Politician's Sushi Order Kicks Off Bitcoin Focus Week in Tallinn ({{commentsTotal}})

A political milestone was reached on what Bitcoin supporters hope is the cryptocurrency's path to wide acceptance alongside such innovations as digital signatures and m-parking.

Silver Meikar, an independent candidate for European Parliament, stopped in for lunch and a photo op on Sunday at a hole-in-the-wall manga-themed Tallinn eatery that is one of the city's restaurants that accepts the method of payment.

His party's €78 check at Sushi Cat was paid by using two smartphones using a process not dissimilar to the one used by card payment terminals. The waitress entered the amount to be paid on her phone, which then calculated the price in bitcoins. The waitress then received a QR code on her phone. Meikar scanned that QR code with his own phone, and the payment was sent.

Meikar, a former MP who has campaigned on civil liberties since blowing the whistle on Reform Party financing practices in 2012, has also been meeting entrepreneur Risto Pietilä about the latter's idea for a "Bitcoin manor" in northern Estonia that would be an educational and thematic center, said Otto de Voogd, the leading backer of the currency in Estonia. 

The week will bring several events that organizers have designed to educate the public on how the currency works. Today from 17:00 to 20:00, a key signing party will take place at the National Library, with a number of 20-minute workshops on offer, geared toward a wide range of professionals. On Wednesday, a conference at Tallinn University, "Is Bitcoin Here to Stay?" will, among other things, feature Estonia's first "Bitcoin ATM." 

(Reporting by Stuart Garlick and our staff)