Japan’s Bitpoint to Add Bitcoin Payments to 100,000+ Stores

Bitpoint has recently partnered with Peach Aviation to provide bitcoin payment tech to the company, and now plans to do the same at “hundreds of thousands of Japanese retail outlets.”

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From Peach Aviation to 100,000+ Stores

Japan's Bitpoint to Add Bitcoin Payments to 100,000+ StoresPeach Aviation Ltd announced last week that it will be the first Japanese airline to accept bitcoin for tickets. Peach is Japan’s first Low-Cost Carrier (LCC) and is majority owned by the country’s largest airline, All Nippon Airways Co. Ltd (ANA).

To accept bitcoin, the low-cost airline has partnered with Bitpoint Japan Co, a bitcoin exchange and payments startup founded on March 3, 2016. In addition to allowing Peach to accept bitcoin for flight tickets, the companies are working together to add bitcoin Japan's Bitpoint to Add Bitcoin Payments to 100,000+ Storespayment options to souvenir shops, restaurants, and hotels at travel destinations. Furthermore, “we will jointly install bitcoin ATMs where customers can withdraw cash from bitcoin,” their partnership agreement reveals.

On Monday, Bloomberg reported that Bitpoint is “planning to give hundreds of thousands of Japanese retail outlets the ability to accept the digital currency.” The company’s president, Genki Oda, said, “We’re holding discussions with a retail-related company,” adding that:

We’re also talking to a big convenience store operator about using it [bitcoin] … By going through a company providing payment terminal services to shops, we have the possibility of increasing its use at one stroke. It’s easier than talking to lots of individual retailers.

Japan's Bitpoint to Add Bitcoin Payments to 100,000+ StoresBitpoint currently has ties with several retailers and plans to expand that number, Oda told the publication. The aim is to promote the use of bitcoin in retail stores instead of as a speculative investment, he detailed.

Oda also runs Bitpoint’s parent company, Remixpoint Inc., a publicly-traded conglomerate with a market value of about 21 billion yen ($189 million).

400,000+ Stores Could Accept Bitcoin

Japan's Bitpoint to Add Bitcoin Payments to 100,000+ StoresSince April 1, when the Japanese government started recognizing bitcoin as a legal method of payment, a slew of Japanese companies have started considering accepting bitcoin. The first major retailer to do so following the government’s move was Bic Camera, one of the country’s biggest electronics retailers. The company partnered with Japan’s largest bitcoin exchange by volume, Bitflyer, to accept bitcoin.

Also in April, another bitcoin exchange, Coincheck, announced that it had been working with Recruit Lifestyle to bring bitcoin payments to over 260,000 stores by this summer. Claiming to hold 99% of the bitcoin payment market share, Coincheck said that about 5,000 stores already accept the digital currency using its payments system.

Japan's Bitpoint to Add Bitcoin Payments to 100,000+ StoresThen last week, Bitflyer CFO, Midori Kanemitsu, independently told Nikkei that the number of stores accepting bitcoin “is expected to rise to 300,000 or so in 2017.”

If Kanemitsu’s estimation is added to Monday’s announcement by Bitpoint, then the total number of stores that could start accepting bitcoin soon could rise to 400,000+.

Do you think Bitpoint will successfully add bitcoin payments to 100,000+ stores? Also, how many stores do you think will accept bitcoin in Japan this year? Let us know in the comments section below.

Use of Bitcoin in Ecuador Continues to Grow Despite Government Ban

Before issuing their own digital currency, Ecuador banned all others including bitcoin back in July 2014. However, today bitcoin’s use continues to grow in the country.

 

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Use of Bitcoin in Ecuador Continues to Grow Despite Government BanAs part of a reform to the country’s monetary and financial laws, Ecuador banned bitcoin and other digital currencies in July 2014. The then-President Rafael Correa, who served from 2007 to 2017, introduced the bill that made bitcoin illegal and signed it into law.

This law demands Bitcoin businesses “shut down their operations immediately.[…] Those who defy the ban will face prosecution, and all bitcoins circulated and assets in bitcoin trades face confiscation,” Panam Post reported at the time.

