Depending upon which circles in the coin-op industry you find yourself in, there has been a discussion in recent years over that term, coin-op and whether it should still apply thanks to digital payments that have become more common in various markets around the world. Cash/credit/digital payments aren’t ubiquitous quite yet in the industry but trends are headed in that direction.
It has been a while but I have heard about the digital currency Bitcoin for a time now and while I won’t get into the politics of it (seems there are some passionate feelings pro and con about it), the currency can now be used on just about any arcade game thanks to the development of a Bitcoin payment system developed by UK-based Liberty Games. This video below shows how the system works although if you have an Adblock program you will have to deactivate/pause it to see it below or you can try going to the source here @ Liberty Games.
The system is still under development but once complete, it will offer a new way to buy credits on arcade games. I guess the real question is Bitcoin itself although it certainly has been gaining in popularity from where it was a year ago.
On a side note, this will certainly mean that discussion will arise again as to whether the term coin-op should still be used to describe games in our industry . One challenge has been that nothing really rolls off the tongue as nicely as coin-op that is able to also quickly describe video games that you pay a small amount for to play. Terms like pay-per-play are around and seem to be all-encompassing although the word ‘pay’ is not always favored. Likewise that means something like ‘pay-op’ or the more limited ‘cash-op’ doesn’t work. Feel free to throw your suggestions out there 😉