Pay at Starbucks with Bitcoin and get 20% off!
You can pay with Bitcoin at any Starbucks in Hong Kong and receive 20% off your purchase using the Fold app, a US startup unaffiliated with the Bitcoin Association Hong Kong.
This is how you do it:
1) Go to https://coffee.foldapp.com/
You are instantly presented with your personal Starbucks barcode. It will show you a balance of $0. You will have to load it with Bitcoin. The app will tell you that it is untested outside of the United States. Today we can confirm it works in Hong Kong too.
After selecting ‘Load Bitcoin’ you are given the options of 5 or 10 (US$). Pick whatever suits your purchase best. I picked $5 and was instructed to send 0.017 BTC worth 30.9 HKD (4 USD) to the address provided by Fold. My Fold balance was credited with 38.7 HKD (5 USD).
Go to any Starbucks in Hong Kong, and tell the cashier you want to pay via gift card. A barcode scanner should be ready just next to the terminal. Hold the barcode on your screen into the scanner. You will get a receipt indicating your remaining balance.
4) What to do with the remaining balance?
If you go to Starbucks a lot, just enter your email address at the bottom of the page to make sure you never lose your balance. You can top it up whenever it is too low. Fold also provides you with the option to get your change back in Bitcoin. To do that, just click on ‘Refund’ at the bottom of the page and enter your Bitcoin address. Note that this might take a while and not be available immediately after your purchase.
If you are feeling generous, why not donate your change? A variety of good causes accept Bitcoin, such as the Hong Kong Helpers campaign, the Edward Snowden Defense Fund or the Internet Archive. Just paste their address instead of yours and your change goes to them!