Why you can trust us

Engadget has been testing and reviewing consumer tech since 2004. Our stories may include affiliate links; if you buy something through a link, we may earn a commission. Read more about how we evaluate products.

AMC theaters will start accepting Bitcoin this year

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

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.

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.