Eighty-year-old chain adopts cryptocurrency.
A branch of the popular Lim Lao Ngow fish noodle shop is one of the first restaurants in Thailand to set up bitcoin payment.
Located on the fourth floor of Siam Square One mall, the shop lets visitors pay for their meals (a bowl of noodles is about B35) with bitcoin, where the price in baht is converted to bitcoin currency upon payment according to the blockchain system.
Bitcoin is a type of digital currency that is created, held and exchanged electronically. What makes bitcoin different from other currencies is that it's decentralized and not tied to a specific country, institution or bank. The value of the currency is created through a mathematical formula and is freely available for everyone to buy through websites like Coinbase or Localbitcoins. Currently 1 bitcoin is valued at B84647.97.
Bitcoin became legal in Thailand in 2014 and, according to the Coinmap, there are currently 13 services that accept bitcoin payment in Bangkok. Another restaurant that accepts it is Tim Butler's popular modern international restaurant Eat Me, which ranked no. 13 in our Top Tables 2017 list.
Lim Lao Ngow is a very old family-run chain of fish noodle stalls that's existed for over 80 years. They became famous for their fish balls that are so chewy they are likely to bounce if you drop them—a description that has become their signature slogan. Now with stalls and shops across the country, many branches also serve rice dishes, fish maw soup, spring rolls and other homey Thai picks.
In an announcement on the official website, the Lim Lao Ngow team says that accepting bitcoin payment is an investment in a digital currency that will only continue to grow in the future. Though we don't know how popular bitcoin (and its substantial transaction fees) is to Thai users just yet, it's pretty cool to see this old-school noodle chain taking on the latest technology.