According to AMC Theaters CEO Adam Aron, the company will begin accepting bitcoin as payment for movie tickets and concessions in America by the end 2021. This announcement was made during an earnings call. Although the theater chain will accept Apple Pay and Google Pay, there are many important questions that remain about AMC’s bitcoin wager.
Aron stated that he had learned more about cryptocurrency and blockchain in six months than he did in a decade.
“This knowledge has given me confidence to tell all of you today that AMC will be formally announcing that we will have the information technology systems in order to accept bitcoin by the end of the year,’ Aron said.
Aron pointed out that all bitcoin-purchases of movie tickets or concessions would have to be done online. This raises questions about whether customers will be able to make changes to their purchases once they arrive at the theater. Aron did not address a bigger question: Bitcoin’s high transaction fees, which makes it notoriously poor as a currency.
AMC customers will have to pay transaction fees each time they buy $10 bags of popcorn. The current average bitcoin transaction fee is approximately. This means that you will be paying $12.50 to use bitcoin. AMC may not be able to cover this cost and will likely pass it on to the customer.
Transaction fees for bitcoin are volatile as well, just like the price of bitcoin. Bitcoin transaction fees reached $62 per transaction in April. This could easily happen again. Transaction fees can skyrocket to the point that a $10 bag of popcorn could suddenly cost $72 in fiat currency.
Aron stated that he discovered cryptocurrency while on the board at Centricus Acquisition Corp. AMC’s interest is likely to be driven by WallStretBets retail investors, who are behind the so-called “meme stock” craze. AMC was made a meme stock by WallStretBets users who wanted to squeeze Wall Street short-sellers. They were trying to target what the redditors considered a beloved institution from their childhoods.
AMC’s stock price is at $33.80, up 3.36% in the last 24 hours and an astounding 1,494% for the year. This is all due to the meme stock craze.
AMC isn’t the only company that has experimented with cryptocurrency. Electric car maker Tesla started accepting bitcoin in , but stopped less than two months later. Tesla CEO Elon Musk stated that the company had stopped accepting bitcoin due to concerns about the environment from mining cryptocurrency. This requires a lot of energy. Musk stated that he is open to accepting bitcoin in the future.
Since bitcoin’s energy consumption has not changed significantly in 2021 many believe Musk’s flip flopping is a deliberate attempt to manipulate its price. This accusation the billionaire strongly refutes.
Amazon posted a job posting recently that suggested it was interested in cryptocurrency. However, the company denies that it will accept bitcoin anytime soon. According to the City A.M. newspaper in London, Amazon plans to accept bitcoin by 2021. It might even create its own cryptocurrency by 2022. But Amazon denies that claim.
“Notwithstanding our interest, the speculation surrounding our plans for cryptocurrency is false.” According to an Amazon spokesperson, we remain focused on exploring the possibilities for customers shopping at Amazon.
Bitcoin trades at $45,936, an increase of 5.1% in the last 24 hours. Although the crypto has moved north in recent weeks, it is still below its July low of $30,000 but not as high as its April record high of $63,729 in April.
Bitcoin is volatile to put it mildly. This is one reason why it makes for such a bad currency. Large companies will gladly accept crypto payments if they are requested. They just have to find a way to sell their holdings at a high price, which is something that many companies are doing right now.