A new trend in the world of Bitcoin and digital currency involves bringing consumer’s attention to using alternative payment methods. One way to tackle that problem is by bringing Bitcoin and digital currency to convenience stores, which are part of our everyday lives. Similar initiatives have taken place in countries such as Mexico, and it looks like Taiwan is next.
Buying Bitcoin in A Convenient Manner
One of the most common arguments in the Bitcoin community is how it is still far from easy to purchase your first Bitcoins. Exchanges are available in nearly every country, but they have to adhere to strict laws and regulations, forcing customers to provide documents to verify their identity. Needless to say, this verification procedure can take anywhere from a few minutes up to a few days, and people don’t like to wait for that.
On top of that, consumers are fairly limited in terms of which payment methods they can use once their verification process has completed. A Bank transfer is the most obvious option, which can take a few days to complete and may cost you a small fee. More convenient payment methods such as credit cards or PayPal are not accepted, because those are reversible payment methods, whereas Bitcoin itself is not.
That being said, a Taiwanese startup company called Maicoin is looking to change that situation. By bringing an option to purchase Bitcoin to 10,000 local convenience stores, digital currency becomes much more accessible. Especially when you take into account it can be bought either from in-store terminals, or over-the-counter.
One of the reasons why bitcoin could become a major player in Taiwan is because the digital currency is used as a remittance tool, allowing foreigners to send money back home in a quick and cheap way. And the benefit for the recipient is rather obvious, as they do not need a bank account to receive their funds either.
Obtaining Bitcoin through the Maicoin service is easy. Customers can install the Maicoin mobile application and use it to place their order for digital currency. Once that is done, make your way to one of the local shopkeepers and complete the transaction. For those customers who do have a bank account, they can use a similar service through bank ATM’s by using a direct fund transfer.
Not The First Project To Target Convenience Stores
Taiwan is proving to be an interesting testbed for these kind of projects. It is not the first time convenience stores have offered Bitcoin purchases to their customers. Earlier this year, BitoEX enabled the purchase of Bitcoin across thousands of convenience stores in the country, including 7-11. BitoEx’s service operates on the same idea, requiring a mobile phone number and a PIN code to transfer BTC to your wallet.
Maicoin uses a mobile application as well – called MaiWallet – from which users can set up the purchase of Bitcoin on their mobile device. Do keep in mind this application is currently in closed beta, but requesting an invite will usually get you into the program pretty fast. If all goes to plan, MaiWallet will be available to the public later this summer.
At this point, the service is only intended to allow the purchase of Bitcoins by using a more convenient method. We have not received any official indication on whether or not the same service can be used to sell Bitcoin in exchange for local currency in the future.
Source: Press Release via Email
Images courtesy of Maicoin, MaiWallet and Shutterstock