Bithumb To Support Crypto Payments At 6,000 South Korean Stores

One of South Korea’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges, Bithumb, is partnering with mobile payment service provider ‘Pay’s’ to support crypto payments at 6,000 merchant outlets across the country. A Bithumb official told Korea Times that Bithumb has “taken a landmark step”.

The deal was struck on Monday and involves 200 individual, franchised brands to adopt the service at 6,000 shops. The brands include; ‘Sulbing’, ‘Café Droptop’ and a candle store called ‘Yankee Candle’.

Bithumb and ‘Pay’s’ aim to roll the service out to 8,000 outlets by the end of 2018. According to Bithumb this is part of their aim to create an “environment in which cryptocurrencies are used extensively”. 

Kimchi Premium

South Korea’s appetite for crypto-assets has been very strong over the past year and many crypto-assets have been trading at a premium of 50% vs US markets at the peaks of the crypto market rally in December 2017. However, as the markets have cooled the 'Kimchi Premium' as dropped and is currently around 5%.

Whether the demand for speculating on crypto-assets will translate into spending them is yet to be seen. However, it undoubtedly marks a positive step in the adoption of crypto-assets into the vibrant South Korean economy.

Binance Acquires Crypto Debit Card Issuer for an Undisclosed Sum

Leading cryptocurrency exchange Binance has acquired cryptocurrency debit card issuer Swipe for an undisclosed sum, in a deal that gets the platform one step closer to issuing its Binance Card.

Finance Magnates reports the firms shared revealed the companies will “work together to further mainstream adoption of cryptocurrencies,” by further bringing fiat and digital assets together. The deal will allow for cryptos to be used as a payment method in the traditional financial system.

Binance unveiled its plan to launch a Visa crypto debit card earlier this year, but was having difficulties implementing it. The acquisition of crypto start Swipe should help fix these difficulties and support the exchange in its “mission of making crypto more accessible to the masses.”

Per Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao, off-ramps are a key component to be considered in its mission. He added:

By giving users the ability to convert and spend crypto directly, and have merchants still seamlessly accept fiat, this will make the crypto experience much better for everyone.

Binance and Swipe listed each other’s native tokens as part of the deal. Binance now has trading pairs for Swipe’s SXP token, while the Binance Coin (BNB) was added to the cryptocurrencies, stablecoins, and fiat currencies available as a payment method on Swipe.

Swipe, it’s worth noting, converts cryptoassets into fiat currencies at the point of purchase. Users pay in a cryptoassets of their choice, which is then converted into fiat currency the merchant receives, so the latter does not have to manage cryptoassets, or accept payments in them directly.

Swipe’s cards are issued by Contis Financial Services, a visa Principal Member regulated by the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority. They are available in 31 countries within the European Economic Area, and support transactions in euros, pounds, U.S. dollars, Korean won, and Philippine pesos.

The firm’s CEO Joselito Lizarondo revealed partnering will Binance will “place Swipe in the position to make cryptocurrencies more accessible for millions of users worldwide.” Binance Card users will be able to get up to 4% cashback in bitcoin on their purchases, which will be available in over 50 million locations in the world.

Featured image via Pixabay.