It’s been almost two years since a group of businesses in a Cleveland suburb started accepting digital currency bitcoin as a form of payment. The response at first was huge. Visitors from around the world stopped at what became known as “Bitcoin Boulevard.” But now, the bitcoin hype has subsided.
Along a lane of small retail stores, restaurants and bars, nine independent Cleveland Heights businesses banded together to form Bitcoin Boulevard in May 2014. But today, two of those businesses have closed, one is not actively accepting bitcoin, and a wine shop ceased most of its bitcoin transactions after the Ohio Division of Liquor Control banned alcohol purchases with the digital currency.
Mitchell’s Fine Chocolates is one of the original nine businesses. Owner Bill Mitchell says he started seeing a drop in bitcoin payment when its value dwindled at the beginning of 2015.
Bitcoin sticker on Mitchell’s Fine Chocolates window
“Since the latter part of the winter of this year going through the end of October, it’s been deader than a doornail,” said Mitchell.