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Eyewear merchant Coastal and newspaper Chicago Sun-Times to accept Bitcoin in 2014

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What could an online eyewear giant like Coastal and a respected newspaper like the Chicago Sun-Times have in common? In this case, Bitcoin is the answer. Both companies are getting ready to start accepting cryptocurrency payments during this new year.

The Canadian e-commerce retailer Coastal Contacts has announced it will be adopting Bitcoin as a payment option in the next quarter, in a few months, Coindesk reports. The company was founded in 2000 and operates mainly online, but also has a few retail outlets for customers to try on eyewear and order glasses from.

It was the demand from the customers that led Coastal to introduce the possibility of a Bitcoin option. “The demand has been small but aligns with a key demographic for us – innovators”, the company said in a statement, adding that the percentage of revenue coming from cryptocurrency is difficult to estimate so far.

We anticipate it being a small percentage immediately, but as acceptance of the currency grows, we want to be prepared to allow consumers to pay in whatever method is most convenient to them.

The move might have been inspired by Overstock’s recent Bitcoin frenzy. The online retailer and the Canadian eyewear seller just signed a deal and Coastal is now supplying its products to the customers at Overstock.

Despite the revelation, the merchant hasn’t announced which company will be processing the Bitcoin payments. For now, Coastal’s IT section is currently integrating payment gateways.

Pay to read on February 1st

Moving to a completely different business sector, there’s another company considering the adoption of Bitcoin payments. The Chicago Sun-Times is kicking-off a trial paywall using Bitcoin as payment for articles, within a partnership with BitWall.


However, the proceeds won’t go to the newspaper, but to the Taproot Foundation, which pairs professionals looking for pro bono work with non-profits, according to the

During 24 hours from the beginning of February 1st, as soon as a visitor pops in the website, they will encounter the BitWall paywall. In order to read the available articles, users will have to make a Bitcoin donation to the Taproot Foundation, which will then be converted to US dollars.

Still, the Chicago Sun-Times won’t cut your right to information if you don’t have Bitcoins, so you can just tweet about the Taproot Foundation and gain access to the articles.

While the experiment might seem a bit confusing, the publisher Jim Kirk says the newspaper wants “to experiment and test new technologies that we believe engage our readers and look forward to being the first major USA newspaper to test a Bitcoin-based paywall“. Hopefully, the test will be successful and the experiment might become abiding.

Maria is an experienced journalist currently living in the UK. She has been writing about Bitcoin and the altcoin universe since 2013. She is also a member of the Lifeboat Foundation's New Money Systems Board and a big cryptocurrency supporter.

View all Posts by Maria Santos

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