Tiny Portuguese electricity provider Luzboa plans to start accepting Bitcoin for payments.
According to a Feb. 17 report by local news outlet Expresso, Luzboa wants to reach the market niche of Bitcoin enthusiasts confident that crypto assets are practical means of payment. With just 5,000 residential customers, managing partner Pedro Morais Leitão told Expresso that the firm is not hoping to see its existing customers transition to its Bitcoin-based payment option, but attract new ones.
The new payment option will be called Bit Spot and will allow the firm’s customers to pay monthly based on the average monthly price of electricity on the local market.
The potential market may be a large one, as Portugal and neighboring Spain have an integrated single Iberian Electricity Market (MIBEL), that is open to any distributor that meets regulations, according to Thompson Reuters.
A Luzboa representative said that the firm will create its Bitcoin wallet and launch the new dedicated payment service by the end of this month. Leitão said the company recognizes that Bitcoin’s price is particularly volatile, but said has decided that the experiments worth pursuing:
“We are aware of currency volatility, but we are prepared to take some risk… There is a new generation with an interest in cryptocurrencies. We are looking to give an opportunity to use new means of payment.”
Bit Spot invoices will still be priced in euros. Bitcoin will be only used for payments, which will have to take place within a strict deadline.
Using cryptocurrencies to pay for goods and services is about to get a lot less niche, as payment processing giant PayPal moves ahead with plans to let its network of 28 million merchants accept payment from customers in Bitcoin. PayPal CEO Dan Schulman said in late November that the company plans to make it “very simple and easy for people to utilize crypto as a funding source” for purchases in 2021.
PayPal added the ability to buy and hold Bitcoin and three other cryptocurrencies in the U.S. on Nov. 12. It proved wildly successful, and the company is now expanding the program into the U.K., with the EU on the horizon.