Grooveshark bites on using Bitcoin as payment


Published: Wednesday, July 23, 2014 at 10:47 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, July 23, 2014 at 10:47 a.m.

Online music player Grooveshark started accepting Bitcoin this week, a move the company says obliges the growing demand for the virtual currency.

“It was one of our top requests (from customers), so we decided to build it out,” said Sam Tarantino, co-founder and CEO of the Gainesville company.

Called a peer-to-peer, online “cryptocurrency,” Bitcoin was first introduced in 2009 and, as with any currency, has a fluctuating value, listed at roughly $620 for one “coin” as of Tuesday.

The Bitcoins themselves aren’t worth anything, just as any item, service or treasure is only as valuable as what someone will pay for it.

Many companies big and small now allow Bitcoin payments, so any estimates on total usage or complete lists are hard to come by.

Dell this month became the largest company to accept Bitcoin and Tarantino mentioned Overstock and Tiger Direct, which made their own announcements in December 2013 and January 2014, respectively.

“The more people accept Bitcoin, the more adoption there will be,” Tarantino said. “Think of it just like another mode of payment. You’ve got Visa, your Mastercard, you’ve got PayPal—you’ve got different forms of accepting payments and Bitcoin is now another one.”

Tarantino pointed to the advantage for international purchases.

“It’s benefit really is over international territories because … you’ve got unstable currencies or people are just opting to go with a Bitcoin because they’re able to pay across different countries fairly easily,” he said.

Because Grooveshark just started with Bitcoin, no numbers on returns are available yet, Tarantino said.

Grooveshark, founded in Gainesville in 2006, offers free music streaming on the Web, plus a $9-a-month subscription service that allows for unlimited streaming across multiple devices.

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