State-Run Digital Currency

Use of Bitcoin in Ecuador Continues to Grow Despite Government BanPart of the aforementioned law calls for the creation of an Ecuadorian state-issued digital currency backed by the assets of the Ecuador’s Central Bank (BCE).

Soon after banning bitcoin, the government rolled out its own digital currency, called Dinero Electrónico. It is pegged one-to-one to the US dollar, which is the country’s official currency.

However, Ecuador’s private banks did not have confidence in the central bank’s electronic money system. Julio José Prado, President of the Association of Private Banks (ABPE) said at the time:

We cannot at this point support any financial program that is administered by the BCE since we have no confidence that it is secure.

Alexandra Veloz is an attorney based in Quito, the capital of Ecuador, and a member of the Ecuadorian Bar Association. She is currently the legal counsel for the Antigua Report. Referring to the state-run digital currency program, she said last week that “the new system has garnered plenty of criticism, and adoption from banks and customers has been limited at best.”

Use of Bitcoin Continues in Ecuador

Regarding the prohibition of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, Veloz explained that:

The prohibition, however, does not ban digital currency outright.[…] Ecuadorian officials have neglected to punish defiant bitcoin use.

Use of Bitcoin in Ecuador Continues to Grow Despite Government BanShe noted that the government’s move was “more precisely, a monopoly privilege: the Ecuadorian state has the exclusive power to put its own digital money into circulation via the central bank.”

Despite the government making bitcoin illegal, its use has not halted in Ecuador, Veloz shared. There are buyers and sellers in the country who list themselves on Localbitcoins.com and bitcoin can also be purchased via Paypal like other online purchases, the attorney detailed. At press time, the cost of a bitcoin in Quito on the Localbitcoins market carries at least a $200 premium. Veloz added:

A small number of businesses have also taken the risk of establishing bitcoin as an alternative for payment. The national taxation and invoicing system do not integrate these transactions, but they remain an available option.

The Ecuadorian Bitcoin community even gathered to celebrate Bitcoin Pizza Day on May 22.

Use of Bitcoin in Ecuador Continues to Grow Despite Government Ban
Ecuadorian Bitcoin community (Photo\bitcoinecuador.org)

Do you think the Ecuadorian government will allow Bitcoin to thrive? Let us know in the comments section below.

Russian Bankers Push to Legalize Cryptocurrency

Russian bankers released a statement May 26, saying that cryptocurrency should be legalized for circulation. This message comes from German Gref, who is head of the Russian Sberbank. Gref said there needs to be an honest and intelligible conversation about cryptocurrencies, because attempts to ban it have only caused problems in the past. 

 

A Russian news article Russian Bankers Push to Legalize Cryptocurrencymentioned Greff’s commentary: “Gref stressed that they now engage in a constructive dialogue about cryptocurrency, the Central Bank are trying to understand – what is it and what to do next. ‘Attempts to introduce bans will only lead to the loss of existing competitors,’ said the head of the financial institution.”

Cryptocurrency May Become “Digital Product” in Russia

In another article by the same Russian news outlet, the Russian government’s Deputy Chairman Regulator of the Central Bank, Olga Skorobogatova, said government is preparing amendments regarding cryptocurrencies and the tax code. Skorobogatova went on to admit that government cannot control how many cryptocurrencies can be created. The Russian news page said,

Skorobogatov noted that virtual assets continue to be emitted, no gold reserves, they are not provided, there is no control over their number.

The Russian news outlet went on to say that government or the “financial market” does not necessarily see cryptocurrency as a threat, because government considers it a “digital product.” This is likely why government is seeking to create amendments for it in their tax code.

The article said, “Therefore, financial market electronic money does not consider it a threat. But, if you do not begin to deal with this issue, you can skip a significant risk increase.”

Russian Officials Want to Understand and Accept Cryptocurrency

Between bankers and government Russian Bankers Push to Legalize Cryptocurrencyofficials changing their perspective, it appears there could be a movement toward more political acceptance of cryptocurrency in Russia. This information comes as bitcoin’s popularity has surged over recent weeks and Japan has classified bitcoin as a payment method along others.

