Bithumb, the largest crypto exchange in South Korea is pushing for cryptocurrency adoption in the country. Over 6,000 stores in Korea will soon accept cryptocurrencies as a mode of payment, thanks to the efforts of the company.
Korea is key for the global cryptocurrency market. Crypto is highly popular in the country. The move by Bithumb will help Korean users to use their crypto for day-to-day transactions like buying food.
Cryptocurrencies are popular, however, their adoption is yet to pick up. There are a number of challenges to overcome before cryptocurrency adoption increases. The good news is that work is in progress to address these.
Cryptocurrencies aren’t exactly user-friendly, for e.g., new users find crypto wallets hard to use. The recent efforts to roll-out user-friendly wallets are moves in the right direction.
Regulations around cryptocurrencies lack clarity in many countries. We have good news there, as governments and lawmakers are increasingly focusing their attention here.
Major cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum, etc. use different blockchain networks. These networks can’t communicate with each other, therefore, centralized crypto exchanged have come up. These are targets of hackers. This is another challenge for crypto adoption, and this area needs more work.
Public blockchain networks like Bitcoin and Ethereum don’t scale well. This results in slower transactions and delay in transaction confirmation. This impedes cryptocurrency adoption. There are efforts underway to address this, for e.g., the Ethereum network upgrade.
The volatile crypto market adversely impacts the adoption of digital currencies. This is attracting negative press, for e.g., Warren Buffet, the legendary investment guru has criticized Bitcoin. Stablecoins could address this, and several such projects have started to make an impact.
Where can one use cryptocurrencies? This is another question that impacts crypto adoption. The move by Bithumb is important in this context.
A new avenue for Cryptocurrency adoption
Bithumb has teamed up with Korea Pay, a mobile payment operator and gift-card platform in South Korea. Their partnership will launch a new joint venture by the end of 2019, which will enable over 6,000 food stores to accept crypto as payment.
These stores will be able to sell sweet treats and meals and receive cryptocurrency payments. Bithumb will also install crypto kiosks in several retail spaces in the country. Crypto users can order food using these, and pay from their Bithumb account.
Crypto users are often at a loss to find where they can spend their digital currencies. The lack of merchant accepting crypto adversely impacts cryptocurrency adoption. Bithumb will soon bring a solution for the Korean crypto users, thanks to this innovative move.
Bithumb isn’t the only stakeholder trying to give avenues to crypto users for spending their digital currencies. Starbucks will enable their patrons to pay for their coffee with crypto. The government in Venezuela has launched a new remittance service that supports Bitcoin and Litecoin.
A key step for crypto adoption
Cryptocurrencies are relatively new. A significant amount of work is needed before their mainstream adoption. Stakeholders need to address various aspects such as ease-of-use, regulations, security, etc.. Bithumb has made a significant move by enabling merchants in Korea to accept crypto as payment.