The value of bitcoin may have gone down, but its interest has surged. A budding startup in the US has developed an app that will allow Hong Kong coffee drinkers to get their favorite drinks from Starbucks and pay using bitcoins
Customers will get a discount of up to twenty percent when they pay using bitcoins. Fold, the name of the app, has been adopted by Starbucks and will be used in its stores within the city.
The app can be synced with other stored value payment cards. The cards, such as Octopus, are synced with the account of the user on the app. Fold will offer discounts to Starbucks consumers by purchasing dollars from Starbucks unused cards at heavily discounted prices. The savings accrued will then be passed on to the app users.
It is envisaged that the app will bring a new dawn to bitcoins shaky past. The Chief Executive of the app, Matt Luongo, says that he believes the app will help bitcoin curve out a new image for itself. He said that he is looking forward to seeing more consumers adopting this digital currency and getting better bargains for their products.”Till now, people see it as a tool for speculative purposes or a scam. Adoption of Bitcoin and offering incentives to use it will definitely drive more usage for bitcoin” he said.
Michael Chau Chin Lung, Hong Kong University Associate professor, agreed with Matt. He said that though the app will be more useful to merchants, offering discounts will definitely pull more people to using bitcoins.
President of Hong Kong’s Bitcoin association, LeonHard Weese said that the app will offer a seamless way for consumers to pay using bitcoins. He said that he believes other retailers will follow suite and adopt the app.
Starbucks spokesperson said that Starbucks has always been on the forefront in digital innovation. Consumers should expect to have more digital-friendly products.
Elsewhere, a bitcoin conference is currently on going in Hong Kong. Hundreds of industry participants are expected to be in attendance. The conference has been held in the wake of the slump in bitcoin price from a high of $1242 .
Since the emergence of bitcoins, allegations are rife that it has been used to fuel illegal transactions on the internet.
About 150 people have recently reported to authorities in Hong Kong that the trading platform, Mycoin, had defrauded them over HK$100 million.