It looks like some governments and bankers are trying to understand cryptocurrency rather than react against it.

Do you think that Russia will accept and legalize cryptocurrencies? Let us know in the comments section below.

Bitcoin Experiences an Intense Flow of New Money and Mainstream Attention

Over the past month, mainstream media has given Bitcoin the spotlight due to the digital currency’s recent jumps in value. Multiple news reports featured in prominent publications and on television are saying mainstream investors are flocking to cryptocurrencies in great number.

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‘The Laughter is Fading’

Mainstream media is giving Bitcoin a lot of attention because the digital asset’s market value has gained significant value in a short period of time. To put the jump in value into perspective, bitcoin’s price has risen by 87% in just thirty days. Now many broadcasts and publications are reporting on bitcoin nearly every day giving the technology quite a bit of exposure.

Bitcoin Experiences an Intense Flow of New Money and Mainstream Attention
John Bollinger, the inventor of the financial analysis indicator Bollinger Bands, mentions bitcoin to his 11,000 Twitter followers.

Bitcoin can be seen on television as news broadcasts such as Fox, NBC, and CNBC are reporting on the subject regularly. Additionally, the decentralized currency is being featured in editorial publications such as Market Watch, Time Magazine, Forbes, Business Insider, Bloomberg, and the New York Time. For instance, on May 26 the investment news outlet Market Watch headline reads;

Wall Street laughed at a call for bitcoin at $25,000 — but after a 400% surge, the laughter is fading

Bitcoin the Mother of All ‘FOMO Trades’

Bitcoin Experiences an Intense Flow of New Money and Mainstream Attention
IG financial analyst Chris Weston.

More mainstream exposure happened last week as the American socialite and professional poker player, Dan Bilzerian, told his 22.3 million Instagram followers he was buying a lot of bitcoin.

“Just bought a sh*tload of bitcoin — it’s so crazy watching that sh*t f**king go up it’s like… betting a bunch of money on the Super Bowl,” explained Bilzerian.

The well known IG financial analyst Chris Weston also notes the new money flowing into bitcoin is huge. “I genuinely can’t wait to see young tech heads driving down Collins Street in a new Aston, because they had the stones to be able to hold their exposure through what has been an exponential move without ever having taken profit,” explains Weston.

Bitcoin is the mother of all ‘FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) trades’ — Perhaps the fact I am putting so much focus on bitcoin suggests a top has been seen and I am the taxi driver contrarian indicator. We shall see but flows into bitcoin have been huge.

Replacing the USD and a Whole Lot of Smart Money Coming In

Moreover, on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s (ABC) nightly news brief the host detailed that bitcoin could possibly replace the U.S. dollar. During the newscast, ABC said there is a chance alternative monetary systems like cryptocurrencies can become the next de facto world currency in the future.

Bitcoin Experiences an Intense Flow of New Money and Mainstream Attention
Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s (ABC) nightly news host says Bitcoin could replace the U.S. Dollar.

Additionally, many investors were quite surprised to hear how much the Boston-based Fidelity Bank, CEO Abigail Johnson liked bitcoin. Fidelity has added Coinbase accounts to their online banking platform, and the firm has been mining bitcoin with 21 Inc. computers as well. Nick Kirk, a former IBM Researcher, explains, “They basically let the world know they are looking at it.”

The smart money is starting to come in now.

Enormous Momentum

These days there is significant interest in cryptocurrencies stemming from Asia and not just from China anymore. India, Japan, and South Korea are starting to become dominant players within bitcoin trading markets. There definitely seems to be a whole lot of money moving towards cryptocurrencies like never before as the entire market capitalization commands a whopping $83 billion. These valuable currencies are also trading over $4.6 billion USD worth of cryptocurrencies daily, and bitcoin is capturing half this share all by itself. Last but not least another mainstream mogul also is very optimistic in regards to bitcoin adoption. The Former anti-virus tycoon John McAfee believes bitcoin’s price velocity will continue to rise.

