Korea’s leading online shopping companies such as WeMakePrice and Tmon are moving ahead with the introduction of cryptocurrency payment. When the two big online shopping malls introduce virtual money payment systems, cryptocurrencies considered as an investment target only will be used as a means of full-scale trading.
On January 29, WeMakePrice said that the company is discussing the introduction of virtual currency payment with Korean virtual currency exchange Bithumb. WeMakePrice is considering a way to use virtual currencies in conjunction with its own simple payment service, Wonder Pay. The subjects are 12 kinds of virtual currencies being traded in Bithumb including Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Ripple. When Bithumb user decides to make a purchase with virtual currencies, the amount of cash is set according to the price of a virtual currency at that point and Wonder Pay receives the details and makes payment. This method is aimed at preventing a chaos ignited by sudden fluctuations in virtual currency prices.
However, the time of the introduction is set yet. "We will make the final decision after checking how government regulations such as the government’s virtual currency real name trade system works," a WeMakePrice representative said.
Other online retailing businesses such as 11th Street, Coupang, and eBay say that they are not considering payment with virtual currencies at all. "Virtual currencies are hard to use as a payment tool as they are effete in terms of security and their prices are unstable," an industry source said.
In the US and other countries, virtual currency-based payment is actively being made. According to Coin Map, which shows places where Bitcoin can be spent, there are currently 16,662 places in the world where Bitcoin is used as a payment means.
In Korea, 146 places accept Bitcoin as money. Most of them are known to be small businesses such as jewelry stores and cafes.