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Chicago Sun-Times To Accept Bitcoin As Payment For Subscriptions

By Chuck Sudo in News on Apr 3, 2014 7:00PM

Image credit: Mopic/

Is Bitcoin still the future of money? The Chicago Sun-Times is bullish on the prospects, despite recent reports of theft and an IRS ruling that bitcoin is not currency, and is becoming the first major American newspaper to accept bitcoin as payment for subscriptions. Could payment in Schrutebucks and Stanley nickels be far behind?

According to reports by Business Insider and Chicago media columnist Robert Feder, Chicago area readers may now pay for subscriptions at and has enlisted Coinbase to process payments. The Sun-Times held a one-day experiment in February where readers visiting the paper’s website encountered a paywall where they could either make a donation to the Taproot Foundation via bitcoin or promote Taproot via social media to gain access. Sun-Times editor-in-chief Jim Kirk said in a statement:

“Our goal is to keep the Sun-Times current and evolving with changing technology. Accepting bitcoin payments is one of many ways we are working to stay digitally focused.”

Josh Metnick, chief technology officer of Sun-Times parent company Wrapports LLC, told Business Insider they’re also looking at expanding bitcoin payments to other properties.

Bitcoin has divided old school economists and technology buffs. Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times economics columnist Paul Krugman has questioned the volatility of bitcoin and wonders if it even has value. It must have some value. Hackers stole $460 million from Mt. Gox, the world’s largest bitcoin exchange. (Mt. Gox later filed for bankruptcy.) Hackers attacked other bitcoin exchanges such as Flexcoin, and Autumn Radtke, CEO of bitcoin exchange First Meta, committed suicide in Singapore last month.

The IRS ruled last week bitcoin is a property, meaning its profits—and losses—will be taxed at the capital gains rate instead of the higher income rate. The announcement led to a 20 percent drop in Bitcoin’s value.