“Bitcoin has enormous momentum,” McAfee notes.

Do you think a whole lot of mainstream investors and new money is flowing into cryptocurrencies? Let us know what you think in the comments below.

Bitcoin’s Price Correction Called in Advance by Analyst

As bitcoin’s price skyrocketed on Thursday May 25, one analyst predicted an imminent correction. The price of bitcoin soon fell sharply before reaching $2,800 as she predicted. She also gave some price forecasts, warning of a downturn for the rest of the year but record highs in 2018.

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Fibonacci Retracement

Bitcoin's Price Correction Called in Advance by AnalystAn analyst at Forex Analytix, Nicola Duke, uses a method called Fibonacci retracement to analyze the price of bitcoin as well as determine its support and resistance levels.

This popular technical analysis tool is based on the idea that markets will retrace a predictable portion of a move before continuing in the original direction. It looks at the peaks and troughs or rallies and falls of historical bitcoin prices in order to forecast future movements.

“According to Fibonacci analysis, the way bull markets typically work is that you’ll have a pullback that stops when it retraces a key percentage of a previous move higher,” CNBC explains, adding that these key percentages come from Fibonacci Ratios. Examples of key ratios which technical traders like to use are .618, .786, 1.27, 1.618, and 2.618.

Bitcoin’s Price Analysis

Duke’s Fibonacci retracement analysis chart, using Bitstamp weekly prices going back to 2013, was published on Tradingview.com on Thursday.

Bitcoin's Price Correction Called in Advance by Analyst with More Predictions
BTCUSD support levels weekly chart (Photo\Nicola Duke)

She indicated on the chart that $2,283 is the short-term trend support; another support level above that is $2,800. In addition, bitcoin has two major support levels below $2,283. They are $2,145 and the more likely $1750-80. Both are shown on her chart.

In an interview with CNBC on Thursday morning, Duke explained that “wave two” of bitcoin began in the fall of 2013. The price of bitcoin rallied sharply for several months before falling steadily. It bottomed out in January 2015, then began to climb again. Currently, bitcoin is in “wave three”, the publication relayed her findings:

$2,800 could be the level at which bitcoin begins its fall. The price is likely to hit $1,780, but could even fall as far as $1,470.

Duke expects this next wave, which is the fourth, to last 61.8 percent of how long wave two lasted. 61.8 percent is one of the key Fibonacci ratios.

She believes that the rally after the correction would start in January. “We will see the bottom at the start of January, that is when stock markets typically tend to have a correction as well,” she noted, then explained to CNBC that:

After that, there should be a sustained rally to $3,350 and then $4,480 in 2018.

What do you think of this Fibonacci retracement analysis? Let us know in the comments section below.

South Korean Bitcoin Exchanges Trade $1000 Over Global Average

Bitcoin is shining brightly in South Korea as the price per BTC in the region has reached upwards of $3500-3800 across the country’s top three exchanges. Many traders are finding significant arbitrage opportunities due to South Korean spreads being over $1000 higher than the global average.

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South Korean Bitcoin Trade Volume Is Surging

Bitcoin is very popular in South Korea at the moment. According to statistics, the country’s top three exchanges Bithumb, Korbit, and Coinone are exploding with bitcoin volume over the past few months. The trading platforms are processing roughly $200 million USD worth of Korean Won-KRW/BTC trades daily, and lately, most of these trades have been well above the global average. Alongside this, the South Korean Localbitcoins volumes and spreads have been off the charts as well.

South Korean Bitcoin Exchanges Trade $1000 Over Global Average
Korbit and Coinone KRW Prices May 24, 11pm EST.

Fintech Friendly Authorities

South Korean Bitcoin Exchanges Trade $1000 Over Global Average The region has also been blossoming with startups dedicated to bitcoin remittance and financial tech advancement. The South Korean government has been very friendly towards digital currencies, and the country is steadily becoming a technology hub. Just recently the government lowered the equity capital requirement for bitcoin companies working with remittances. The new statutes will begin on June 18 with a reduction of required capital to 1 billion KRW in contrast to the prior requirement of 2 billion KRW.

