Biking with Bitcoin: An Interview with ITSA Bike Shop

 

As part of our ongoing effort to highlight and promote Bitcoin accepting businesses, we got in touch with Eric at Itsa Bike Shop in San Diego.

Eric is a bike enthusiast going back many years and is thrilled to be the owner of his own store. After a short stint working for a big, corporate chain, he decided that the corporate world was not for him, but rather that owning, and doing it for yourself, is a better way to learn about yourself.

Bitcoin fits right into that attitude and we are very happy to have the opportunity to profile him.

Could you tell me about your business? 

We have been in business since June 2010. That’s a little over 3 years at my count.  Our mission is quite simple, to take care of our customers to the best of our ability and to get more people aware of cyclists by getting more cyclists on the road.  We do this by seeing ourselves more as “guides” to find the right bicycle rather than salesmen.  Sales will happen naturally with good service.  As a typical San Diegan and small business owner, it’s a rare day to see me in long pants and shoes.

**Get started with Bitcoin at Coinbase.**

When did you get interested in Bitcoin?

I got interested in bitcoin when a friend of mine, Wenzel Ablola, introduced me to Paul Puey.  After some discussions with Paul, it was my understanding that bitcoin was another form of currency, just digital.  I’m quoted as saying that even real money, i.e. the U.S. Dollar, is technically more available in its digital format (i.e. credit) than as cash.  We accept it through Coinbase because of Coinbase’s simplicity of use and secure format.

Do you use Bitcoin personally? 

I currently only accept bitcoins, but don’t use them personally.  Most of the businesses that I am a patron of do not presently accept bitcoin, but I am keeping my eye out. I am hoping it will gain some momentum as we are on the ground level of retailers accepting this currency. My favorite thing about Bitcoin is its security and simplicity of transfer.

What does Bitcoin mean to you? What do you think its future is going to be? 

Bitcoin is another option. It is like any other format of payment…  silver, gold, coins and dollars. Its future is dependent on retailers’ acceptance of it and its security. I do envision it gaining more momentum, especially given the instability of the modern economy.

Do you have any Bitcoin related stories (first payment, a funny thing happened on the way to …, that sort of thing)? 

Not too many stories. It is in its infancy here at ITSA Bike Shop.  Accepting it was a good excuse to get a new mini tablet, but I look forward to what the future holds. I do enjoy the occasional phone call asking if I accept Bitcoin. It makes me feel as though I’m a part of a secret society and I like that. I think Bitcoin’s value currently is that it isn’t mainstream. I do hope that it will be another mainstream currency though, because competition makes all things better.

 I didn’t see the Bitcoin logo anywhere explicitly on your site. 

I don’t have it on my website as I don’t have Credit Cards or cash on my website either. I figured those that are using Bitcoin will know about it better than I will and I believe the subculture of it is what keeps it going.