While in San Francisco I had my first Bitcoin transaction and bought lunch from the Ramen Underground in San Francisco’s Japan town. The waiter said he was new and only the second customer he had pay with Bitcoin. To pay, the waiter brought over an ipad with the blockchain.info website open in the browser. I scanned the QR code with my phone and the transaction showed up as unconfirmed as the browser refreshed. My transaction is found at blockchain.info.
I did have to convince the waiter that the transaction took place as it said unconfirmed and I did not want to wait ten minutes for confirmation. For in person transactions that are of small denomination waiting for confirmation is not usually necessary. The overall experience was easy and a little trickier than just using cash as the waiter did not accept tips in bitcoin also since Apple currently does not let Bitcoin apps in its itunes store it makes it trickier to confirm the transaction by using a third party website. The most challenging part was making sure that my phone was charged to send bitcoins from my wallet and I had to find an outlet to charge my phone as I ate otherwise the battery would run out of power. Overall, it was a pleasant experience and using Bitcoin in person will get easier as more merchants adopt digital currencies and their staff are comfortable using them.