MARYVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — You can now buy a mattress in Maryville without touching your bank account. Beds To Go started accepting cryptocurrency less than a week ago. Thursday, we were there as they made their first actual sale with the use of virtual money.
David Bissett, in the market for a new mattress for his vacation rental property, was the first to take advantage of the new payment option.
“The future is about change,” Bissett said. “The future is about innovation, and we have to make ourselves open to that.”
Bissett thinks decentralized money is part of that future. He decided to invest in HEX, a form of cryptocurrency. The mattress was his first purchase.
“I try to think innovatively and so I’m always open to new ways of thinking,” he added.’
Store owner Brooks Cunningham agrees. It’s why he decided to start accepting cryptocurrency as payment. He’s been learning about, and buying, cryptocurrency for a couple years.
“I finally reached the point where I have confidence in the future of crypto, and I see by offering this as a payment option we help advance that future,” Cunningham said. “But, we also broaden our customer base to a whole new audience.”
He sees the decision as a way to save customers time and allow them to cash-in on their gains from investing in cryptocurrencies. The need for a mattress aside, its the sole reason Bissett chose the Beds To Go store over others.
The mattress he bought was roughly $1,000. One HEX is worth about 20 cents on the dollar, at least at the time of his purchase. So, he sent 5,000 HEX. Cunningham received it fewer than five minutes later. Cunningham could either convert the HEX into USD immediately and get the full value of the sale, or he can hold onto it and hope for gains in the market.
“It’s a risk you have to be willing to take,” Cunningham said.
We spoke with James Reeve, professor emeritus for the Haslam College of Business at the University of Tennessee, on this topic six months ago. He explained a currency’s value is driven by demand. That demand is largely driven by parts of the world where people do not have access to credit or banks.
Reeve also noted cryptocurrency does not have an owner or central location, like a bank. Transactions are stored on digital ledgers, verified, then duplicated on a program called a blockchain. He said investors should use caution and do their research as values change often.