A small high-end winery in North Canterbury is set to become the first wine business in the southern hemisphere to accept bitcoin payment to make transactions easier for its strong domestic and international customer base.
Pyramid Valley Vineyards, Waikairi, produces collectable wines in New Zealand and sees the new currency as a development in line with its innovative approach to business.
"It’s exciting times we live in and bitcoin is a movement that is gaining huge international traction as a currency that is borderless," says Caine Thompson, managing director of Pyramid Valley. "We’re increasingly getting requests from our international customers to be able to pay with bitcoin, particularly for our exclusive Home Collection wines. They don’t want to be worried about exchange rates and costly transaction fees."
Bitcoin is growing in demand and popularity as an alternative currency, and Thompson says his company has "positioned itself on freedom and ‘outside of the square’ winemaking and thinking that’s often referred to as disruptive innovation in other industries. "Bitcoin is a logical fit that we need to be a part of. As a company that is increasing our customer base around the world, it makes sense to accept payment in bitcoin especially when we sell our wines around the globe direct through our website."
From Thursday 28 November, Pyramid Valley will be accepting bitcoin on selected products through its website and making it possible for cellar door customers to pay this way by using their cell phone. Pyramid Valley joins a growing number of companies embracing bitcoin transactions. Some of the recent converts include Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic, Walmart through e-gifter and online e-commerce leader, Shopify.
Uptake is growing rapidly with over 12,000 businesses and charities across the globe now accepting bitcoin as a mechanism for trade.
Pyramid Valley Vineyards was established in 2000 by Mike and Claudia Weersing and has quickly become one of the country’s leading and most provocative wine producers.
"We continually challenge the status quo, push boundaries and the current paradigm. When this disruptive innovation is at the core of your culture, it makes for one incredibly exciting company with freedom," says Thompson.