Hong Kong Merchants Will Accept Crypto Payments Alongside Indonesia-Based Start-Up
Indonesia-based Pundi X aims to widen cryptocurrency use in day-to-day retail transactions in Hong Kong, challenging the city’s Monetary Authority. The regulator previously stated that the digital currency is not considered legal tender, nor is it virtual money.
The Indonesian startup hopes to construct an offline framework for crypto-based sales in Hong Kong, and already concluded trials involving its POS component. The successful trial finalizes the company’s plan to implement over 5,000 units within the region by August's end.
The initiative to expand the use of bitcoin and various other cryptocurrencies as a method of payment within Hong Kong’s restaurants and other establishments challenges the Monetary Authority’s decision that crypto holds no real monetary value.
The creators of Pundi X aim to implement themselves as a type of “Walmart” of virtual currency, and has set their sights on creating a payment framework in HK enabling consumers to purchase items with different types of crypto via its POS unit.
A POS component processes payments electronically directly inside a retail establishment rather than online, which is where digital currencies are typically spent. It can be utilized alongside a digital currency debit card, which is able to be replenished via bitcoin or multiple other cryptocurrencies.
In addition, the Pundi X device is connected to digital wallets and offers purchasing options through Visa, Apple Pay, and more.
Pundi X’s CEO Zac Cheah believes that HK is an ideal location to launch their device as it caters to tourists, visitors and tech-savvy consumers. He stated that after they implement more than 5,000 devices in the next month, they will exceed the crypto network of bitcoin ATM’s worldwide.
Bitcoin ATMs, like typical ATMs, allow consumers to withdraw crypto funds in traditional cash through a digital currency exchange, not a bank.
However, a crypto ATM continues to prevent users from purchasing products with crypto directly- a feature upon which traditional banks, like Indonesia’s national bank, have imposed a ban. Company officials in Indonesia refuse to initiate crypto payments until the laws permit them to.
In 2015, the city’s Monetary Authority announced that bitcoin is not considered legal monetary tender, but rather, a digital “commodity”. They states that since bitcoin is not backed by anything, along with its volatile nature, it cannot be qualified as actual money.