A roofing boss says soaring numbers of customers including pensioners are paying for repairs in cryptocurrency.
Kaeleb Mckay’s firm is one of a growing band of businesses who now accept digital money as an alternative
to cold cash.
Most are sizeable companies with an eye on developing tech.
But a host of small businesses have turned to the cash substitute, which has sky-rocketed in value over the last decade.
And Kaeleb, 20, said he has been surprised by the people who use cryptocurrency since his firm, ASAP Roofing and Building Limited, started accepting it last year. The firm, which he has run with dad Cameron for the last three years, accepts a variety of online payments including Bitcoin, Ethereum, XRP, Dogecoin and Litecoin.
Kaeleb, from Wishaw in Lanarkshire, said: “We have been accepting crypto for a while. For a business it is ideal because it gets paid instantly.
“I’ve had a personal interest in trading in crytocurrency since 2014.
“But you are surprised by some of the people who want to pay that way.
“I did a roof repair for about £500 in November for a pensioner in her late 60s in Glasgow and she said she wanted to pay in Bitcoin.
“We’ve had other pensioners wanting to use it too. I got another guy who paid £180 in Ethereum for an emergency roof repair in the last few weeks.”
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Cryptocurrencies are traded over the internet and don’t have a central bank. Instead it uses decentralised tech that allows secure payments and shared transaction records, which makes it difficult to fraudulently use them.
But their value can fluctuate wildly, creating huge winners and losers.
Pensioner cash – known as the grey pound – has been increasingly targeted by crypto firms.
In March, the Advertising Standards Authority banned the firm Coinfloor for an ad that targeted pensioners investing in Bitcoin, labelling it “irresponsible”.
Kaeleb added: “You need to spend a bit of time researching your options but I’ve personally made some great investments in cryptocurrency. They may have gone up and down in value recently but I think they are here to stay.”
Tech expert Guy Cocker echoed those calls and said increasing numbers of
businesses will adapt to the tender.
He said: “There’s a lot of young people – and emerging businesses – who are more than willing to take this type of payment and driving its success.
“For them, it ticks a lot of boxes and is an easier way to get paid.”