Retail Outlets In Hong Kong Start Accepting Crypto Amidst Escalating Tensions

August 28, 2019 / by Crypto.IQ

Political instability often results in economic uncertainty, and it often drives investors into various alternative options and safer havens abroad. The protestors in Hong Kong have been able to capture global attention where millions have taken to the streets against mainland oppression. Amidst this chaos, various retail outlets are now accepting crypto as they prepare themselves for more financial instability which can be foreseen in the near future.

Crypto Payments Have Become More Popular

As revealed by the Bitcoin Association of Hong Kong, the Pricerite department store is now accepting crypto payments and has become the first such outlet in the region.

“Department store Pricerite has begun accepting Bitcoin, Litecoin, and Ethereum at its store at Megabox, a Facebook announcement reads.”

In addition, the company has also opened its 3rd New Retail concept store in the Kowloon Bay area. There will be real time conversions to HKD for all payments made in cryptocurrencies and they’ll reflect accordingly in the cash registers of the store. Customers in possession of crypto wallets with support for Lightning Network can complete their BTC transactions within seconds.

“Following the immense success brought by the opening of Pricerite’s first-of-its-kind New Retail concept store last year, we are making another big leap forward. Continuing with our commitment to the integration of advanced technologies with human talent, we adopted a wide range of state-of-the-art retail technologies, providing customers with an all-rounded shopping experience,” said CEO James Leung.

It is not yet clear if the move was in response to the latest protests. Nevertheless, the adoption of cryptocurrencies has emerged as a new trend in Hong Kong. An article in Forbes last week tried to correlate the BTC premium and country’s increasing political tensions.

Price hikes are seen commonly during economic oppression and a recent instance was observed in Argentina. With the increase in Bitcoin demand, the prices may also see a spike on local exchanges. This is called Kimchi premium in South Korea.

According to the report, the cryptocurrency ATM provider Genesis Block saw a significant decline in its machine usage after the protests. However, it was actually caused due to the geographic locations of those machines. 

The Bitcoin price didn’t get affected too much due to the political situation arising in Hong Kong. It’s mostly stayed in the range bound channel, where it saw a short spike going over $10,600 and then consolidating in mid-$10k range. The increase in crypto adoption during economic and political tensions, however, is worth noticing.