A legendary tavern in Berlin that accepted Bitcoin is closed.
A legendary bar and restaurant in Germany, which reportedly was the first to accept cryptomoney as a form of payment, has closed permanently.
According to an October 18th entry on Reddit by Joerg Platzer, founder of Room 77, the first traditional business to accept Bitcoin (BTC) is no longer accepting customers and has closed its doors. In a farewell message full of references to Douglas Adams‘ The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Platzer said „thanks again for all the fish and generous tips“ after more than 15 years in business occupying „that little joint in Berlin Kreuzberg.
„We had a great time,“ Platzer said. „We had a lot of fun and made a lot of friends. By now it’s clear that no one will stop Bitcoin anymore. Solid money on a global scale will soon make it unviable to wage war and create economic equality among humanity.
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Room 77, „the restaurant of the end of capitalism“, located in the Kreuzberg district of Berlin, Germany, was reportedly the first place in the world where Bitcoin was accepted as a form of payment. Platzer claimed to have received the first crypto payment in May 2011 for a pint of beer.
Since the average price of beer in Germany is about $4.10 and Bitcoin had just reached parity with the US dollar at that time, the customer could have easily paid for his drink with more than 1 BTC – now at $11,432. That’s a high quality drink.
Crypto Twitter users were quick to jump on the news with their stories of pilgrimage to the legendary Bitcoin bar. Cointelegraph reported that even Bitcoin educator Andreas Antonopoulos had guided local business owners to the crypts after a chance meeting at the bar.
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„A visit to Berlin was never complete without going to Room 77,“ said Bitcoin Core developer Eric Lombrozo. „This place will always be part of Bitcoin’s history.
Phil Lucsok shared memories of his first time going through cryptology in the real world:
„When I first got my hands on Bitcoin, I just wanted to spend it somewhere that wasn’t virtual. I came to Room 77 on a spring afternoon in 2013 and ordered a coffee because I didn’t want beer or food, I just wanted to spend some decentralized money for the first time in my life.
Platzer did not provide a specific reason for the shutdown, but former customers speculate that it may be related to restrictions due to the pandemic. Last week, authorities announced a curfew requiring bars in Berlin to close between 11:00 PM and 6:00 AM and to restrict meetings to no more than 25 people inside.
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Although the ban was later lifted, many businesses around the world are experiencing a drop in revenue as tourism decreases and more people stay home.
„Blame COVID or blame it on gentrification,“ said crypto economist Jon Matonis on Twitter. „Either way, this Kreuzberg landmark has served as a Bitcoin tavern for more than 10 years, and has had thousands of people making the obligatory pilgrimage.