Bitcoins burning holes in your pockets? Online stores like Beijing-based IwannaBuy have embraced the hot new digital currency, supporting payments in Bitcoin as an innovative complement to online banking and online payment systems like PayPal and AliPay.
While newsworthy in and of itself, IwannaBuy's decision to add Bitcoin as an optional payment venue was predicated by the distinct needs of its customer base – foreign expatriots living and working in China.
“Many of IwannaBuy's customers don't have online banking enabled for their Chinese bank accounts,” explains Paul Afshar (left), Managing Director of IwannaBuy, “or have encountered problems with using PayPal or AliPay for online payment.” Bitcoin offers an alternative convenient for both buyers and sellers with the added benefit of being free from currency conversion issues that can plague purchasers using US-based credit cards.
IwannaBuy, founded in 2011, enjoys a thriving and loyal customer base of about 10,000 shoppers living in and around Beijing.
The store has established itself as a one-stop shop for items of particular concern to foreigners living in China such as air purifiers and air pollution remedies, kitchenware and cooking/coffee brewing appliances, and imported beers & wines. Shoppers opting to pay online in Bitcoins do so via BitPay, a secure third party payment platform that displays the price of selected items both in RMB (Chinese yuan) and in Bitcoins.
“Bitcoin, with a growing user base in China, cannot be ignored,” states Afshar. “For an e-commerce platform like ours, it offers a simple payment system that can be accessed easily both from a computer or a mobile device. While Bitcoin payment is still a nascent and developing platform, we want to help pioneer its use in the world's biggest consumer market.” IwannaBuy? Now I can and so can you... with Bitcoin. (via Techinasia and CRI.cn)