America has International House of Pancakes (IHOP), but Aruba has Linda’s Aruba Pancakes and Pizza. Linda’s Aruba is a family-owned restaurant in Palm Beach, Aruba, run by Stefan Oosterwaal, son of the legendary Linda. Since 2001, the staff at Linda’s Aruba has satisfied the appetites of locals and tourists simultaneously with their delicious pannenkoeken, authentic Dutch pancakes that are light, thin, huge (20 inches!) and very flavorful with endless variations. Continue reading about how Stefan sees bitcoin being widely adopted in Aruba.
After Stefan’s brother told him about bitcoin in 2014, he developed a strong interest in it and decided to start accepting bitcoin at the restaurant. Linda’s Aruba receives about two bitcoin payments per month. Most of these instances are with bitcoin users who have heard, read, or seen that the restaurant accepts bitcoin and visit with the intention to use their bitcoin somewhere and to support a bitcoin-friendly merchant.
When asked about the trigger behind his decision, Stefan shared that “banking system is expensive, slow with lots of red tape, and credit card fees for merchants are high.” Because the island has a local currency (Aruban Florin) but US dollars are accepted everywhere as well, there are always challenges with going between the two different currencies. In Aruba, eCommerce is virtually non-existent due to a lack of payment methods, making it almost impossible to accept credit cards or other payments online. The solutions that exist are either way too expensive, or deposits will not be made to bank accounts in Aruba at all. Every time Stefan uses his USD credit card to make an online purchase, he is charged an extra 3% when paying off the credit card from his Aruban Florin bank account.
There are many people who visit Aruba for internships for a couple of months or for short-term work (2~3 years in duration). These people have trouble getting bank accounts because of red tape. Similarly, many immigrants from South America are unable to obtain bank accounts until they have all of the paperwork in order, which take months or even years.As a result, they utilize services like Western Union to send money back to their families, which poses a hassle and remains very expensive with flat fees starting at about $15.00 plus additional fees and taxes.
Bitcoin helps eradicate all of these fees and headaches, and that is why Linda’s Aruba offers a 10% discount to anybody who pays with bitcoin! In his spare time, Stefan advocates for bitcoin with the hope that Aruba will come to heavily rely on bitcoin. He also enjoys shopping online – through purse.io!
Linda’s is open Monday through Saturday from 8AM to 10PM and breakfast is served all day, which is always a good thing. You never know when you might need to stop in after a day of snorkeling or sailing to satisfy your hunger with a plate full of crispy dough topped with walnuts, honey, and brie.
Aruba is an island in the southern Caribbean only 27km off the coast of Venezuela. It is a former colony of the Netherlands and now an independent entity within the Kingdom of the Netherlands, hence the Dutch influence everywhere on the island.