The Ghent Bitcoincity event is almost upon us, and the time has come to do a quick recap of the mainstream media attention this event has been getting over the past few weeks. Furthermore, we will also look at some of the discounts you can obtain when spending Bitcoin in Ghent, as BTC discounts are not limited to online purchases.

Ghent Bitcoincity – Nearly 30 Merchants Before The Event

Getting merchants and retailers to accept Bitcoin in the online space is hard enough as it is, but when you go out on an adventure to put up “Bitcoin Accepted here” signs in the real world, things become infinitely more difficult. Despite all that,t he Ghent Bitcoincity team managed to convince nearly 30 retailers to start accepting Bitcoin payments before the event has even begun.

And we are not talking about just any merchant here either, as there is a wide selection of products and services offered in exchange for Bitcoin. Some of the more obvious choices such as food and drinks are well represented, by places such as Caffé Rosario, Vijf voor Twaalf, The Ribhouse and Eat-Aly seeing the benefits of working with Bitcoin.

But that is not all, as you can use Bitcoin to buy physical goods – that are not related to just food and drinks – in the city of Ghent as well. Are you looking for a unique gift for a friend, family member or loved one? If so, you should stop by Piet Moodshop sometime, a great store that sells an array of unique and interesting products.

When the time has come to relax and enjoy a bit of silence, Ilse D will help you rediscover yourself and your body. In fact, you may discover things you didn’t even know about. And why not continue that same trend by visiting Fann, Nearly new Fashion? Trendy clothes don’t have to be overly expensive, a concept you will find out more at this shop that also accepts Bitcoin!

Mainstream Media Attention in Belgium

Convincing merchants to participate is one thing, but creating a positive image for Bitcoin in the mainstream media is a different story entirely. Most of the “bias” mainstream media has towards Bitcoin is because they are not educated properly on the subject, yet all they hear about is people losing money, getting hacked and companies going bust. Do keep in mind that Bitcoin technology is brand new, and education on the topic is far from perfect. This is exactly why we need projects such as Ghent Bitcoincity to rectify that situation.

As a result of all the hard work that has gone into this project, various Belgian media sources have picked up the story. The most notable spotlight came in the form of a nearly 10-minute TV report on a show called “Terzake,” one of the most-watched weekly television shows in Belgium. During this report, two members of the Ghent Bitcoincity initiative were interviewed, as well as several participating retailers.

But there is more, as another TV report will be broadcasted later this evening on Kanaal Z, a Belgian channel focusing on the financial aspect of life. It will be interesting to see how these “advocates” of the current financial industry will go about presenting the case made by Ghent Bitcoincity and the digital currency that is aiming to disrupt the entire system as we know it.

Not to mention how several newspapers picked up the initiative as well, such as the article by METRO (a free newspaper) and Belga, Belgium’s main press agency.

Discounts, Discounts, Discounts

When it comes to accepting Bitcoin payments, the upside is that, as a retailer, you can cut  a lot of overhead costs. Accepting traditional payment methods such as credit cards, bank cards or otherwise, can invoke transaction fees in excess of 3%. Bitcoin transactions, on the other hand, result in 0% transaction fees, which means that more money ends up in the rightful pocket.

As a result, there is a margin to offer discounts to customers paying in Bitcoin. Unfortunately for us enthusiasts, most retailers don’t seem to do that just yet. But most of the participating retailers of the Ghent Bitcoincity initiative will give you a Bitcoin discount, either during the event or as long as they accept Bitcoin payments.

Make sure to check back in a few days to read our report on the Ghent Bitcoincity event and what we learned from it!