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Early Bitcoiner got into the space due to his lack of Blackjack skills

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Joel Birch, co-founder of automated crypto investment platform Stacked, detailed his initial dive into Bitcoin (BTC) as a way of gambling on the internet. 

“I bought my first Bitcoin because I was playing Blackjack online,” Birch told Cointelegraph in an interview. “Bitcoin was about $250 a piece, and so, back in 2015, I lost what would be the equivalent of hundreds of thousands of dollars today, playing Blackjack.”

Between 2015 and 2017, Bitcoin rose from $200, all the way to $20,000 on some exchanges, meaning Birch’s early Blackjack losses turned out to value much higher than he thought at the time of his 2015 gambling.  Birch, also known on Twitter as “Bitcoin Birch,” explained he made much more money based on Bitcoin’s price moves than his online card playing endeavors. 

“One of the reasons I got excited about crypto as an investment vehicle was because I saw how much money I was making at the time by not gambling and holding the Bitcoin that I had bought from Coinbase, as opposed to putting it into Blackjack games.” 

Birch described looking at his online gambling Bitcoin holdings one day, seeing his account valued 30% higher in U.S. dollar terms, based simply on Bitcoin’s upward price movement. “That was the first time it kind of clicked,” he said, realizing his inept Blackjack skills while simultaneously seeing opportunity in crypto. 

Many early crypto participants got their feet wet in the industry via similar (if tangential) avenues. Yellow Card crypto exchange CEO Chris Maurice sold Bitcoin on eBay and at Taco Bell locations, for instance. 



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BTC payments coming to certain Quiznos shops, thanks to Bakkt collaboration

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An upcoming collaboration between Bakkt and Quiznos will allow customers to pay for meals at certain locations with Bitcoin (BTC).

Customers will be able to pay in BTC at certain Quiznos shops in Colorado’s capital as part of an initial test run, according to a public statement on Tuesday. “The pilot will be available at select Quiznos locations across the Denver market, including the high-traffic Denver airport location, starting in mid-August,” the statement said.

Folks will be able to pay with Bitcoin via Bakkt’s app — a versatile hub for holding and spending Bitcoin, as well as managing reward points and other features. Quiznos is owned by REGO Restaurant Group. REGO’s president, Mark Lohmann, said in a statement:

“Partnering with an innovative platform such as Bakkt is appealing to us for a number of reasons, primarily because it allows us to accept bitcoin directly at the point of sale as part of a quick and seamless transaction […] As we continue our digital transformation journey and respond to mobile and millennial consumer demand for alternative and cryptocurrency payment options, we are excited to offer yet another accessible way for customers to buy a meal, in this case, through the Bakkt digital asset wallet.”

The test run comes with an extra perk as well. Quiznos goers will earn $15 of free Bitcoin if they get Bakkt’s app, purchase some BTC on it and then spend that BTC at a participating Quiznos shop, the statement included.

“Through a partnership with Bakkt, merchants and franchisees have the opportunity to accept bitcoin payments from consumers while still benefiting from a cash-settled experience,” the statement said. The statement was not clear on whether or not Quiznos would sell the received BTC right away.

Cointelegraph reached out to Bakkt for comment but did not receive a response in time for publication.