WHAT is believed to be Reading's first retail crypto currency exchange exchange took place at the UK's longest running internet cafe and games zone yesterday.

For several months Quantum on Union Street, colloquially known as Smelly Alley, has been advertising that it accepts Bitcoins.

Bitcoin is a digital and global money system which allows people to send or receive money across the internet, instantly, cheaply and without using banks. Money can also be exchanged without being linked to a real identity.

On Tuesday building business owner Jason Gigg from Maidenhead paid for his lunch using Quantum's Bitpay system, exchanging 0.00012545BTC or £6.30 using his phone.

Reading’s first retail Bitcoin transaction could be compared in financial terms to the first use of an ATM in 1967 or the first use of a credit card in the UK in 1966.

At the time these new revolutionary financial tools were dismissed by many as fads, unnecessary or even dangerous, but they now form an undisputed part of everyday life.

“As far as we know, this is the first confirmed retail transaction carried out with Bitcoin in Reading and we feel it’s a great step forward for the town as a whole” said cafe owner Jason Deane.

“Hopefully many other businesses will follow suit as cryptocurrency gains in mainstream adoption”

Mr Deane has been closely following the cryptocurrency market for some time. He holds investments in Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum, Ripple, Stella Lumens and Monero.