Bitcoins can be used to buy takeaways and even air tickets in some countries, but a South African law firm is the first locally to accept the crypto-currency as payment.
Law firm Thomson Wilks – which has offices across South Africa in cities such as Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban – has added Bitcoin as a payment option for its clients.
Thomson Wilks has teamed up with a local company called ‘Voomar’ who will receive Bitcoins on the law firm’s behalf and then either convert them to cash or hold onto the virtual currency as an investment.
“I like the idea of Bitcoin as an international, across-the-board currency,” Stephen Thomson, a director Thomson Wilks, told Fin24
“And secondly, because we’re the only law firm using it, we’re the only people with whom those who want to spend Bitcoin can come to.
“So, it’s kind of like a captive client base,” Thomson said.
Bitcoin has had a roller-coaster ride over the last year with the currency surging in value past the $1 000 mark late last year, but then crashing to below $400 currently.
Setbacks facing the crypto-currency include it being used on internet black-market Silk Road to buy drugs and the collapse of Bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox this year.
Nevertheless, the likes of top Silicon Valley internet pioneer and Netscape browser co-founder Marc Andreessen has previously publicly described Bitcoin as the most important technology in existence.