Now Accepting Bitcoin!

We’ve added bitcoin as a payment option. We’re interested in how bitcoin works and so we’ve added it to the site as a payment option.

Buy glasses and pay with bitcoin at Easy Optical!
Easy Optical cart page showing the prices in bitcoin.

What is Bitcoin?

Bitcoin is the first decentralised peer-to-peer payment network that is powered by its users with no central authority or middlemen. That leads, at least in theory, and mostly in practise, to some interesting benefits for its users. There is no need to disclose card details to anyone, there are no intermediaries to slow down, block or charge for the payment, there are no cross-border payment issues, and there are lower (and often zero) processing fees.

Merchants enjoy the above benefits as well. The payment processor is not your obligatory partner in the process of accepting bitcoins from customers. While working with a payment processor can bring benefits, its not a requirement. We use bitpay at Easy Optical to process bitcoin payments, but this is not a requirement. The technology to pay with bitcoin and receive payment in bitcoin is virtually all free and open source.

What are the Risks?

With so many advantages to using bitcoin as a means of payment, it might be reasonable to ask why bitcoin acceptance by shops is not more common. Well, there are plenty of disadvantages to the use of bitcoin as a store of value or a means of payment. The bitcoin payment protocol is jargon ridden and the concepts which underpin it do not necessarily have easy analogs to existing payment methods such as credit cards or Paypal. It is a relatively new technology and has a steep learning curve compared to payment methods that are mainstream. Bitcoin is also used as a payment method for so-called ‘dark net market’ purchases, and for that reason people may not want to use bitcoin because of the associations it has.

Perhaps the biggest risk of holding bitcoin is the high degree of volatility of the change in its value compared to other currencies . People are understandably wary of holding a currency that is very volatile. Its not uncommon for the price of bitcoin to go up or down 10% in a day.

We accept payment via a third party payment gateway specialising in bitcoin.
Easy Optical bitcoin payment page.

So then Why Use Bitcoin?

Considering all of the above, its reasonable to ask: why accept bitcoin at all? The world of cryptocurrency is maturing, and this includes the development of the same tools (futures, options, currency hedges) in the bitcoin world as those that are available for mainstream currencies. Its now possible to set up a free wallet with no intermediaries, buy bitcoins with credit card (CoinMama, Coinbase, Btc-24, etc), to hold those bitcoins in a wallet in the currency of your choice (Abra) with therefore no currency volatility and a lot of the bitcoin complexity abstracted away, and to transfer those bitcoin to your bank account instantly (CoinBase, Abra). As yet these innovations have not meaningfully added to the cost of using or owning bitcoins, and we are guessing that this trend is set to continue.

We’d like to point out some of what we think are spectacular use cases for bitcoin:

Remittances: if you have a bitcoin wallet and the other person halfway across the world (or standing next to you) has a bitcoin wallet, you can transfer bitcoin to them instantly, at no cost to you or to them. Compare this to what Western Union or Moneygram would charge and the time it would take. We think no comparison.

Currency exchange: even if the remittance was available for free, there would normally be a currency exchange cost to convert say GBP to USD or vice versa. In a bitcoin exchange transaction this cost is not there.

Banking for the unbanked: Can’t complete the paperwork to open an account at NatWest or Bank of America? A free bitcoin wallet app running on your phone or your computer is all you need to accept payment from others, and to pay others.

Bank fee reduction: how much do you pay to receive a wire into your bank account from abroad? How much do you pay to send a wire abroad? We pay something like USD$25 each way. Doing these transfers by bitcoin reduces this cost to virtually zero, and its instant. Compare that to the three to five banking days and USD$25+ it takes using the SWIFT network.

Selling online: want to have a shop online but don’t have the volume (or the patience) to justify the time and expense of a Paypal account or a credit card merchant account?  With a free bitcoin wallet you can send and receive payments with no middleman inserting themselves into the process.

