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Health Clinic Accepting Bitcoin For Payment

DENTON COUNTY (CBSDFW.COM) - No cash?  No credit cards?  No problem.  At a North Texas medical clinic, you can now pay your bill using ones and zeroes.  It's the first clinic in Texas to accept Bitcoins.

Physician's assistant Anton Appelqvist provides daily medical care for patients inside Rapid Med Urgent Care Center.  Along with cash, credit or debit cards, patients of this Highland Village health clinic can now pay with a currency you can't see.

The Bitcoin is like a digital dollar, complete with ATMs offering virtual value you can't hold, but you can spend.

Tthe urgent care center may be the first business in Denton County to accept a digital file as a form of payment.

"Bitcoin is a new money.  Banks are taken away from the formula.  It allows direct transactions between the end user and the person providing the service," said Appelgvitst.

Bitcoin demand has developed its value.  One Bitcoin is worth 800-bucks right now.

Website developer Austin Heerwaggen pays with Bitcoins with a touch of a quick response code on his smart phone.

"It's easier than a credit card.  It's cheaper," explains Heerwaggen.  "You don't have to worry about the government.  It's international."

But the challenge for clinics and companies accepting Bitcoins as payment is that customers aren't necessarily using it as payment yet.  In fact, the folks at Rapid Med haven't seen a patient yet prepared to pay with money you can't see.
But they're betting, more will take a bite on a bit in this digital age.

(©2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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