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Manhattan dental office accepting cryptocurrency

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Bitcoin or Benjamin Franklin? Patients at a growing number of dental clinics can opt to pay for their treatment using digital currencies. (Image: Goami/Shutterstock)

NEW YORK, US: A Manhattan dental clinic’s adoption of cryptocurrency as a payment method has highlighted the growing acceptance of digital currencies by private dental practices. Patients at Upper East Dental Innovations, a cosmetic dentistry and implant practice, can now pay for their treatment using Dogecoin, Bitcoin or Ethereum, and the clinic’s owner says that running a cutting-edge practice requires more than just the latest dental technology.

The clinic offers cosmetic, restorative and general dental services and is owned and operated by Dr Sharde Harvey. It announced the launch of cryptocurrency payment services in a press release in February, and Dr Harvey said that she was proud to work at one of the first dental clinics in Manhattan to accept digital currencies. As a strong proponent of modern technologies, Dr Harvey was one of the first dentists in the area to offer same-day crowns to her patients and to make use of CBCT for diagnoses. “In keeping up with technology, one of the cornerstones of our practice, we are proud to now offer the convenience of cryptocurrency as a form of payment for dental services,” she said.

A quick Google search reveals that the Manhattan clinic is one of many private dental practices in the US that accept cryptocurrency payments. Indeed, there is even a cryptocurrency dedicated exclusively to oral health care—Dentacoin. Founded in 2017 in the Netherlands, the Dentacoin Foundation seeks to create a currency for the global dental industry that improves oral health and increases access to dental care. The blockchain-based cryptocurrency currently has around 2,200 dentists and more than 140,000 active users and subscribers on its ledgers.

Sceptics of cryptocurrency cite concerns relating to inflation, security and volatility of price—Dentacoin, for example, was worth €0.000010 on 20 March, having fallen in value by 4.76% in the previous seven days. Dr Harvey, however, insists that using and accepting cryptocurrency has its advantages. She commented: “If you have followed the evolution of currency, you will see that we have moved from barter to paper money, from credit cards to digital wallets, and now cryptocurrency has arrived. More and more other small businesses are accepting cryptocurrency as payment, exactly as credit cards have become a way of life today. I can see the future of currency in cryptocurrency because it’s faster, more efficient, more cost-effective and actually more secure.”

Cryptocurrency is on the rise

The acceptance of payment using cryptocurrencies is growing among small and large businesses and regulators. The US state of Colorado announced in February that it plans to accept cryptocurrency as payment for taxes and fees, and laws that would legitimise statewide payment using cryptocurrency have been proposed by legislators in Arizona and California.

Consumers around the world can already use cryptocurrency to purchase a variety of products and services, including through personal Microsoft accounts. US consumers can make PayPal payments using cryptocurrency, and in Venezuela, consumers can use it to pay for a meal at Pizza Hut or Burger King outlets.

Payment giant Visa recently surveyed thousands of small businesses and found that the cryptocurrency payment method may soon go mainstream. Visa’s survey showed that 30% of small business owners in the UAE, Hong Kong, Singapore and Brazil planned to offer the payment method to customers this year. Visa found that small business owners in the US were less enthusiastic about adopting cryptocurrencies; however, 19% of those surveyed said that they planned to adopt cryptocurrency payments in 2022.

The war in Ukraine has further legitimised payment with cryptocurrency. The country had already been a leader in the adoption of the payment method, but the flexibility and speed of payments using digital currencies led the government to legalise the cryptocurrency sector and create an official payment infrastructure just days after the country was invaded by Russia. Ukraine has since received more than US$100 million (€90.5 million) in cryptocurrency donations, and the National Bank of Ukraine may launch its own digital currency, according to the Financial Times.

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