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Author Topic: Internet Café: Considering accepting Bitcoins.  (Read 2463 times)
DoubleIcaras
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January 17, 2012, 05:36:19 PM
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Right, I'll start with a little back story. I've had this dream, ever since I was what? 16 that I wanted to make an Internet Café, the Gaming kind. Computers, Alcohol, Coffee and DAMN good sandwiches. All with an interesting look inside, Manga, Comics, figures, cool art work- and after about half a year of getting into Bitcoin, I'm wondering: When I finally save up the 40K I'm saving through doing crappy jobs, should I start taking bitcoins?

How would I go about doing this (effectively) etc.

I think it's an interesting thought, to say the least.

How would you deal with the up and down price?

Sell it to me.

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vuce
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January 17, 2012, 06:03:50 PM
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It would be huge if you issued glbse shares for this. I'm sure a lot of people would be willing to invest. As for the price fluctuations you could use something like bitpay to convert to fiat on the spot until btc price becomes more stable.
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January 17, 2012, 06:08:31 PM
 #3

You could sell bitcoins and encourage people to gamble them at a website of your choice where you get the profits.  Plausible deniability that you're behind the casino.

Just kidding, that probably would be illegal, people get busted for "internet cafe casinos" all the time around here (Utah).  You probably wouldn't last long.  But I would be amused and entertained seeing what efforts they make in an attempt to prove you guilty "beyond a reasonable doubt".

Companies claiming they got hacked and lost your coins sounds like fraud so perfect it could be called fashionable.  I never believe them.  If I ever experience the misfortune of a real intrusion, I declare I have been honest about the way I have managed the keys in Casascius Coins.  I maintain no ability to recover or reproduce the keys, not even under limitless duress or total intrusion.  Remember that trusting strangers with your coins without any recourse is, as a matter of principle, not a best practice.  Don't keep coins online. Use paper wallets instead.
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January 17, 2012, 07:17:50 PM
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Now I'm confused. I thought you were talking about a regular internet cafe where people could play games, but pay with bitcoins - pay for food/drinks/internet?
DoubleIcaras
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January 19, 2012, 12:56:17 AM
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Now I'm confused. I thought you were talking about a regular internet cafe where people could play games, but pay with bitcoins - pay for food/drinks/internet?

That was my idea, cas is obviously just throwing into the pot.

I think it could be a really interesting niché and offering shares could definitely help me get started.

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January 19, 2012, 01:43:56 AM
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well, there would be no reason for you not to accept bitcoin.
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January 19, 2012, 04:27:47 AM
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I would go. That's all I have to say.
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January 19, 2012, 08:30:33 PM
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I've had a similar dream, as I frequented a few of these when I was a bit younger and always thought it was a great business. 
DoubleIcaras
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January 27, 2012, 04:25:57 AM
 #9

I've had a similar dream, as I frequented a few of these when I was a bit younger and always thought it was a great business. 

I love the idea of one but they're only really big in asian culture.

I could probably talk for years on my plans for it.

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January 27, 2012, 04:43:16 AM
 #10

little question on the side... when you open up an internet cafe with computers equipped for gaming, how will you stop people from mining the coins they pay you? I mean, you're basically attracting a target group that will try this exactly.

About dealing with prices, well, either use bitpay, or consider a diversified strategy, where you adjust your prices once a week(except in cases where there's 100% in/decrease in BTC value), trade in 50% of your profits for fiat, and store the other 50% to sell them at a point where you make profit from them.(IE, if the price is $3/coin, you convert 50% to fiat, gaining $1.5 direct profit per coin, and you keep the other 50% until the price doubles in a rally)

this might also help to counter those that are into bitcoin for their own quick get rich in 5 minutes profit, as those are the ones that are killing bitcoin right now.

Unfortunately, for a business model like yours to be sustainable, bitcoin needs a price that doesnt fluctuate more than 10% in a week. Bitcoin is far away from that. However, you could also do a local cash for bitcoins exchange. That could help your business model.

BTW - if you opened your cafe, be sure to post an address, I might fly by, just because I love the idea!(you'll have to entertain me though, I'm not really from the kinds of gamers).

