The Baggot Inn, a pub located in Dublin’s city center, will no longer be accepting bitcoin. Its bitcoin ATM has also been removed from the premises. The pub’s management said in a statement:
“We regret to announce (that) due to ongoing issues regarding the legality of Bitcoin ATMs in the Republic of Ireland, we can no longer accept Bitcoin payments.”
The pub is claimed as the first in the country to make a sale in bitcoin- a bottle of Kopparberg cider, for 0.0093 BTC last March. Its website has a page dedicated to Bitcoin.
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A number of points still remain unclear. If only bitcoin ATMs are cited as a legal concern, were bitcoin payments (independent of an ATMs existence) also scrapped, and if so, why? The central bank does not regulate bitcoin and does not consider it legal tender, but has not banned it. Also, why would legal issues be ATM-specific, as implied by the statement?
Another Irish pub, which contends that it completed the first such sale in February, continues to accept bitcoin and says that doing so has been a huge success.
From the text of the Baggot Inn’s statement, it does not appear that the suspension arose from legal concern of alcohol sales with bitcoin. In the US, the issue is apparently not so clear cut. While the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC) approved alcohol sales with bitcoin, the Ohio Department of Public Safety did not. The federal Alcohol and Tobacco trade bureau says such sales are permitted.