Bitcoin, litecoin now accepted at New Jersey restaurant


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Monica’s Restaurant in Pompton Lakes is accepting Bitcoin and litecoin as a way to lure in new customers.(Photo: David M. Zimmer/

Monica’s Restaurant now accepts a new method of payment for its signature Italian dishes that include mozzarella fritta, calamari and stuffed mushrooms — cryptocurrency.

It doesn’t jangle in your pocket, it’s not in your checkbook and can’t be swiped on a credit card reader. Cryptocurrency is virtual. 

The Pompton Lakes restaurant on Lakeside Avenue recently joined a small number of eateries that accept decentralized virtual currency, or cryptocurrency, in the form of Bitcoin and its clone currency litecoin.

Apart from a personal interest in cryptocurrency, owner Atila Ajdinovski said he hopes to lure new and younger customers to the Italian restaurant through the alternate payment systems.

“Right now, we have an older clientele,” Ajdinovski said. “Hopefully, it brings in the younger crowd.”

Is cryptocurrency the future?

Jon Moore of Nationwide Merchant Solutions, a payment processing company based in New Milford, said Monica’s is now among 20 New Jersey businesses he has helped to embrace cryptocurrency.

Many deal in online sales, where the security, speed and ability to track Bitcoin and litecoin limit the risk of disputed transactions while reducing fees and accelerating payments, he said.

Monica’s Restaurant in Pompton Lakes is accepting Bitcoin and litecoin as a way to lure in new customers. (Photo: David M. Zimmer/

“Credit cards are based on the honor system,” Moore said. “When you’re dealing with people across the world you don’t know, honor systems don’t work. We’re seeing it already not work with all the fraud in the payment system.”

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Today, shoppers can buy a wide range of retail goods with Bitcoin. Online takers include Newegg for electronics, for home goods, Expedia for travel and Tesla for cars. There are also walk-in shops such as Jeffersons Apparel & Accessories in Bergenfield and local service providers such as Boiling Point Mechanical in Wanaque.

A sit-down restaurant, however, is different, Moore said. The high-volume, fast-paced and in-person business provides an everyday application for people to become accustomed to what is likely the future of payment, he said. 

“It’s an exciting place to have it,” Moore said. “Most places aren’t as visible to the public.”

Moore said he is hoping to personally help 50 to 60 New Jersey retailers start using cryptocurrency within the next six months. Among the next in line are Sendai Sushi in Emerson and Giovanni’s Deli in Secaucus, he said.

Mining computer power

Bitcoin and litecoin are not commodities or stocks, rather virtual currencies that can be procured by providing users with goods and services or “mined” with computer power.

As a virtual currency, transactions are secured and processed with the help of the internet. Instead of being done in a centralized location such as a bank, the transactions are documented everywhere on the internet.

Monica’s Restaurant in Pompton Lakes is accepting Bitcoin and litecoin as a way to lure in new customers. (Photo: David M. Zimmer/

“It’s more secure than any network out there,” Moore said.

Internet users that provide the massive computing power now needed to process Bitcoin transactions are called miners. Miners are compensated with newly-created Bitcoins, which are becoming more difficult and consequently costly to mine.

“[The mining of] it uses as much electricity as the country of Argentina,” Moore said.

Historically, those with the money and hardware to mine are rewarded. The currency’s value has stayed at roughly 2.5 times its mining cost.

Litecoin is similar to Bitcoin, though its uses a less complex cryptographic algorithm, Moore said. Due to its low transaction fees, Litecoin is a better payment system, he said. However, the currency itself does not hold its value as well as Bitcoin, he added.

How to use cryptocurrency

Though easier to implement for online sales, Moore said cryptocurrency transactions at Monica’s remains simpler for the business and its diners than paying with cash or credit card.

Monica’s Restaurant in Pompton Lakes is accepting Bitcoin and litecoin as a way to lure in new customers. (Photo: David M. Zimmer/

The Italian restaurant has a QR code,  which is a pixel-matrix barcodes seen on almost every item sold today, inside its receipt holders. By scanning the code, users are able to transfer money from their virtual wallets to Monica’s. 

The process allows the restaurant…

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