PPS: If you need a wireless hotspot system that can be paid for in bitcoin for your internet cafe(aka captive portal with payment option), shoot me a PM!
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January 27, 2012, 05:03:22 AM
 #11

little question on the side... when you open up an internet cafe with computers equipped for gaming, how will you stop people from mining the coins they pay you? I mean, you're basically attracting a target group that will try this exactly.

Who cares?  They're paying (the equivalent of) dollars by the hour to be there, while the mining produces pennies per hour.  Sounds profitable.  They're paying for the computer time, let them mine!

Companies claiming they got hacked and lost your coins sounds like fraud so perfect it could be called fashionable.  I never believe them.  If I ever experience the misfortune of a real intrusion, I declare I have been honest about the way I have managed the keys in Casascius Coins.  I maintain no ability to recover or reproduce the keys, not even under limitless duress or total intrusion.  Remember that trusting strangers with your coins without any recourse is, as a matter of principle, not a best practice.  Don't keep coins online. Use paper wallets instead.
DoubleIcaras
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January 27, 2012, 06:50:56 AM
 #12

little question on the side... when you open up an internet cafe with computers equipped for gaming, how will you stop people from mining the coins they pay you? I mean, you're basically attracting a target group that will try this exactly.

Who cares?  They're paying (the equivalent of) dollars by the hour to be there, while the mining produces pennies per hour.  Sounds profitable.  They're paying for the computer time, let them mine!


^ This


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January 27, 2012, 06:58:32 AM
 #13

However, you could also do a local cash for bitcoins exchange. That could help your business model.

This

https://www.bitcoin.org/bitcoin.pdf
While no idea is perfect, some ideas are useful.
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cunicula
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January 27, 2012, 07:14:48 AM
 #14

The two ideas mentioned above have also occurred to me:

1) Putting the computers to work mining when not rented.

2) Operating an in-person bitcoin exchange on site.

These are attractive ideas. Still, I doubt that these factors alone could support the business. They would provide a competitive advantage. It's profoundly important that there be demand for video game cafes in the area where you are located. In some locations, these kinds of places are not popular.

In other places I have been (China, Taiwan, Japan, ...), internet cafes do quite well.




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January 27, 2012, 07:53:07 AM
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Managing the bitcoin price should be fairly easy. A fairly simple script tied into the MtGox api would be all that's needed. Check for current price every time minute (or whatever), update BTC price. When someone pays by BTC have it pay to one of your MtGox addresses, and the same time execute a sale at the transacted price (via the api). You'll always have a bit of float in BTC anyway so this acts as a buffer for the time delay of the payment clearing. As long as your float covers typical 60 minute BTC sales volume you don't take any price risk at all (well, besides your float, so good to set that up when the price is low).

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January 27, 2012, 08:09:48 AM
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I had the same dream when I was 20. I wanted to start a geek computer shop annex internet cafe. I wanted to use it to give internet and PC training courses too. But that was long before internet became ubiquitous and rendered not only the internet cafe obsolete, but the geek shops too. So Ive long shelved that idea, today almost no one has a need for such a place here. Who doesnt have internet? Most have it in their pocket.

Then some 10 years ago I made a trip across Latin America. I fell in love with guatemala and I ended up talking to an internet cafe owner there that wanted to sell his business, and I was interested for a while. But then I realized that while computers and internet may not be as ubiquitous yet there as here in Europe, it was only a matter of time. Im not sure if that time has already come there, but at the very least the tourists they relied on mostly will have their smartphones and tablets with them.

Also when I look at the prices of the few internet cafe's that have not closed their doors (yet), I cant say it looks like a profitable business. Its a dying niche market IMO. You should have done it when you where 16 Smiley.


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January 27, 2012, 08:17:08 AM
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I had the same dream when I was 20. I wanted to start a geek computer shop annex internet cafe. I wanted to use it to give internet and PC training courses too. But that was long before internet became ubiquitous and rendered not only the internet cafe obsolete, but the geek shops too. So Ive long shelved that idea, today almost no one has a need for such a place here. Who doesnt have internet? Most have it in their pocket.

