AMC theaters will start accepting Bitcoin this year

The chain hopes meme stock buyers will turn into loyal customers.

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NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JUNE 08: People walk outside AMC Empire 25 movie theater in Times Square on June 08, 2021 in New York City. On May 19, all pandemic restrictions, including mask mandates, social distancing guidelines, venue capacities and curfews were lifted by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo.  (Photo by Noam Galai/Getty Images)
Noam Galai/Getty Images

Wondering what to do with your Bitcoin stash now that you can't buy a Tesla? It might be time to catch a big-screen flick. According to CNN, AMC has announced that it plans to accept Bitcoin as payment for tickets and snacks at all US theaters by the end of 2021. Company chief Adam Aron didn't say how you'd make those payments, but he did hint that AMC was also researching other ways it could join the "burgeoning cryptocurrency universe."

American theaters should also support Apple Pay and Google Pay for online purchases by the end of the year, Aron said.

The executive explained the decision as a result of his stint on the board of Centricus Acquisition Corp, a contractor for the blockchain company Arquit. And yes, the Reddit meme stock frenzy played a role —Aron is aware that many of AMC's recently added shareholders are "quite enthusiastic" about cryptocurrencies. He's hoping the tech enthusiasts who pumped up his company's stock value will be frequent customers, to put it another way.

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Whether or not this is a sustainable idea is another matter. Gizmodo notes that crypto transaction fees can be steep, and you might pay a premium for that already expensive soda. The volatility of cryptocurrency remains a problem, too. The Bitcoin you spend on tickets one day could be worth enough to rent a whole theater just a few months later. AMC would have to figure out how to ride that uncertainty without damaging its bottom line.

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