NewsPalm Beach CountyRegion C Palm Beach County


Local vodka company accepting Bitcoin

Posted at 7:04 PM, Dec 08, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-08 19:04:22-05

Monkey in Paradise Vodka, based in Palm Beach County, is now accepting Bitcoin as a method of payment.

"We are the first spirits company to accept any cryptocurrency," said Alex Kowtun, co-founder of Monkey in Paradise.

The digital currency Bitcoin has seen substantial gains this week, reaching a record high of $17,000 a coin and rounding out the week around $15,000.

Monkey in Paradise started fermenting vodka at a distillery in Riviera Beach more than a year ago. Now, it's shipped around Florida and Georgia.

“We’ve been signing on new bars, restaurants literally every day," said Alex Kowtun, co-founder of Monkey in Paradise.

State distributors who buy the vodka to get it to bars and restaurants can now pay using Bitcoin. Customers who want to buy t-shirts and products online can also use the digital currency.

“We’ve sold about 20 shirts so far and two beach towels and they’ve paid using bitcoin," Kowtun said.

Companies such as Expedia, Overstock, Microsoft and more are also offering customers the option to use Bitcoin.

"The difference between it and cash is it can be used anywhere in the world," said David Parizek, InfoStream CIO. "Cash is specific to a country."

Parizek said it's also a more anonymous payment method for the customer compared to using credit cards online.

There is a potential downside for businesses though.

“The difficulty with that is the extreme volatility of the value of the Bitcoins," Parizek said. "A year ago, one bitcoin was worth a thousand dollars. Today it’s worth 15 thousand dollars. Tomorrow it may drop back to a thousand. We don’t know.”

However, Kowtun says the people using Bitcoin are the ones he thinks will want to buy his goods, so it’s worth the risk.

“It’s going to be an alternative for the millennial generation because they feel comfortable with it," he said. "They feel like it’s something they own and truly understand.”