New York City Chiropractor Becomes First to Accept Bitcoin as Payment


One New York City chiropractor who has always prided himself on staying on the cutting edge of nonsurgical treatment has made another technological advancement in his practice: He will now be accepting Bitcoin digital currency as payment, making him the first chiropractor in the area to do so.

Bitcoin is one of the most prominent of the so-called cryptocurrencies, meaning that its value is based on user consensus and controlled by cryptology (complex algorithms), rather than by a central authority.

“When it comes down to it, it’s about the patient’s convenience. If a patient needs something to make their recovery process easier, I want to do my best to be able to provide it,” said Dr. Steven Shoshany in a news release.

Shoshany was one of the first chiropractors in the city to offer digitally controlled spinal decompression therapy as an alternative to surgical back treatments, and also worked on the national stage to educate patients about the Kinesio taping method.

Doctors of chiropractic are best known in the public sphere for their treatment of back pain — an ailment that affects about 80% of the population at some point in their lives, according to expert estimates — but Shoshany is among a generation of chiropractors who often combine chiropractic adjustments with other types of treatment, such as pain management, physical therapy and massage, to treat a wide range of musculoskeletal complaints. Patients also have access to osteopathic physicians at the clinic, which accepts some insurance plans in addition to cash, credit cards and (now) Bitcoin.

Shoshany said he thinks that New York provides an ideal venue for ideas like Bitcoin to gain popularity. “I’m also aware that it is the cool new thing, and New York City is the place where things like this tend to take hold,” he commented.

Shoshany’s chiropractic clinic isn’t the only place in the city where Bitcoin is making a splash, either; just last week, New York City Councilman Mark Levine introduced a new bill that would allow residents to pay fines and fees with Bitcoin. Because Bitcoin involves much lower processing fees than credit cards, the city could stand to see a significant financial improvement in the collections of such payments.

Levine, too, made the connection between Bitcoin use and New York as an innovative city that should see itself as competing with tech-savvy areas such as Silicon Valley and Boston. “I think that being the first major city in the U.S. to make this move sends a clear signal that we’re innovators here,” Levine told the website CoinDesk Feb. 16.