Then some 10 years ago I made a trip across Latin America. I fell in love with guatemala and I ended up talking to an internet cafe owner there that wanted to sell his business, and I was interested for a while. But then I realized that while computers and internet may not be as ubiquitous yet there as here in Europe, it was only a matter of time. Im not sure if that time has already come there, but at the very least the tourists they relied on mostly will have their smartphones and tablets with them.

Also when I look at the prices of the few internet cafe's that have not closed their doors (yet), I cant say it looks like a profitable business. Its a dying niche market IMO. You should have done it when you where 16 Smiley.




As I implied above, there is a large cultural element to this. In some Asian countries, where broadband is ubiquitous, people still like going to public places to play their video games. It can be a social activity. The cafe provides a place for young teenagers to hang out.

This is even true in some Asian communities in US cities. So the OP's idea could work in the appropriate setting.



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January 27, 2012, 01:17:27 PM
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The best way to go about implementing this is BitPay. There already are some restaurants that allow for purchases to be paid for this way.
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January 27, 2012, 03:31:39 PM
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little question on the side... when you open up an internet cafe with computers equipped for gaming, how will you stop people from mining the coins they pay you? I mean, you're basically attracting a target group that will try this exactly.

Who cares?  They're paying (the equivalent of) dollars by the hour to be there, while the mining produces pennies per hour.  Sounds profitable.  They're paying for the computer time, let them mine!


The owner cares. A dozen PCs mining at full speed will eat up lots of power, the hardware will deteriate much faster, and he'll get a heat problem, or some problems with his AC. We all know mining wouldnt pay the bill for the customer, but is that stopping anyone from doing it? probably not. If you open up a business like this you always have to factor things like how often are you going to buy new hardware into your rental price.

Managing the bitcoin price should be fairly easy. A fairly simple script tied into the MtGox api would be all that's needed. Check for current price every time minute (or whatever), update BTC price. When someone pays by BTC have it pay to one of your MtGox addresses, and the same time execute a sale at the transacted price (via the api). You'll always have a bit of float in BTC anyway so this acts as a buffer for the time delay of the payment clearing. As long as your float covers typical 60 minute BTC sales volume you don't take any price risk at all (well, besides your float, so good to set that up when the price is low).

the problem with this is that you'd have to agree on a price before the customer uses his computer, because we all know that even within a session of only 60 minutes the price can go up and more likely down by more than a dollar.

I had the same dream when I was 20. I wanted to start a geek computer shop annex internet cafe. I wanted to use it to give internet and PC training courses too. But that was long before internet became ubiquitous and rendered not only the internet cafe obsolete, but the geek shops too. So Ive long shelved that idea, today almost no one has a need for such a place here. Who doesnt have internet? Most have it in their pocket.

Then some 10 years ago I made a trip across Latin America. I fell in love with guatemala and I ended up talking to an internet cafe owner there that wanted to sell his business, and I was interested for a while. But then I realized that while computers and internet may not be as ubiquitous yet there as here in Europe, it was only a matter of time. Im not sure if that time has already come there, but at the very least the tourists they relied on mostly will have their smartphones and tablets with them.

Also when I look at the prices of the few internet cafe's that have not closed their doors (yet), I cant say it looks like a profitable business. Its a dying niche market IMO. You should have done it when you where 16 Smiley.



Well, I'd consider such a location more as a place to meet new people. I think it's more about the playing/exchanging thoughts than renting computers. Also internet cafe's like that might be ideal for gaming sessions, special events etc, since a lot of people are still hesitant to bring their computers along for a little LAN gaming.
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January 27, 2012, 04:01:06 PM
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Well, I'd consider such a location more as a place to meet new people. I think it's more about the playing/exchanging thoughts than renting computers. Also internet cafe's like that might be ideal for gaming sessions, special events etc, since a lot of people are still hesitant to bring their computers along for a little LAN gaming.

Yeah, but does that make for a profitable business? If your profits are going to come from coffee and drinks, you have a large and expensive establishment that will serve precious few drinks compared to any other bar. I think its a losing business concept and just accepting bitcoin isnt going to turn a losing concept in to a winning one. My 2 cents.

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