in five U.S. states. Despite indicating that the adoption would be a trial, there are currently no details on whether the adoption would be rolled out to its other main street stores.

The reaction to the news was overwhelmingly positive on the social networking service Reddit. Some users described it as “huge news” and potentially “game changing” highlighting the company’s decisions to pay out in bitcoin rather than just accepting the currency.

Fans of the videogame exchange were a little more skeptical on its Facebook page highlighting the lack of merits that the digital currency offered and the relatively small uptake.

“Bitcoin, like gold, is now too heavily mined and hoarded to be accessible to everyday folk who might shop at CeX…I admire and welcome the initiative though,” said one user on the social media site.

Reprinted by permission.

Image credit: CC by Antana

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About the author: Matt Clinch

Matt Clinch is an assistant producer at CNBC.com.

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