Speaking to Cointelegraph, Paul Brewster, the CEO of Flooring Hut, explained:
“We see it [Bitcoin] as an asset that has probably the best potential for growth of our capital reserves at the moment.”
He explained that the company decided against keeping its cash reserves in a bank account, as Bitcoin could provide the greatest potential for providing returns, ultimately delivering better value for customers.
According to Companies House, the government agency that maintains the register of U.K. companies, Flooring Hut’s accounts from 2023 showed cash reserves of £75,105, which at the time of writing could buy roughly 3.3 BTC.
Moreover, the company is Bitcoin-only. Brewster explained that “Bitcoin is an asset class in its own right,” saying it is akin to “digital gold.” While on a personal level, Brewster and his colleagues have an interest in the wider cryptocurrency space, “We’re not going to be putting those on the balance sheet at Flooring Hut any time soon,” he said.
This bold decision by the online retailer operating in the 2 billion pound carpet industry is particularly surprising, as it’s one of the “very few sectors where the application of technology has been severely lacking,” Brewster explained. The Financial Times, one of the U.K.’s most popular legacy finance publications, was quick to swipe at Flooring Hut on its page Alphaville.
In the article, the FT explained that the Flooring Hut news “is obviously engineering the kind of publicity stunt that’s catnip for snarky blogs such as ours.” The article’s comments section is even more scathing, with one commenter exclaiming, “This is pure comedy!”
Brewster understands Bitcoin’s somewhat negative portrayal in the mainstream media:
“You’ve just got to be mindful that people draw connotations from what they read in the media. When they see the word Bitcoin, they think, ‘Oh, is this company legit?’”
However, businesses across the U.K. seek innovative ways to invest their capital, as cash sitting in the bank depreciates under high inflation. The U.K. and its currency, the pound, are suffering more acutely than the European Union. As Brewster explains, managing a business in 2023 in such trying economic conditions is about being “progressive.”
“We’re going to reinvest that back into the company, which then leads to greater value for money for our customers, which gives us a competitive advantage over our competitors.”
The company is heading down the path of a Bitcoin standard — building out a business with Bitcoin in mind. Next, it will explore the implementation of Bitcoin Lightning Network payments to complement its online Mastercard, Visa and PayPal payment options.
The price per Bitcoin is up more than 60% in 2023 in British pounds, starting on Jan.1 at £13,700. Nonetheless, Bitcoin continues to be volatile. The price corrected 2% today, while some traders predict a price plummet to $19,000 in the near term.