A bit of a change: Retailers banking on virtual money

When customers visit David Ayyash’s ChickPea in the D restaurant downtown, instead of pulling out a credit card or dollar bills, they can pay with a completely digital currency that’s not backed by any bank or government: Bitcoin.

Ayyash takes a customer’s payment by generating a code from his tablet, then shows it to the customer before scanning it. The customer then sends the payment over to Ayyash electronically, not from his credit card or PayPal account, but from his cache of bitcoins.

Ayyash started accepting Bitcoin in early June to offer his customers more payment options as well as to “make customers happy.”

“If people ask for a new way to spend their money, we’ll be more than willing to attract them,” he said.

The Bitcoin, launched in 2009 by Satoshi Nakamoto, is worth nearly $300 per unit, rising from just fractions of a cent since its inception. Since Bitcoin’s creation, many international businesses, such as travel agency Expedia and tech giant Microsoft, have started accepting the currency in the same way they would U.S. dollars.

Bitcoin use is relatively simple. Users store their digital credit in an e-wallet, such as Bitcoin Wallet or Bitcoin Core, to purchase goods and services. When it comes time to pay at a restaurant or online retailer, a one-time bitcoin address tied to the digital wallet will receive the funds transferred from one person’s wallet to another without any significant time delays. Even international transfers of bitcoin, as reported by bitcoin.org, take no more than 10 minutes.

And if users want to trade their

Originally appeared at: http://www.freep.com/story/news/local/2015/07/17/bitcoin-retail-detroit/30323319/