South Korean Online Shopping Giants Announce Plans to Accept Bitcoin, Ethereum, Others

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And then you win. WeMakePrice (WMP), a popular online mall in South Korea where you can buy pretty much everything, announced plans to accept 12 digital currencies within weeks.

“WMP has partnered with Bithumb to become the highest-profile company accepting cryptocurrency payments,” Lee Hanul, a spokesman at the company, said according to local media, before further adding:

“The partnership calls for Bithumb to be in sync with WMP’s mobile payment system Wonder Pay, under which the price that the customer should pay will be decided in accordance with the present value of the digital coin used for payment.

The key issue is how to address price fluctuations in cryptocurrencies; therefore, development of a real-time price checking system is in the pipeline to avoid any confusion.”

The company is working on developing a system that directly connects to digital currencies without going through banks or credit cards to save on fees, thus potentially gaining a competitive advantage.

“The official debut of the cryptocurrency payment system could be sometime within the first quarter of this year,” Lee said.

That has seemingly sparked a race with TMON, the second biggest online shopping site in South Korea for mobile users and a WMP competitor, quickly announcing they are also considering offering crypto payments.

“We are talking conservatively because there are still some unstable aspects,” TMON said. While Naver, South Korea’s biggest online portal, is considering a partnership with a crypto exchange.

In contrast to some western merchants dropping bitcoin due to its high fees, South Korean commerce is seemingly happy to provide other crypto options instead, such as Ethereum or Bitcoin Cash, in addition to bitcoin.

Because while BTC might now be useful only for high ticket items, its competitors can handle small value transactions for as good as no fee.

That contrasts with banks or credit card charges of 2% per transaction, and even higher for international transfers, showing the level of savings merchants could expect.

 

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