Why your business should be tapping in to the multi-million pound potential of Bitcoin

Photo shows bitcoin tokens in Sandy, Utah.

Photo shows bitcoin tokens in Sandy, Utah. - Credit: AP

Businesses have been urged to wake up to the growing power of digital currency – and follow the lead of a Norfolk company headed for a million-pound turnover solely from Bitcoin.

Gift Off, founded two years ago, bridges the gap between the digital and high-street worlds by selling gift cards for major retailers, allowing people to do their weekly shopping with Bitcoin.

And today accountancy expert Luke Morris, from Larking Gowen, said businesses should adapt to the currency to unlock its potential in facilitating trade.

'If their customers want to pay in Bitcoin or receive Bitcoin then businesses need to be geared up to do that,' he said.

Once seen as a gimmick of the tech generation, today an average of 200,000 Bitcoin transactions take place each day.

Founded in 2009, the algorithm-based currency allows users to trade goods and services while avoiding banks.

And the success of companies such as Gift Off, which has achieved 130pc annual growth, suggests its arrival as a common currency may not be far away.

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Co-founder Rusty Nash said: 'People regularly do their food shopping for a family of four by buying a Marks & Spencer gift card.'

Workers can now request to be partially paid in the currency -–through Bitwage – while ATMs have been introduced where cash can be swapped for Bitcoin.

The price of the currency has fluctuated, reaching £700 at its peak, and now sitting at around £318 for one Bitcoin.

Critics of the currency point towards its use to criminals, who take advantage of its anonymity.

Mr Morris said about half a dozen clients technology start-up clients had asked about the currency.

He added: 'Businesses like Gift Off will be quite important to people who may not go to an exchange and buy a Bitcoin, but receive one as a gift and think 'that's interesting' and turn to this as a means of trade.'

Are you accepting Bitcoin? Email sabah.meddings@archant.co.uk