UK Firm Claims to Be the First to Accept Bitcoin

Have you heard of Bitcoin? To put it another way, do you follow any tech or business journalists on Twitter? Thought so.

We admit to our own general ignorance of the trend because we’re not sure what to make of “virtual currency”, especially when it involves one or more Winklevosses. At first we assumed it was just a new way for our Libertarian friends to keep the government’s grubby hands off their money, but Mediabistro‘s Vegas Bitcoin conference is going on right now, so we’re game.

The rest of the mainstream media has apparently decided that the trend must now be taken quite seriously as well, which leaves room for UK firm Pressat to announce its status at the first PR group to accept Bitcoin as payment.

Why is this a story?

Well, according to the firm’s press release, they’ve partnered with Bitpay (tagline “credit cards weren’t designed for the Internet”), and…

“It’s safe to say the future is coming!”

Development director Max Forrest elaborates on that point:

“The Bitcoin currency was portrayed in a bad light by the press due the close ties to Silk Road and the anonymous benefits the digital currency offers to dealers and buyers. But what many have failed to notice is since the closure the two biggest drug market places, the price of Bitcoin has increased to the same price as an ounce of Gold”

So how newsworthy is this announcement? Is it a real move forward or just a promo opportunity for one tech-savvy firm?

UPDATE: We were leaning toward the latter until we learned that Bitcoin is now accepted as payment in bars. Case closed.

@PatrickCoffee Patrick Coffee is a senior editor for Adweek.