Just Eat France accepts Bitcoin

Sacré bleu! Just Eat France now accepts Bitcoin

It’s great news for mainstream adoption, but those with long memories will remember the fate of the guy who paid 10,000 BTC for two pizza pies

It’s the land of coq au vin, cassoulet and champagne—and now, France has become one of the easiest places to buy takeout meals using Bitcoin.

Just Eat, one of the world’s biggest online food delivery platforms, has begun supporting BTC in the country thanks to a partnership with the crypto payment processor BitPay.

This means that Bitcoin can now be used to order dishes at 15,000 restaurants across the country—and it could create a newfound hunger for crypto in the country of 67 million.

Just Eat says it doesn’t charge fees for BTC payments, and funds are instantly converted into fiat as soon as a transaction has been completed. This will likely be music to the ears of restaurants that may be worried about revenue being devalued owing to sudden crashes.

The company is headquartered in London and now operates in 13 countries on four continents, but it’s unclear whether there are plans to roll out this feature elsewhere.

Changing habits

Just Eat’s move is notable given how restaurants have had to quickly adapt in light of the coronavirus pandemic.

Threatened with a loss of income in an already cut-throat business due to lockdowns and social distancing, many restaurants have shifted their emphasis to providing meals that can be delivered to people’s homes. Services such as Just Eat, GrubHub, DoorDash, Deliveroo and UberEats have been instrumental in making this happen—but charge a hefty commission for the privilege.

The one thing that remains to be seen is whether Bitcoin owners, who tend to hold onto their crypto in the hope that it will rise in value, will bite.

Those with long memories will remember the tale of Laszlo Hanyecz, who spent 10,000 BTC on two pizza pies from Papa John’s all the way back on May, 22, 2010—a day now celebrated annually as Bitcoin Pizza Day. At the time of writing, that first-ever purchase with Bitcoin would be worth a stomach-churning $101.3 million—and there’s even a Twitter account which provides a regular reminder on how much these pizzas are now worth.

On the bright side, Papa John’s did give Hanyecz $500 of store credit to compensate for his extravagant purchase.

When asked whether he has any regrets, he recently told CoinMarketCap: “People always ask. Yes, I wish I still had 10,000 Bitcoin, but that was a long time ago, and I still was glad to be part of it. I mean, I’m talking to you about it now. Bitcoin is still around. It’s popular. I get to be one of the pioneer guys. That’s worth something.”

His experience could provide a cautionary tale, though. If predictions of BTC reaching $500,000 ever turn out to be accurate, that would be the equivalent of paying $2,200 for two pizzas—or in Hanyecz’s case, $5 billion.

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Connor Sephton is a journalist with an interest in cryptocurrencies, personal finance, and financial inclusion—as well as the challenges the crypto industry faces in achieving mainstream adoption. He owns cryptocurrencies.