The new Ducatus Café in Singapore is open for business. The catch? Your (fiat) money’s no good here — customers are only allowed to pay in cryptocurrency.
The Very First ‘Crypto-Café’
For most of 2017, Asia has sought to turn its back on fiat, and Singapore is “doing its part” in keeping with the times. The café is disallowing cash payments and insists it will only accept bitcoin, ducatus (that’s right – the establishment has its own cryptocurrency*), and other forms of digital money.
*Update: several people have noted that Ducatus is closely related to the affiliate marketing business/MLM Swiss Mine. The former Swiss Mine site now redirects to “Ducatus Network”, which holds events across southern Asia and promises a new retail and investment crypto-economy based around ducatus coin — not unlike that of the notorious OneCoin. Ducatus coin cannot be traded on any open exchange.
“We just want to make sure people understand that cryptocurrencies are here to say,” explained CEO Ronny Tome. “Developments are rapid and the governments maybe have a little bit of an issue to follow through.”
Death to Fiat?
It appears Tome is serious about the technology behind virtual currency. The café (the first of many, he hopes) stands directly across from one of Singapore’s central banks – almost as if Tome were thumbing his nose at fiat and regulated currency in general. He continued:
“The idea of the café was developed because we wanted to make sure that people can use our Ducatus coins, but also bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies in day-to-day business. Right now, cryptocurrencies are mostly used for speculation on markets. We want to make it part of our daily life.”
Asia and Crypto a Match, but Some Remain Skeptical
It seems like Asia in general is on track to make this happen. Speculation regarding Asian cryptocurrency trading has led to the common sentiment that the continent holds and controls the majority of bitcoin and digital currency. Japan’s league of investors has increased dramatically in just the last year, while it is estimated that South Korea is responsible for approximately one-quarter of today’s cryptocurrency trading.
But that’s not to say that everything is picture perfect. Despite bitcoin’s growing popularity in Asia, many remain skeptical of the massive price rises that have occurred in recent months. Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda recently referred to the bitcoin price jumps as “abnormal,” and warned of a potential plunge big enough to put many investors in a very dark place.
Additionally, countries like India have consistently warned residents about the dangers of bitcoin, and are now deepening their probes regarding money-laundering and other criminal activities surrounding digital coin trades.
Cryptocurrency Remains Popular
But Tome isn’t that worried. He believes cryptocurrency is likely to replace fiat in the future, and he’s confident his business is about to surge, though he recommends customers take the necessary steps to educate themselves about digital currency and the volatility it exhibits.
The Ducatus coin was launched in early January, and is trading for approximately $0.10 at press time.
The café also features an in-store crypto-ATM, so customers can “make cash-to-bitcoin deposits while waiting for their coffee.”
Are we likely to see more cafes and businesses like this in the future? Post your comments below.
Images via Pixabay, Ducatus Cafe, IBTimes