Japanese restaurant in Pittsburgh accepts Bitcoin

By Nicel Jane Avellana

Jan 25, 2014 04:20 PM EST

Bloomfield, Pittsburgh-based Japanese restaurant Fukuda introduced its acceptance of the digital currency known as Bitcoin through social media, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported. Fukuda told its followers on Facebook and Twitter, "Ladies and gentlemen, Fukuda has officially accepted bitcoin as payment for Omakase this evening."

Fukuda owner Hoon Kim told the media outlet that Omakase is the Japanese word that is translated in English as "chef's tasting menu."

The first customer to pay for Omakase in the digital currency is Andy Tepper, an online gaming company president. The report quoted him as saying, "It simply makes more sense. The only reason that merchants still use MasterCard and Visa is because the population hasn't merged over to bitcoin."

While establishments that accept Bitcoin are still few and far between, there are more businesses like Overstock.com that are increasingly becoming open to the digital currency as a form of payment. The museum Toonseum, Downtown, has announced last week that it will be allowing customers to pay for admission in Bitcoin. However, Director Joe Wos told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that they still have to meet their first Bitcoin-paying customer.

In order to begin using Bitcoin, an individual or business must have a virtual wallet in a phone or computer. One way to populate the wallet with Bitcoins is to make a purchase of the digital currency on such websites like Coinbase.com using real money like US dollars, the report said.

In the case of Fukuda, however, they decided to acquire Bitcoins by selling Omakase. It was only three weeks ago when Kim created a virtual wallet. His restaurant opened for business in 2012, the report said.

Tepper's bill was $181 or .22 Bitcoin. Because Fukuda's way of handling Bitcoin transactions is still elementary, he only got to pay his bill after returning to his office in Ross and then later sent the money to Fukuda account's address, the report said.

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