Korean online retailer plans to accept payment in cryptocurrencies

March 5, 2020

A major local online shopping mall and one
of South Korea’s biggest currency exchange are joining forces to develop a system that
would allow purchases using crypto-currency. Although not an entirely new concept…, it
is still foreign to many in the nation. Lee Jeong-yeon provides a closer look. A major project is underway in South Korea
for virtual currency. One of the country’s biggest online shopping
malls, Wemakeprice, and the largest local crypto exchange, Bithumb, are working on a
system that’ll see virtual currencies used on a large scale… for their original purpose
— namely, buying things. Currently, Bithumb and Wemakeprice are waiting
on government regulations on virtual currency to be finalized before launching the service. If this were to become possible, it would
mean that 12 types of virtual currency, including Bitcoin, Ripple, and Ethereum, could be used
to make purchases online. It’s not the first time in Korea that a vendor
has accepted virtual currency, but it is the first time that a major online retailer has
done so. Crypto prices are notorious for their volatility,
so transactions will reflect the coins’ value in real time. But not everyone’s convinced. “I think for now the prices of cryptocurrency
fluctuate too much, so I would think twice before using it as money. But it would be convenient if I could.” “Virtual currency isn’t yet backed by by the
government, so I think there’s a risk. I’m not sure, but I feel like it’s too soon
to be used as currency.” In the United States, Bitcoin is already accepted
by major online platforms such as Overstock, Expedia, and Microsoft. Japanese electronics store BicCamera has also
started accepting it at their brick-and-mortar stores. So there’s evidence that cryptos are gaining
a foothold, but experts see significant downsides. “The current crop doesn’t really have a central
authority trying to stabilize the prices, so I think they’re working against themselves
in trying to make this a currency. The value is just too volatile.” Still, the expert says it might be worth a
try. “It will be an interesting experiment. I think a lot of people will look at this
as perhaps trying to figure out what the future path of the cryptocurrency will be, whether
it will be able to fulfill its original intention as a currency or whether it will just be a
niche asset like gold.” He also speculates that it could be years
before the value of cryptos is stable enough for it to become a mainstream form of currency. Lee Jeong-yeon, Arirang News

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  • Reply Cody Ferris January 29, 2018 at 1:18 pm

    Too bad cryptocurrencies are illegal in Korea

  • Reply Wither Rump May 2, 2019 at 7:09 am

    South Korea Crypto News on The Crypto Sight – Crypto Insight: The FSC Announced Names of Companies in New E-payment, Blockchain-focused Regulatory Sandbox

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