Additionally, researchers from the South Korean central bank recently released a report that detailed that virtual currencies like bitcoin can “coexist with fiat.”

“The recent emergence of digital currency opens up a new type of dual currency regime in which digital currency, which has no intrinsic value and a government-issued fiat currency coexist,” explained the researchers from Seoul’s Hongik University and members of the Bank of Korea’s (BOK) report.


Bithumb price May 24, 2017, 11pm EST.

Korea’s Growing Bitcoin Community and Very Large Remittance Market

Besides the central bank’s and government’s friendly attitude the bitcoin community in South Korea is thriving. For instance, the Seoul Bitcoin Meetup group has over 1,200 members and has over ten upcoming meetings scheduled. This past March the group discussed the differences between soft and hard forks. South Korea is also home to three bitcoin automated teller machines (ATM) as well.

South Korean Bitcoin Exchanges Trade $1000 Over Global Average

South Korea is fertile ground for cryptocurrency use with the country’s remittance market capturing billions every year. Korean remittances have undoubtedly bolstered bitcoin as startups like Korbit has pushed crypto-settlement forward. Financial incumbents like Shinhan Bank are also looking at bitcoin’s benefits towards the large remittance market in Korea.

When it Comes to Bitcoin Korea is One Country to Watch

With all the feverish demand for cryptocurrency solutions and financial technology, Korea has positioned itself as one of the top five leading countries in bitcoin trade volume. It’s safe to say that when it comes to bitcoin adoption, Korea will be one to watch with its population of over 50 million, a multi-billion dollar remittance industry, and a government that bolsters fintech.

What do you think about Bitcoin growth exploding in South Korea? Let us know in the comments below.

Fidelity Integrates with Coinbase, Mines Bitcoin and Accepts Bitcoin at its Cafeteria

fidelity-640x426The CEO of Fidelity Investments, Ms. Abigail Johnson, had a lot to announce at Consensus 2017 on Tuesday regarding the firm’s Bitcoin plans. The company is testing Coinbase integration, is already mining some bitcoin using 21 Inc computers, and employees can now pay for their lunch with bitcoin at the company’s cafeteria.

 

Fidelity CEO is Pro Bitcoin

Fidelity Integrates with Coinbase, Mines Bitcoin Using 21 Inc Computers, and Accepts Bitcoin at its CafeteriaMs. Johnson succeeded her father, Edward C. Jonhson, as the CEO of Fidelity Investments at the end of last year following his retirement announcement. Her father served as the CEO for nearly 40 years. The company currently has about $2.2 trillion in managed assets and manages retirement and savings plans for approximately 26 million people and 23,000 companies.

Consensus 2017 was her first major speaking engagement since she became chairman of the company. Ms. Johnson talked about Bitcoin and blockchain technology while giving the audience a glimpse of Fidelity’s plans for them. She said:

I am in a traditional financial services business – but we at Fidelity can see that the evolution of technology is setting our industry up for disruption.

Fidelity Cafeteria Accepts Bitcoin

Ms. Johnson announced that Fidelity employees can now pay for their lunch using bitcoin at the company’s cafeteria at its headquarters. However, she said that so far fewer than 100 employees have used this option, adding that:

I guess we have a lot of hodlers.

Fidelity Integrates with Coinbase, Mines Bitcoin Using 21 Inc Computers, and Accepts Bitcoin at its Cafeteria

Abigail Johnson

She then went on to share the experience of one employee, Alex. The “Bitcoin Viking,” as she calls him, bought a beverage at the cafeteria and paid with bitcoin. He then tried to return the drink. “But the Bitcoin network was being spammed that day,” Ms. Johnson recalled, therefore “the return process was taking hours.”

Alex then “gave up in despair,” she described then quoted him saying, “It’s like the matrix – I can’t actually use it in real life.”

The usability of bitcoin is slowing down adoption, Ms. Johnson claims. “If you are looking for bitcoin to beat Visa at the point of sale today, you are going to be disappointed.” However, she still has faith in the digital currency, affirming that:

I am still a believer.[…] It’s no accident that I’m one of the few standing before you today from a large financial services firm that hasn’t given up on digital currencies.

