Business 12 April 2018Erik Gibbs
Bithumb brings offline cryptocurrency payments to South Korea
It wasn’t too long ago that, in some parts of the world, it became possible to use nothing more than a cell phone linked to a bank account to buy products from vending machines. It’s a novel concept that eases the customer experience, and Bithumb, South Korea’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, is hoping to kick things up a notch with vending machines that accept crypto payments. The pilot program has been working well, and the exchange has now expanded its kiosks in the country to accept Bitcoin Cash (BCH).
At the end of March, CoinGeek reported on a program being tested by Bithumb to bring cryptocurrecy to over 8,000 retail merchants. The plan is to make paying with digital currency just as easy as paying with fiat, and the exchange set up partnerships with three kiosk manufacturers—UNO Space, IYU and Tros Systems—to help further its agenda. The kiosks are to be installed in small businesses centered on the food and beverage industry.
With the program up and running and beginning to show signs of success, Bithumb made the decision to incorporate the ability to pay with BCH. The news was first introduced by Bitcoin.com owner and Bitcoin Cash supporter Roger Ver, who tweeted a picture of him standing by one of the machines. The caption under the photo reads, “This food ticket vending machine in Korea is accepting Bitcoin Cash thanks to @BithumbOfficial.”
— Roger Ver (@rogerkver) April 10, 2018
Bithumb hopes to launch three different services for the kiosks. The first two, Touchpad and Touchbone, have been created to offer flexibility to small businesses and allow them to choose the service that best represents their needs. The third, Bithumb Cache, is a service that allows Bithumb traders to convert funds at a kiosk by entering a password.
Bithumb has an average daily trading volume of about $245 million. Its trading platform is available in English, Spanish, Hindu, Chinese and Japanese, and the company offers apps in both the Android and iOS platforms.
Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (SegWit) chain are referenced as BTC coins; tokens on the Bitcoin Cash ABC chain are referenced as BCH, BCH-ABC or BAB coins.
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