London Taxi Driver Sells Bitcoin (BTC) to Passengers From Back of His Cab

Siamak Masnavi

One London taxi driver loves Bitcoin (BTC) so much that not only has he been accepting bitcoin for his taxi services since 2017 but he also sells bitcoin from the back of his cab to his passengers.

According to an article in DecryptMedia, black taxi driver "Dave Jenkins" (his pseudonym, not his real name), who has been given the nickname "crypto cabbie", carries in the back of his cab a small point-of-sale (PoS) terminal that is distributed and sold by UK company AAO Technologies Ltd (with "FastBitcoins.com" as one of its trading names). 

This touchscreen device reportedly "can process cash-based transactions in exchange for bitcoins in real time, then print a paper receipt, much like a credit card reader at your local coffee shop." Jenkins, who calls himself "a one man band", may in fact be the only cab driver in a major world capital to offer this kind of service.

Ben Munster, a reporter for DecryptMEdia, tried this service by buying 10 British Pounds' (around $13) worth of bitcoin. Jenkins told him that this might be one of the easiest ways of buying Bitcoin:

“You can’t get a lot easier than that, can you? If you try and mess about registering with Coinbase or Bitstamp or whatever, you know all these different things, it’s a lot of aggravation to send off your passport blah blah blah. Even a lot of bitcoin ATMs—they want your phone number and all that.”

Jenkins charges a 6% commission for selling you bitcoin, which he says is less than what a Bitcoin ATM would charge you. You can pay for your bitcoin using cash (pounds or euros).

Once you have bought some bitcoin, you need to visit the website FastBitcoins.com to redeem your voucher. Here, after you have entered your voucher code, the fiat value of your voucher, your email address, and your Bitcoin wallet address, the bitcoin you purchased earlier will get delivered (either the regular way or via the Lightning Network, depending on your choice):

FastBitcoins 1.png

You can also use the same website to sell bitcoin (with a 3% commission). 

The company, which apparently has PoS terminals in around 20,000 retail locations around the world, says that if you register and verify an account with them, you will pay lower fees.

 To get a ride from the crypto cabbie, you need to "hail" him by sending him a message (specifying your location) via Twitter (@fastbitcoinscab), but remember that he only works 9-5. 

Cab Photo via Pexels.com; Other Image Courtesy of FastBitcoins.com

Could President Trump Ban Bitcoin? Experts Weigh In

  • Experts weigh in on the possibility of President Trump banning bitcoin.
  • Increasing concern over libra and large platform digital currencies is driving political agenda. 

Following last week’s attack on bitcoin and Facebook’s libra, experts have voiced their opinion on whether US President Donald Trump could realistically impose a ban on cryptocurrency. 

Not a Fan of Bitcoin

On July 11, President Donald Trump published a series of tweets attacking bitcoin and digital currencies, while championing the dollar. 

President Trump’s comments come in the midst of growing concern over Facebook’s libra, as political regulators around the world scramble to enact policies to deal with the rise of digital currencies. 

Members of the crypto community have questioned the impact of the US President taking an unfavorable stance towards bitcoin. Some crypto pundits predicted the tweets would be good for the price of BTC and ultimately increase exposure to cryptoassets. However, others worry that political influence may lead to a crackdown on cryptocurrency usage. 

Scenarios for Banning Crypto

Alex Kruger, economist and market analyst, published a tweet thread examining the legality and possibility of President Trump banning bitcoin. 

According to Kruger, It would be almost impossible for the US government to outlaw bitcoin as a technological instrument. Aside from the Herculean task of eradicating a decentralized, digital technology, bitcoin is code, which is protected under the first amendment.

However, that same protection is not extended to third-party operators, including cryptocurrency exchanges. 

Kruger quoted Abra CEO and Founder BIll Barhydt, who explained in a Forbes article how the government could target fiat onramps to exchanges, 

“You can’t prevent people from holding ones and zeroes on a device in their pocket. That ship has sailed. We already know that. The question is: What can they do at the edge of the network -- the onramps and offramps, the places where they exert control over the banking system, the exchanges, [and the] stablecoins.”

The US government could prevent retail investors from having access to crypto-assets through exchanges and prevent banks from allowing transfer of funds. Users would still be able to buy crypto through alternative channels, but the current ease of investing would be severely hampered. 

Unlikely, But Not Impossible

President Trump could also issue an executive order banning citizens from dealing in bitcoin, similar to the one he issued against the Petro. While there is a precedent for this route, Kruger claims the order could be easily overturned by Congress, 

Ultimately, Kruger believes that it is unlikley the President or Congress would move to ban bitcoin, and it would be difficult to enact fool-proof policy. However, it's worth considering the political landscape as regulatory concerns mount over Facebook's libra.

Just last week, a copy of a bill reportedly drafted by the House Financial Services Committee surfaced online, under the title "Keep Big Tech Out of Finance." The bill would put an end to Facebook and other large platforms from issuing digital currencies without incurring a severe penalty.

The same could be extended to bitcoin in the event the government finds crypto-assets no longer tolerable for the general public.