Some items at Mission Muffins are priced so that they can be bought with one Breadcoin. In 2016, Breadcoin bought a $20,000 trailer for Mission Muffins, which was then operating out of a tent. The shelter serves meals, but using Breadcoins at Mission Muffins gives him more options and allows him to feel like a paying customer. Breadcoin is also an expression of Borger’s Christian faith, which he said challenges him to serve people in need. Breadcoin co-founder Scott Borger often distributes the coins to people when he volunteers at the shelter each week.
Jeffrey Carter, who is homeless, carried two gold-colored coins in his palm as he approached the Mission Muffins cafe trailer in Northwest Washington to exchange them for a breakfast burrito and apple juice.
The quarter-size coins — each worth $2.20 and inscribed with part of the Lord’s Prayer and an image of wheat — were “Breadcoins,” a new form of currency in the District intended for people in need.
Inspired by the popularity of cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin, Breadcoins have circulated in the District since 2016, but they are still relatively unknown. They are an option for people who worry that giving money to those in need might be used to fuel an addiction.
“People don’t want to give to people who drink alcohol and use drugs,” Carter, 56, said this week as he waited for his food. “It’s a new way to give.”
Carter got his Breadcoins at the Central Union Mission, where he...
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