A Las Vegas strip club accepts cryptocurrency. Patrons can pay and tip using forms of payment like Bitcoin.
Nick Blomgren is a martial arts master and also a businessman who had cryptocurrency on his radar. Cryptocurrency is a digital currency in which encryption techniques are used to regulate the generation of units of currency and verify the transfer of funds, operating independently of a central bank.
“We came up with an idea probably about a year and a half ago of how we could turn this bitcoin into something,” said Blomgren. “So we were brainstorming. First, we were thinking about a fight company because I own a mixed martial arts gym.”
But after throwing out idea after idea, Blomgren said there was one that really stood out.
“I was like well that would work better in a strip club,” Blomgren said.
Blomgren’s decision is how the Legends Room was born last year.
“It’s the best place to spend it if you don’t want your wife to know or you don’t want your boyfriend to know,” Blomgren said.
Here’s how it works: Customers who already own cryptocurrency can spend it by providing a lengthy number from a digital wallet. If they don’t own cryptocurrency, they can still spend their money without cryptocurrency or use an ATM to buy it. Some of the exotic dancers then wear temporary tattoos that can be scanned so they can be paid.
“And that’s how we do private rooms,” said Brenna Sparks, an adult performer.
Vanessa Murphy, I-Team Reporter: “How often do customers want to pay with Bitcoin?”
Brenna Sparks, adult entertainer: “Oh, quite often. Like the people that come here, they are like really into crypto. I feel like it’s very smart. They are really into that.”
The dancer whose stage name is Brenna Sparks, says she became interested in cryptocurrency when she was just 19 years old. She’s now 26 years old.
“It’s peer to peer. It’s anonymous, and it’s instant,” Sparks said.
Sparks says she and her friends think cryptocurrency may be the future for adult entertainment workers.
“I’m not going to name names, but there are certain banks that… will shut down your account and actually deny you from having an account because we work in the adult entertainment industry, said Summer Chase, adult entertainment worker.
The club’s DJ, known as Saint Clare, says part of her deal at the Legends Room is that part of her paycheck is cryptocurrency.
“When I first heard about the concept, I thought wow this is really something different, you know,” DJ Saint Clare said.
Vanessa Murphy, I-Team Reporter: “Do you check your account a lot?”
Brenna Sparks, adult entertainer: “I do (laughs). It’s fun though. Once you invest, it becomes an everyday thing.”
“They’re seeing these guys come in and spend a lot of Bitcoin, so they’re like wow how do I get into Bitcoin or what coin can I buy,” Blomgren said.
The Legends Room also has its own cryptocurrency called LGD.
“Your asking prices are all there. Your bids are there,” said Blomgren.
Vanessa Murphy, I-Team Reporter: “Is it a big draw?”
Nick Blomgren: “It is starting to become a bigger draw. You know in the beginning it was like a lot of bitcoin guys came in, a lot of LGD members came in and wanted to use their LGD to see if they can buy anything here at the club because nobody really thought that the club existed in the beginning. So now it’s, it’s become like curiosity. Let’s go down there and see if we can use our cryptocurrency.”
Sure, some clientele is still making it rain regular currency at the club, but for others, a night at the strip club is also about the technology.
“You get something for this. You get to come here and enjoy strong drinks and meet beautiful women,” Blomgren said.
The value of cryptocurrency like Bitcoin has taken a plunge, and it faces scrutiny. Facebook just announced it would no longer accept ads for cryptocurrencies, banks are banning the purchase of cryptocurrencies with credit cards, and there’s been a crackdown by governments internationally and here in the united states.
There are concerns about cryptocurrency getting in the wrong hands for fraudulent activity, but talk to fans of cryptocurrency, and some will tell you they believe it’s an investment worth making.