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Meltdown Comics' store manager tallies up a Bitcoin order using a Bitcoin merchant application on Thursday, Jan. 30, 2014.
Meltdown Comics started taking the buzzworthy currency of the moment, Bitcoin, at its store on Thursday, joining the growing but still small in number ranks of physical stores that take bitcoin.
Bitcoin is a "cryptocurrency," essentially serving as digital currency that's protected by cryptography. It's been tied to illicit activities due to the ability to bypass traditional routes that could lead to transfers being tracked, but it's also been gaining some mainstream acceptance.
While comics have been sold on online sites for bitcoin, Meltdown says that it's the first brick-and-mortar comic book store to accept bitcoin.
The first purchase via Bitcoin was "The Death-Ray" by Daniel Clowes (who you may remember being in the news lately after getting allegedly ripped off by Shia LaBeouf), purchased by a correspondent for Bitcoin site Spelunk.in who was also a longtime customer who convinced the store to take the currency, according to an interview on the site. That same correspondent went back for another purchase later, which included an "Adventure Time" trade paperback.
The store's general manager Francisco Dominguez told Spelunk.in that he hoped Bitcoin would have some positive impact on business.
"Hopefully some, any would help at this moment. Brick and Mortar / Mom and Pop shops are closing as digital takes over paper print. Hopefully this new way of bringing revenue in to a business will help keep them/us alive," Francisco told Spelunk.in.
Francisco also says that he plans to offer future discounts and events for customers using Bitcoin.
The store is trying a variety of ways to get people to come to the physical location to get their comics instead of downloading comics digitally and ordering other collectibles online, including hosting Nerdist's NerdMelt Showroom in the back and promoting the idea on social media with the hashtag #brickandmortar.