A photo of Glenn Wrigley being printed holding a giant Bitcoin

World’s first as Print 2 Media takes Bitcoin payments

We’re the world’s first printer to accept online payment by Bitcoin!

Bitcoin is an increasingly popular virtual currency that exists only in digital form, without a centralised banking system. We reckon we’re the first printer in the world to offer the option alongside our usual payment methods.

If you’ve got Bitcoin to spend you can make a payment by simply entering an address into your virtual Bitcoin wallet, or by scanning a QR code using your tablet or mobile phone.

The move is the latest in a line of innovations from our little company that punches above its weight. We’ve previously used our in-house technical skills to pioneer the sale of low volume runs of large format print and signage via a familiar online shopping system with national, next day delivery. We were also one of the first to use our wide format printers and special substrates to custom print wallpaper and other large format interior décor… something we still do via Tailor Made Living.

Print 2 Media director Glenn Wrigley, explains:

We’ve always been a bit geeky here. We’re constantly looking at ways that technology can make our service more convenient for wide format print buyers.

Bitcoin seemed a natural addition and I’m sure we’ll be seeing a lot more businesses getting on board with it over the next few years.

As far as we’re aware, no one else in the world is offering this service, so it’s a great feeling to say we’re the first.

What is Bitcoin exactly?

Bitcoin is a digital currency

It is decentralised. There is no centralised authority or central bank.

Instead, details about the transactions between people are stored in a public ledger called the Blockchain.

The Blockchain is distributed across millions of computers on the web.

How do you use Bitcoin?

You need a Bitcoin Wallet – a computer program (app) that generates Bitcoin addresses

When you pay someone in Bitcoin, you tell your wallet to send the currency to one of the recipient’s addresses.

When you receive Bitcoin you give the other person one of your wallet addresses to send the Bitcoins to.

Print 2 Media customers with a Bitcoin wallet on their smartphone can scan a QR code to automatically send the Bitcoin. Otherwise you can manually enter one of our Bitcoin addresses and the amount of Bitcoin to send.

There are lots of wallets to choose from – here’s a good place to choose one that suits you. We use Electrum.

Why are you accepting Bitcoins?

  • Customer convenience / choice
  • Support of open protocols
  • Virtually no transaction fees for either party
  • As an investment
  • As an experiment!

We can’t lie… the press exposure has been pretty fantastic too! Check out some of these articles about us:

Also look out for a special feature on Print 2 Media in the November issue of SignLink.

What is Bitcoin worth

At the time of writing, about £244.59

But it can be quite volatile. In November 2013 1 Bitcoin was worth over £717.

You can send fractions of a Bitcoin up to 8 decimal places. The smallest fraction of a Bitcoin is called a Satoshi, after Satoshi Nakomoto, the mythical inventor of Bitcoin.

Can you exchange Bitcoin for normal currency?

Yes

There are many online exchanges that let you buy and sell Bitcoin for your local currency. There are even some Bitcoin ATMs.

Personally, we use this service to make exchanges directly from person to person.

Where do Bitcoins come from?

They are generated by computers solving maths problems (these computers are called Miners)

The maths behind the Bitcoin software determines that only 21 million Bitcoins can ever be mined. This means Bitcoin should rise in value over time.

Part of the mining process involves verifying the transactions that are made on the Blockchain, keeping the system honest.

Love Bitcoin?

If you love the convenience of Bitcoin and you’re after a sign or a bit of exhibition kit, head over to our online shop.

If you’re a Bitcoin geek and fancy a chat, or if you’re a Bitcoin noob and you want some advice, tap us up in the comments, on Twitter or on Google+.