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Bitcoin breaks into NYS dining via the coffee scene

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The Capital Region is claiming a financial first in New York State.

CT@HB has teamed up with Capital City Coffee Roasters to make use of the innovative Bitcoin financial system to, as a company statement released Friday put it, "provide a better cup of coffee to its customers without affecting the price point. The relationship between the two companies does not end there. CT@HB will be paying Capital City in Bitcoin ... a form of payment [that] will help us drive coffee prices even lower for our customers," according to CT@HB co-owner Paul Paterakis.

CT@HB, which stands for Coffeetime@Hellasbakery, is a cafe that specializes in Greek coffee and foods. It not only is believed to be the first Capital Region business to accept Bitcoin, it is the first in the state to host a Bitcoin ATM.

CTR@HB has cafes at 5 Clinton Square in Albany and 1491 State Street in Schenectady. It lists one overseas location, in Manila, Phillipines, and its headquarters as being in Vietnam. Capital City Coffee Roasters is a family-run supplier of coffee, equipment and other supplies for coffee cafes. It is located at 999 Route 9 in Castleton, Rensselaer County, where it also has a working cafe for training baristas.

Bitcoin describes itself as a people-to-people currency that "uses peer-to-peer technology to operate with no central authority or banks. Managing transactions and the issuing of Bitcoins is carried out collectively by the network. Bitcoin is open-source. Its design is public, nobody owns or controls Bitcoin and everyone can take part. Through many of its unique properties, Bitcoin allows exciting uses that could not be covered by any previous payment system."

If that sounds slightly tech-geekspeak, the whole premise insists individuals and businesses alike can get involved with no particular technology knowledge.

"As a new user, you can get started with Bitcoin without understanding the technical details," according to a website explanation. "Once you have installed a Bitcoin wallet on your computer or mobile phone, it will generate your first Bitcoin address and you can create more whenever you need one. You can disclose your addresses to your friends so that they can pay you or vice-versa. In fact, this is pretty similar to how e-mail works, except that Bitcoin addresses should only be used once.

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