As media coverage of the cryptocurrency craze careens across categories from tech to finance, business to politics, and even occasionally crime, a slowly growing number of specialty coffee people are taking notice. Individual companies are gradually beginning to accept Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies as payment, and some are wading more deeply into crypto’s less charted waters.

Take Pull Espresso Machines, which now accepts cryptocurrency for payments on Pull machine purchases. Pull’s owner, Todd Millar, even has a small “rig” set up for “mining” Bitcoin and other currencies himself — more for the personal edification than for the financial reward.

“I’m trying to understand a little bit more by being involved in it, by actually doing the mining part of it,” Millar told Daily Coffee News, aware of the irony of embracing bleeding-edge technology to help support a business building electronics-free manual lever espresso machines with a sort of old-world ethos. Photo courtesy of Pull Espresso.

The “rig” in use for his small mining operation is a bunch of linked, high-performance computer graphics cards dedicated solely to the task of receiving and verifying a never-ending stream of encrypted transactions that, once sorted, are stored forever in a decentralize public ledger. In the case of Bitcoin, the successful verification and entry of each transaction is also what triggers the release of new coinage into circulation.

A portion of this and of the tiny Bitcoin transaction fee is rewarded to the race-winning rig, hence the term “mining.” Millar admits that while the cryptocurrency phenomenon is hard to grasp, it fast becomes an intellectual rabbit hole the closer one gets to understanding it. “I can choose to hang on to the crypto and speculate the market, or I can immediately take that exact value and turn it in for real U.S. dollars,” said Millar. Read more from…

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