The British pound is the oldest currency still in use today. We've used it to pay our way since Anglo-Saxon times, evolving into what we now know as the pound sterling. But with technology continuing to develop at breakneck speed, and with many of us already accustomed to paying with 'plastic', will there be a day when money – as we currently know it – ceases to exist at all?
Today the recycling retailer, CeX, will become the first high-street brand to temporarily ban the pound in its Glasgow store and instead only accept Bitcoins as payment for its products. During the three day trial customers will also be offered the opportunity to trade in their second hand goods in exchange for the digital currency – a first for the UK. In addition, the retailer has also installed Scotland's first Bitcoin ATM.
With Scottish Independence high up on the news agenda, the issue of what currency they would use has become one of the key debates in the lead up to this year's referendum. Today's pioneering trial in Glasgow gives Scots the opportunity to test whether a digital currency – like the Bitcoin – could be a viable option.
What is a Bitcoin?
Bitcoins are virtual coins used in a peer-to-peer payment network eliminating the need for a bank, credit card, or other trusted third party. Bitcoin is nothing more than a mobile app or computer program that provides a personal Bitcoin wallet and allows a user to send and receive bitcoins with them.
• By choosing to use Bitcoin, customers also benefit from the freedom to send and receive money instantly whilst keeping them safe from identity fraud
• Digital electronic payments remove third party banks from the process, so CeX will benefit from reduced transaction payments, which will ultimately lead to a cost saving that could be passed down to customer.