AMSTERDAM (AP) — The main website that arranges home delivery for restaurants in the Netherlands is now accepting payment in bitcoins, an increasingly popular form of digital currency.
Around 5,000 Dutch restaurants use the Thuisbezorgd.nl site to handle around 600,000 online orders and deliveries per month. The company's marketing manager, Imad Qutob, said in a statement Tuesday that Thuisbezorgd wants to offer customers more choice in how they pay.
The company says around half its customers pay cash on delivery. Others pay via the site using debit cards, credit cards, PayPal or an online system run by Dutch banks. Paying with bitcoins could save customers a little change: Thuisbezorgd adds surcharges of up to one euro ($1.35) for other forms of online payment.
Bitcoin is a cryptography-based digital currency that advocates say is counterfeit-proof. Its value is determined by supply — which is limited by its design — and demand. Among the various criticisms leveled at bitcoin are that it is too prone to price swings against other currencies to be useful.
On the biggest online exchange where bitcoin is bought and sold, it traded as high as $258 per bitcoin Tuesday. That's near its record high of $266 set in April, and an increase of more than 10 percent in the past 24 hours.
Thuisbezorgd is the latest in a series of mainstream businesses willing to accept the currency, which was once considered little more than an oddity.