Bitcoin payment is no longer a novelty: several online shops, as well as shops, bars and restaurants are incorporating the world’s largest cryptocurrency as a means of payment, and seem to benefit greatly from it. There was a bar in Berlin that accepted Bitcoin since 2011.
This is no longer surprising and with the evolution of technology and the passage of time we will see more such initiatives as companies are eager to incorporate crypto as their primary payment method. They guarantee the anonymity of transactions and are not subject to government oversight.
One such initiative and a huge novelty was the bar in Berlin called Room 77 which has unfortunately been closed. The entrepreneur Jörg Platzer closed the bar Room 77, whose customers could pay for the order with bitcoin. He wrote about it in Reddit.
According to the owner, the first crypto payment in Room 77 was accepted in 2011. Following the bar in the Kreuzberg area, members of the Bitcoin community showed interest. Bitcoin Core developer Eric Lombroso said that the stay in Berlin was never complete without a visit to Room 77.
„This place will forever remain part of Bitcoin’s history,“ he wrote.
Platzer did not indicate the reason for the closure of the bar. He thanked customers for the tip and stressed that „Bitcoin will never stop“.
Room 77 in Berlin, the bitcoin bar
Regular customers of Room 77 associate the decision of the room owner with restrictions due to coronavirus. According to Lombroso, the problem is not only related to COVID-19. The bar was the place to use the first cryptocurrency, which, according to the developer, is „too dangerous“.
Monero’s former lead developer and co-founder of Tari, Riccardo „fluffypony“ Spagni, claims that many „bought their first Monero“ at Room 77.
Previously, German financial regulators recognised digital assets as financial instruments. The reason for this classification was the partial coincidence in the definition of cryptocurrency in several organisations, including the Financial Action Group against money laundering.
Germany and the legal status of cryptos
Although it may be difficult to explore the possible reasons behind the closure of this very famous bar, it would be appropriate to say a few words about the legal status of cryptos in Germany.
The German Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin) has classified digital assets as financial instruments. This decision was taken and approved in 2020 and many people were satisfied with the news.
According to the financial supervisor, virtual currencies represent a digital value that has not been issued or guaranteed by any central bank or government agency and that is not necessarily linked to a currency defined by law and does not have a legal currency or money status, but is accepted by individuals or entities as a means of exchange and can be transferred, stored and exchanged electronically.
The regulator explained that several organisations, including the Financial Action Task Force on Money Laundering (FATF), have partly the same definition of cryptocurrency. This has served as a basis for the classification of digital assets as financial instruments.
BaFin noted that cryptocurrency was not previously covered by any of its classifications.
In January, the regulator strengthened AML/CFT rules in accordance with the EU’s 5AMLD Directive. BaFin obliged companies offering cryptocurrency services to obtain licences for their activities. It is also noted that regulators do not intend to punish organisations that already offer such services. These companies only need to indicate their intention to obtain a licence by 31 March and submit an application by 30 November.
Previously, the German government passed a law allowing banks to buy and sell cryptocurrency. More than 40 financial institutions have already expressed interest in obtaining BaFin’s approval for the provision of digital asset safekeeping services.