Buying online: Many shops, both online and brick-and-mortar allow you to pay with bitcoin.  Easy Optical for example!  Other examples include: Target, CVS, WordPress.com, Subway, Victoria’s Secret, PayPal, Expedia, Home Depot, Kmart, Sears, the Apple App Store, eBay, Dell and Zappos.

Mainstream acceptance of Bitcoin is increasing.
Bitcoin as a means of payment is becoming more popular all the time.

There are more and more use cases. The above only scratches the surface. If you have any questions or comments about bitcoin, do feel free to get in contact.

PD – The secret sauce for your prescription

The Pupillary Distance (commonly known as PD or Distance PD) is the secret sauce in your glasses prescription. It is rarely, if ever, included in the copy of the prescription that you receive (or should receive!) after your eye examination yet it is absolutely critical. An incorrect PD can result in strained eyes, headaches and worse, particularly for those with stronger prescriptions.

So what is the PD?

It is the distance between the centre of the pupils of your eyes, something designated as a single number (e.g. on average 63-65mm for men and 60mm for women) and more commonly as a Dual PD – the distance between the centre of each eye and the middle of the bridge of your nose (e.g. PD(Left) = 31.5mm ; PD(Right) = 33mm). These distances might be different so the Dual PD is a more accurate measurement and is ideally the one you want (especially if you have a wonky nose like me!).

What is the PD for?

The PD allows the lens crafter to accurately position the optical centre of each lens with centre of each pupil. This means that the corrective power of the lens is in perfect alignment with your field of vision – exactly what you’re looking for.

An inaccurate PD can mean that the perfect focal point of your lens could be slightly off and the stronger the correction required, the more this effect is exacerbated, leading to discomfort.

For multifocal lenses (bifocal or progressive) where there is a “distance” requirement for e.g. driving and a “reading” requirement for close-up detail there are two PD’s – the Distance PD and the Near PD where the Near PD is typically 3-4mm less than the Distance PD and allows the lens crafter to compensate for the effect when your eyes “narrow” to focus on nearby items.

How do I get my PD?

So, if you want to order glasses online it is very important that you ask your Optician for your PD. As mentioned above, the PD typically isn’t written down on your prescription so you may have to ask your optician for it. Then, when you order online at Easy Optical you’ll be able to enter your PD as part of the order process or you can send it to with along with your other prescription details if you prefer.

About Easy Optical

If you need prescription glasses, sunglasses or even over-the-counter reading glasses, visit our website (www.easyoptical.com) and we’ll be happy to help.

Understanding your prescription – part 1

The first of a series of blogs explaining how to interpret your glasses prescription and how to then use your prescription to order glasses online.

Part 1 – Reading your prescription

One of the mysteries of buying a pair of prescription glasses is understanding how to interpret the jargon on your prescription.

After your eye test, your optician is legally obliged to give you a copy of your prescription after your eye test so don’t forget to ask for a copy.

In the UK, In order for your prescription to be valid, you must be over 18 years of age, not registered blind or partially blind and your Eye test must have taken place within the last two years. If you are over 70 years of age your eye test must be less than one year old.

Although the exact terminology may differ slightly, all prescriptions contain the information required to create the appropriate corrective lenses for you.

Your optician will normally tell you which type of glasses you require during your eye exam and explain their likely use. For example, Distance for driving, Reading for your phone or a book. These are prescriptions for Single Vision lenses.

If you are over 40, you make find that you need glasses for both distance and close-up. In this case, your optician will advise multifocal lenses – possibly the more traditional bifocal lens, which offers two distinct fields of vision – distance and reading or more likely, the modern progressive lens, which offers distance and reading corrections in a more modern, multifocal lens, normally computer-designed for greater accuracy.

In our next blog, we’ll explain the Pupillary Distance (PD) and how it is an integral part of your prescription – and isn’t normally included, so be sure to ask your optician for it after your eye test.

About Easy Optical

If you need prescription glasses, sunglasses or even over-the-counter reading glasses, visit website (www.easyoptical.com) and we’ll be happy to help.