Published on February 12, 2014 | by Archie Velarde

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London Church becomes first to accept Bitcoins in the collection plate

St Martin’s Anglican Parish Church in Gospel Oak, North London has become the first church in the UK to accept the virtual Currency Bitcoin for its collection.

Bitcoins are a virtual currency that can be bought and sold online and used to pay for things in the real world. People can simply scan their donations using a QR barcode in the church.

The donations will be used to fund major renovation work at the church in Vicar’s Road. It’s been given £152,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund but still needs to raise another £50,000 – £60,000 to refurbish the tower.

The Church was built in the Gothic style by whats known as a ‘Rogue Architect’ and Reverend Chris Brice believes that the different, “outside the box” nature of the Bitcoin is in line with the different conventions of the church. (Reverend Chris Brice)

The idea came from Parishioner, Andrew Harrison who believes a donation should always be anonymous and the nature of the Bitcoin allows this, as donations will be untraceable. Harrison said, “I just thought it would be a quirky thing to do. Potentially it has some benefits, for example if people wanted to make a donation online, they could do that very easily by just looking at the churches website without having to set up any online banking.”

The move comes after pop-up shopping mall BoxPark in Shoreditch added BitTag price labels to its products.

 The value of Bitcoins, launched in 2008, is volatile and unpredictable, limiting their chances of becoming an actual currency.




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