Haircuts for a digital dollar? Bitcoin's small business use

Mitch Brownlie of Toowoomba barbershop Klippt.
Mitch Brownlie of Toowoomba barbershop Klippt. Nev Madsen

CASH, credit or…Bitcoin?

Toowoomba barbershop owner Mitch Brownlie is bringing in a cutting-edge method of payment to his businesses - the online currency of Bitcoins.

Mr Brownlie said he believes that crypto-currencies, which are peer-to-peer, decentralized digital currencies, will be the payment method of choice for businesses in as little as a decade.

Bitcoin has no central monetary authority, unlike traditional currencies, and individuals hold their Bitcoins in a digital "wallet" stored on their computer or phone.

Mr Brownlie said his interest in the currency had come from the inconvenience of handling cash as a business owner.

"You always have to worry about the cash, getting it to the bank. Getting both shops down to the bank, every day, is really inconvenient.

"Realistically, people get their wages direct into account, Centrelink directly into their account, why not pay directly from there?"

To pay by Bitcoin, a customer would scan a QR code at the salon with their smart phone, and send Bitcoins through to the barbershop's account.

Mr Brownlie said getting customers to understand the complex concept behind Bitcoins would be the biggest impediment to its widespread usage.

"It's a crazy idea, and you only realise the true genius when you actually understand it," he said.

"You just have to understand the intricacies, that there's not one person in charge of it.

"People associate it with online criminals, because that's where its roots are. It is anonymous, but then so is cash.

"For me it's the simplicity of it.

"I honestly see it as being a rival of the dollar even in 10 years' time - it's a global currency."

Klippt has locations at the Hooper Centre, Hume St, and a new store at the Bridge St Plaza.



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