Irish drinks company Wine Lab has begun accepting cryptocurrency payments and hopes to deal with other businesses in crypto in the future.
Winelab began accepting cryptocurrencies on their website this week and hopes to pay suppliers in cryptocurrencies for speed and value for money one day.
WineLab is a wine merchant with a focus on sustainable wines. They have become a household name thanks to their collaborations with Sprezzatura and over four hundred more of the leading restaurant and hospitality outlets on the island of Ireland.
Ronan Farrell, Winelab founder, said in a statement that for Winelab, the process of accepting cryptocurrencies was simple. All that was needed was for a plugin to be added by the business’s web services provider. WineLab’s Instagram said six cryptocurrencies are currently accepted: Ethereum, Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, and two stable coins pegged to the US dollar: Dai and USD Coin.
Winelab is in the small minority of companies accepting crypto. Despite American giants such as Starbucks and Home Depot taking crypto, only about 3,000 retailers in America accept such payments.
Even fewer cryptocurrency payments are accepted in Ireland. Winelab wants to demonstrate that using cryptocurrency for payment is doable and worthwhile in Ireland. Broader adoption of crypto payments would benefit the business and would save time and money when paying international suppliers, he said in an interview with the Business Post.
Farrell pointed to importing from Argentina as an example of benefits. Due to currency volatility, many businesses have to pay Argentinian suppliers in US dollars. These have to be sent via a routing bank in America. This comes with extra expenses and can take three to five days. Theoretically, the process could cost $1 and be done in a matter of minutes if cryptocurrencies were used.
The environmental impacts of cryptocurrency have been well-documented. The New York Times has reported that creating Bitcoin alone uses more electricity than Finland, with 5.5 million inhabitants. Roughly the same as Ireland.
Cryptocurrencies require data centre space. The development of new cryptos, such as Ethereum 2 and Solana, is expected to use less energy.
Farrell said, “I think the solution is in the evolution of the technology … which will resolve those issues and then it becomes a simple choice for people a bit like diesel or petrol or electric…The aim is to move rapidly to adopt and promote more sustainable options once there is scope to do so. Next-generation digital currencies like Stellar and Cardano, both of which are far more energy-efficient coins are two likely options”.
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