Digital currency comes to the Magic City - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Digital currency comes to the Magic City

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BIRMINGHAM - AL -

How you pay at the store or online is changing.  The virtual currency 'Bitcoin' is growing in popularity.   It replaces cash with digits and you can buy just about anything.  The digital currency is being used to buy everything from art, to flights, even cars and most recently groceries right here in Birmingham.  "Freshfully," a market known for it's locally grown foods and products, is of the first in the Magic City to hop on board.

"It's generated a lot of interest and buzz," Jen Barnett, CEO, Freshfully said.

"Freshfully," an Avondale grocer added this payment option to it's menu. 

"We want to make our food available no matter how you want to pay for it or shop!" Barnett said.

For Freshfully, it's like buying something with Paypal - the transactions are matched dollars to Bitcoin.  But, for those who operate within Bitcoin's market,  the value per Bitcoin changes - meaning a user could make interest.  When you have a Bitcoin account, you have an online wallet. With your wallet, you can pay for services or products transferring the currency to the seller's wallet by-passing the banks.

"You just use the coupon code, Bitcoin just like you might use a coupon code on Amazon," Barnett said. "It makes your transaction total zero, then we email you a payment request just like if you were to use Paypal."

"It's great to have an option and with this being a cutting edge thing, I think Freshfully is a great place to pilot that," Lindsey Elmore, a customer said.

The perk is that it cuts down on credit card fees but is also untraceable. 

"I think some people are still confused about Bitcoins - what they are and what they mean and even after you've read a lot you have to be a pretty savvy economist or programmer to really understand what they mean," Barnett said.

"It might be something that I might want to try at some point in the future just as a fun experiment like hey how does this work?" Elmore said.

J.P. Morgan is also tapping into digital currency. It's system could include  the ability to make anonymous electronic payments over the Internet.  It would also get rid of having to fill out forms with personal information while you're shopping online.


 

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