Odeon owner AMC to accept payment in Bitcoin

Boss Adam Aron stated that it is currently exploring the technology to see if AMC could participate in this emerging cryptocurrency universe.

The largest US cinema chain, the firm has not yet indicated whether it will be applied to European cinemas.

In recent weeks, Bitcoin prices have experienced wild swings.

After falling below $30,000 last month, the highly-speculative cryptocurrency traded at around $45,000 (PS32,500), on Tuesday.

As it becomes more mainstream, however, a growing number of businesses accept it as a payment, including the US mobile operator AT&T and Microsoft.

On a conference call, Mr Aron, 66, stated that he had learned more about cryptocurrency and blockchain in the last six months than he did in the whole decade prior.

“This increased knowledge has given us the confidence to tell all of you today that AMC is officially announcing…that by the year’s end, we will have the information technologies in place to accept Bitcoin.”

“Meme stock”

AMC may be trying to appeal to amateur traders who have invested in its shares over the past six months. This could make it a’meme stock’.

These investors, who have gathered together through the social media site Reddit to drive up the stock price of AMC stock by around 1,500% this past year – but it has very little impact on the chain’s financial performance.

AMC shares rose almost 6% after the Bitcoin announcement, before plummeting back.

According to Reuters, AMC was also the most trending stock on social media site Stocktwits.

The firm released its results for the six-month period ending June 30, which was published on Monday.

Revenue fell almost 40% to PS593m as many cinemas were closed due to the pandemic or customers stayed away from Covid. Despite the fact that restrictions in the US have eased, demand is still not recovering.

According to the firm, ticket revenue for the third quarter of 2019 was only 45% below its 2018 levels.

AMC has a deal with Warner Bros, allowing a 45-day theatrical window to movies before streaming.

It hopes that this will increase ticket sales, which were falling before the pandemic, for scheduled releases such as ‘The Batman’ and “Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom”.

Many Hollywood studios chose to release their films online rather than in cinemas during the pandemic. While most cinemas are now open, majors such as Disney and Warner Bros chose to keep a dual release strategy, which angered both actors and cinema chains.