Troy Wolverton: Bitcoin hard to spend in Silicon Valley mall

This holiday shopping season, I found myself in a peculiar situation.

I was at the mall. I was ready to shop for presents. But I couldn’t find anyone who would take
my money.

Heck, when I asked if I could pay with it, many looked at me as if I was from Mars!

To be fair, I wasn’t offering to pay in dollars. I wasn’t trying to use my credit card or even
Apple Pay. Instead, I was trying to spend some bitcoin.

Now, I know. The computer-based currency still seems a little new, even though it’s been around
for six years. And it works differently from cash or credit cards. You typically store coins in a
smartphone app or Web service, not in a physical wallet, for example. And to make a payment, you
typically scan a QR-code, the square bar codes, rather than handing over bills or swiping a

But I was at Westfield Valley Fair mall, in the heart of Silicon Valley, the most high-tech area
in the world, where not only can you walk a few steps to go from an Apple store to a Microsoft
outlet and buy drones from multiple vendors, but you can find one of

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