Integration with Coinbase

Fidelity Integrates with Coinbase, Mines Bitcoin Using 21 Inc Computers, and Accepts Bitcoin at its CafeteriaAnother big announcement by Ms. Johnson involves an integration with the bitcoin exchange and payment processor, Coinbase.

Since November 2015, the firm has been offering the ability for customers to contribute to their charitable giving accounts using bitcoin. So far, clients have donated $8 million worth, Ms. Johnson shared.

Fidelity customers have expressed an interest in the ability to track their digital currency holdings through the Fidelity website, where they have other financial holdings, according to Ms. Johnson. This feature has been tested with employees and is already available to those with digital currencies at Coinbase, she detailed. Soon, it will roll out to all customers and they will be able to see their Coinbase holdings on the Fidelity website.

Exploring Microtransactions & Bitcoin Mining

Fidelity Labs, the firm’s research group, has made venture investments in a handful of Bitcoin businesses as well as partnering with university efforts, including the MIT Digital Currency Initiative, Ms. Johnson revealed.

Fidelity Integrates with Coinbase, Mines Bitcoin Using 21 Inc Computers, and Accepts Bitcoin at its Cafeteria“We have built proofs of concepts that accept bitcoin micro-transactions,” she detailed. In addition to micropayments, the firm is also exploring various use cases of blockchain technology through these partnerships. “Blockchain technology isn’t just a more efficient way to settle securities. It will fundamentally change market structures, and maybe even the architecture of the Internet itself,” she noted.

Furthermore, Fidelity has set up computers built by 21 Inc to mine bitcoin. “We set up small Bitcoin and ethereum mining operations, just done in the spirit of learning,” Ms. Johnson said. So far, “my…computer has mined over 200,000 satoshis,” she conveyed:

I love this stuff … and what the future holds.[…] I’d like to think that huge new markets and products will be built on these open platforms.

What do you think of Fidelity’s various Bitcoin projects? Let us know in the comments section below.

Japanese Airline Accepts Bitcoin As Cryptocurrency Fever Spreads Across the Region

Bitcoin is surging in Japan in regards to popularity and trade volume, since the country legitimized the digital currency as a legal form of payment this past April. Now one of Japan’s largest discount airline providers Peach Aviation Ltd. has announced it will be the first Japanese service to accept bitcoin for airline tickets.

 

Japanese Airline Service Peach Aviation Will Soon be Accepting Bitcoin for Flights

Japanese Airline Accepts Bitcoin As Cryptocurrency Fever Spreads Across the Region Headquartered in Osaka Japan, Peach Aviation is a well known Japanese air carrier service offering low-cost air travel since 2011. The company stated that bitcoin will be accepted for flights and services at some point towards the end of 2017. Peach said the recent law change regarding the digital currency had bolstered the business move. According to reports Peach also plans to introduce bitcoin to other partner companies and local governments.

“We want to encourage visitors from overseas, and the revitalization of Japan’s regions,” Shinichi Inoue, the founder and CEO of Peach explained. “This is a real first step in partnerships for Japan, and we are aiming for more company and service tie-ups.”

Bitcoin Fever Takes Hold in Japan

The news of Peach Aviation accepting bitcoin follows other merchants in the region accepting bitcoin like the company Bic Camera. Furthermore, the announcement comes at a time where Japanese bitcoin trade volumes and price spreads have been through the roof.

According to Charles Hayter of the bitcoin data and analysis website Cryptocompare at the moment in Japan, “USD-BTC markets are trading at $2100 whilst the JPY-BTC pair is trading at the equivalent of $2500.” Over the course of the past 32 hours, the decentralized currency has been trading at a 19 percent premium, and Hayter says it is due to “Bitcoin fever taking hold.”

