In Vermont, the practice of bartering for goods and services is as old as the hills.
But accepting payment in cryptocurrency? That's just plain futuristic in a state where internet access is still sketchy in places.
But David Sterrett, a lawyer from Monkton who has offices in Williston and Boston, is willing to give it a shot, according to a press release he circulated to media outlets last week. Specializing in corporate law and intellectual property, he has found that some of his clients, mainly entrepreneurs in the tech industry, want to pay using the cutting-edge currency.
"For them, it's like any other type of money or compensation. Why should I be limited to American dollars?" Sterrett said. "It's kind of a cool idea. I'm not going to say I have all these people paying me in Bitcoin right now, but — I'm open to it!"
Sterrett signed up for BitPay, a company that accepts Bitcoin payments and turns it into dollars. As of this writing, one Bitcoin is worth approximately $11,700, and the price is trending up. Some worry the currency is benefiting from a bubble that could burst — and Sterrett has the same concerns — but Bitcoin has become much more acceptable since its creation in 2009. Microsoft, Expedia and Overstock are among the major U.S. companies that accept Bitcoin. Sterrett decided he would, too, after last week's news that the accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers joined the crowd.
"It's sort of becoming a bit ubiquitous," Sterrett said.
The local attorney said he has "one or two clients that are really into this stuff that actually would pay me this way." But it hasn't happened yet.
"Around here," he acknowledged, most people are still paying by check. "Which is like, Really?"