BURGERS, LOBSTERS, EVEN A LAP DANCE – PAY BY BITCOIN IN BANGKOK
Not everyone has been floating by life, not having a clue in heck what Bitcoins are used for and how do we get some, but now these restaurants in Bangkok, (well a burger joint called Bad Burger Bangkok and a fine-dining eatery named EAT ME), and a bar (who shall not be named), are accepting bitcoins as legitimate “cryptocurrency” in exchange for products and “services”. These locations can be found on a bitcoin map indicator.
We felt this needed to be explored further, given that “Bitcoin” has been on the tips of our ears and eyes this past year and nobody wants to be left behind, do they? Bangkok Foodies asks Harry Strick, a Bitcoin professional and the most newest Bitcoin vendor in Bangkok, Poupee of Bad Burger Bangkok, what they think of the benefits and pitfalls of the Bitcoin revolution for the Bangkok Food and Beverage community.
If you’re curious to know more and be involved in the local bitcoin community, join the group Bitcoin and Crypto Currencies in Thailand.
FULL NAME : Harry Strick
OCCUPATION/POSITION : CEO
COMPANY : Strick Corporation Co Ltd
SERVICES PROVIDED : SEO, Marketing Services
BKF : For the not-so ‘cryptocurrency’ savvy, what is Bitcoins in layman’s terms?
HS : Bitcoin is essentially a currency without a central authority (no bank, government, or company) – it’s primarily used to transfer large amounts of money to another person, as it’s cheaper and more efficient than the current banking system.
It has also become a safe haven currency similar to Gold and Silver, due to people not trusting the banking system or governments, they feel that their money is safer if they are the only ones that control it.
BKF : How does one get Bitcoins?
HS : You can get Bitcoin at ATMs, in person, or on exchanges. Sign up to a Thai exchange and you can buy via online banking or ATM, it can bought in person with the help of websites like localbitcoins.com.
BKF: How are people applying this “money” to their everyday life?
HS : For countries like Venezuela, Greece, and Cyprus, it provides a safer alternative to storing your money in the bank. Generally, only 10% of your bank account is covered by the government, the other 90% is at risk if the bank goes out of business.
It’s also more efficient for transferring overseas, there’s ‘cryptocurrencies’ being developed such as Litecoin, and Viacoin that offer the same solution as Bitcoin, but is faster and cheaper.
BKF : How is bitcoin used in the past to what is being applied to now?
HS: Bitcoin is still very new, and has skilled developers upgrading the network daily, the main driver of growth is that it solves a lot of pain points that people have with banks, so it’s only a matter of time until it seriously challenges the banking system.
When Bitcoin was first released, it wasn’t viewed as a threat, but now with further adoption from governments, businesses, and the public, it’s becoming a legitimate way to store money.
BKF : How did it come about to use Bitcoin as payments at physical restaurants? Is it already being used overseas? Starbucks in the US for example?
HS : Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are being used as a payment method because it’s faster than the current system, payments are usually confirmed in a few seconds, with Visa & Mastercard, it takes considerably longer.
Millennials have learnt from past economic crises and have learnt that banks aren’t the safest place to store money. If you’re a business targeting millennials, then it’s a great idea to accept Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency.
BKF : What services do you provide for this?
HS : I have a marketing company in the UK & Thailand, we use artificial intelligence to rank websites on Baidu & Google. We accept Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies like Viacoin as a method of payment, it’s preferred by some of our customers.
It’s still very early, in Europe & the USA it’s much more common to accept Bitcoin, in countries like Japan they are fully regulating it and encouraging people to use it as a method of payment, it’s only a matter of time until more businesses offer it.
BKF: What system or machine is required?
HS : No machine or system needs to be installed, it can be as simple as a QR code, your customer can pay you from that. You can also install a bitcoin wallet on your phone, and accept payments with that.
BKF: Why do you advise food vendors to use this system?
HS: There’s no reason why you shouldn’t accept it. It gives your customers another method of payment, and gives you the experience of using revolutionary technology that will change the banking system forever.
BKF : Why is this the way of the future for the foodies public?
HS : The future of cryptocurrency is most likely going to be government-backed coins, the technology behind Bitcoin (the blockchain) is the main reason of this growth, it’s more secure than the current banking system and is easier to use.
BKF : What immediate and future problems do you potentially foresee with this system of payment?
HS : The biggest problem with bitcoin right now is the fees, other coins such as Viacoin solves this problem with minimal fees, and is 25x faster. Businesses can use services such as https://coinomi.com/ to accept multiple cryptocurrencies. It’s easy to use and you can exchange them for bitcoin at any time.
BKF : In terms of safety and hacking? How impenetrable is it? Can others easily hack or the system become corrupted?
HS : You can either store your wallet offline, or on your computer/phone – it’s similar to having a bank account where you have a passcode. If you have large amounts, then it’s recommended to print your QR code & address to keep it offline.
It’s rare for hackers to target Bitcoin wallets due to the blockchain system being completely public, which means that you can track all payments (to exchanges, other people, etc). It makes it easy for police to find criminals.
WEBSITE : www.uvoo.co
CONTACT EMAIL : [email protected]
PHONE : 0631974494
FULL NAME : Panida Paethanom
OCCUPATION/POSITION : Owner of Bad Burger Bangkok
COMPANY : The Wicked Witch Limited Partnership
SERVICES PROVIDED : Restaurant
BKF : What made you decide to go with Bitcoin payment?
PP : to contribute to the value of Bitcoin since the more world widely accepted, the more value it is. And I want to support a currency that the value depends on people and not controlled by the greedy devil.
BKF : How did you hear or know about Bitcoin?
PP : My partner who’s a geek and has been looking into it.
BKF : Was it a hassle to arrange and costly at all?
PP : It is not at all a hassle. You just download Bitcoin wallet and can easily pay or receive via QR code. There might be some fees when you transfer but you can just choose that yourself. Slower transfer is cheaper. But there are also other coin that is cheaper with this stuff, i’m looking into that right now.
BKF : How do does a vendor collect payment from their customers?
PP : we convert it real time. Since it goes up and down every second. And with their bitcoin wallet, they just scan the QR code and send.
BKF : Has any customer ever asked if you accepted Bitcoins?
PP : Never. But they seem to think it’s really cool once I told them I accept it now. Quite many want to come back and pay with bitcoin.
BKF : How do you think it will change your business?
PP : Bitcoin and other coin users always look for businesses that accept this kind of payment to contribute and to help it being accepted worldwide. It’s a good way to promote the business and the world keeps changing, you must be able to catch up with it or you’re left behind.
BKF : What do you believe are the immediate benefits and long term benefits along with the negatives?
PP : Free marketing to the coin folks. Long term benefit would be that we encourage other places to do the same. There are hardly any negatives unless people believe in the fake news released by the devils to drop the value of the coin for them to buy the majority of it and control it. But shouldn’t be in the near future. Pretty sure they’ll still find a way to do something about it.
Also some people predict that the value might go up into 300% in 3-4 years. So it’s not too late to invest into it.
BKF : Would you recommend it to all new restaurant and f&b vendors and why?
PP : I would recommend it. When things are paid in digital, avoid having physical money, we prevent thieve problem in the restaurant. And the value can be added up by time.
BKF : Are you serious about Bitcoin for the future or just giving it a try as another means of payment?
PP : I want it to be serious. It would benefit us all. So I will not take it out even when the value drop. I do believe this system is the future.
WEBSITE : www.badburgerbkk.com
CONTACT EMAIL : [email protected]
PHONE : 0917522928