Japanese Airline Accepts Bitcoin As Cryptocurrency Fever Spreads Across the Region

The country has taken the spotlight in overall global BTC volume as Japanese volumes are 42-50% of trading with 132k BTC volume or $300 million per day, explains the Cryptocompare founder. Hayter describes the current trading environment in Japan stating;

The Japanese have caught the Bitcoin bug and inefficiencies across markets are being exposed. Irrational exuberance is taking hold as the Japanese stumble over each other to enter the Bitcoin market and drag up international prices.

Now Bitcoin Enthusiasts Can Fly to 22 Destinations Across Asia Using Bitcoin

The Japanese Peach Aviation will join other global airline services that accept bitcoin for flight tickets like the Latvian airline, Airbaltic, LOT Polish Airlines, and more. Alongside this, bitcoin businesses like Coincheck and Bitflyer aim to sign up thousands more Japanese merchants this summer. As bitcoin fever takes hold in the country, Japanese residents from the region and international travelers will be pleased to know they can fly to over 22 destinations across Asia utilizing bitcoin as a form of payment.

What do you think about Peach Aviation accepting bitcoin? What is your opinion about the Bitcoin fever taking place in Japan? Let us know what you think in the comments below.Screenshot_1

Why Michigan’s Oldest Lawn & Power Sports Stores Goes Bitcoin

As bitcoin grows in value, more merchants every day are accepting the digital currency to stay ahead of the times. This week one of Michigan’s largest and oldest lawn equipment and power sports stores — Ball Equipment is now accepting bitcoin.

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73 Year Old Business Thinks Outside the Box

Michigan's Oldest Lawn & Power Sports Store Goes BitcoinThe fourth generation family owned superstore, Ball Equipment, is one of Eastern Michigan’s largest and oldest outdoor power equipment dealerships operating for over 73 years. The store has two locations that sell heavy duty lawn equipment and power sports gear from brands like Polaris, Honda, Can-Am, Cub Cadet, and Husqvarna. This week the business decided to accept bitcoin allowing any of their customers to purchase rideable lawnmowers, ATVs, snowmobiles, dirt bikes and more.

Bitcoin.com talked to Chris Ball, one of the owners of the Michigan state superstores to see why the business decided to start accepting bitcoin. Mr. Ball says that even though they are an old and well-established company the team has always had the corporate philosophy of “getting ourselves outside the ‘we have always done it this way’ box.”

“The quickly evolving world of cryptocurrencies and the media attention it has received is something that attracted our interest. Even before fully understanding it, we knew it was something we should work towards adopting immediately,” explains Mr. Ball.

Bitcoin: ‘Very Appealing from a Profitability Standpoint’

Mr. Ball tells us there are other reasons why the company decided to accept the digital currency.

“For instance, many of the larger ticket items Ball Equipment sells like the ATV’s, and Motorcycles, are typically very low margin products to retail to consumers,” the Ball Equipment executive details.

The transaction fees and potential fraud that exists with traditional payment methods when compared to the ease of secure low-cost payments on high-value transactions made bitcoin very appealing from a profitability standpoint.

“In addition, becoming an early adopter in our very ’old school’ industry gives us the potential to do business on a local and even national level that we would otherwise not have the opportunity. Considering we have found very few of our competitors anywhere accepting bitcoin currently, we do not see much if any downside other than accepting the risk of short term bitcoin value fluctuations.”

A New Customer Base, and Being Prepared for the Future

Michigan's Oldest Lawn & Power Sports Store Goes BitcoinAs of today, Mr. Ball says customers can stop in one of the Ball Equipment showrooms or visit the website, browse the selection of vehicles and products, and then fill out a request quote form to let the company know you are interested in a purchase with bitcoin as a payment method.

“A member of our sales team will follow up to provide a quote and once a final decision is made an invoice will be provided with a QR code from our wallet to send coins for payment,” Mr. Ball explains.

As Bitcoin.com explained last week, as the digital currency continues to see more popularity the trend also follows with people purchasing luxury goods, real estate, and high ticket items. Merchants like Ball Equipment are starting to see the value in opening up sales to a new customer base, a currency that appeals to profitability and allowing their business model to stay on course with the future of payments.

Do you think merchant acceptance is growing as bitcoin becomes more valuable? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.