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Major retail outlets in Gibraltar, a British Overseas Territory of Europe, including popular coffee chain Costa Coffee, will now accept payments via Bitcoin, a move that will help roughly 8 million tourists who visit the tiny territory from countries like the United States, United Kingdom, South Africa, and Canada.

In partnership with CoinCorner, a Bitcoin exchange on the Isle of Man, Sandpiper (Gibraltar) Holdings Limited, which manages the retail franchises, have rolled out Bitcoin and lightning payments across their stores in Gibraltar, which include Costa Coffee, Hotel Chocolat, Card Factory and The Gibraltar Bakery.

Customers can “tap and pay" with Bitcoin lightning at any of the 7 stores with The Bolt Card — a new contactless card, powered by NFC and the Bitcoin Lightning Network.

The Bolt Card is a contactless card, powered by NFC and the Bitcoin Lightning Network.

Ben Collins, Business Development Manager at CoinCorner, said, “since the launch of The Bolt Card just 8 weeks ago, we’ve seen a big increase in the number of businesses reaching out, keen to accept bitcoin. For a long time, the idea of paying with bitcoin seemed alien to both businesses and individuals, but with the launch of The Bolt Card and the ability to ‘tap and pay’ via lightning, the user experience is quick, easy and familiar to everyone."

Neil Walker, Managing Director at Sandpiper GI, said the rollout of bitcoin and lightning payments allows the group to offer its customers an additional quick, convenient, low-cost payment option in their stores.

“Many of our customers are visitors to Gibraltar and are using Euro-based payment methods to buy items in GBP, incurring additional costs. The Lightning Network is a low-cost solution with transactions processing as quick as a contactless card at real-time exchange rates," he said.

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