A partnership between major South Korean cryptocurrency exchange Bithumb and mobile payment service provider Pay’s aims to make cryptocurrencies available at thousands of stores across the country.
According to the Korea Times, the two partners will work together to bring cryptocurrencies to 6,000 outlets by the first half of the year, with a planned expansion to 8,0000 by the end of the year. Furthermore, some 200 franchise brands are also reportedly signing onto the initiative, enabling cryptocurrency adopters to use Pay’s mobile payment service platform to make payments in cryptocurrencies.
In announcing the partnership on Monday, a Bithumb official claimed the endeavor will help fuel the adoption and use of cryptocurrency payments in wider mainstream society.
The official reportedly said:
“We have taken a landmark step. We will try hard to set up an environment in which cryptocurrencies are used extensively.”
Bithumb’s marked push to propel cryptocurrency payments follows news of South Korean internet giant Kakao Corp, the operator of a subsidiary that runs major crypto exchange UpBit, reportedly integrating cryptocurrency payments for 12,000 merchants and millions of users across its platforms that include KakaoTalk, KakaoPay, KakaoStory and KakaoTaxi, among others.
Bithumb has also partnered South Korea’s largest hotel booking platform in recent weeks to integrate cryptocurrency payments.
The effort to foster a cryptocurrency payments ecosystem is reminiscent of similar moves in Japan wherein a number of retailers have begun accepting cryptocurrencies like bitcoin. In Australia, a similar partnership between a domestic crypto exchange and a payments provider has seen 1,200 newsstands across the country now equipped to sell bitcoin and ethereum to everyday citizens.