MaiCoin, a Taiwan based Bitcoin exchange has taken the country by storm by ensuring that the people of Taiwan can go to a store and buy Bitcoin over the counter like any commodity. Established in 2013, the Taipei and Palo Alto based company has introduced a new facility where Bitcoin users can buy Bitcoin over the counter or at in-store terminals at over 10,000 shops across the country.
This facility is introduced, keeping in mind the number of unbanked individuals and foreign workers residing in Taiwan. According to the founder and CEO of the MaiCoin, Alex Liu, enabling people to pay for Bitcoin over the counter will be very useful to the foreign workers who do not have bank accounts in the country to send money to their families back home in the form of Bitcoin. Bitcoin is the most preferred way of foreign remittance as it doesn’t involve foreign exchange costs and hefty transaction fees otherwise charged by conventional money transfer service providers like Western Union and MoneyGram.
In order to be able to pay for Bitcoin at any of these shops, customers should first raise an order for the required amount of Bitcoin on MaiCoin’s web wallet or application on their mobile phones. Once the order is created, a barcode will be generated in case of mobile wallet (if the customer is ordering on the website, then a code will be generated in place of barcode). The customer can then just walk into one of these shops that accept cash for Bitcoin, show the barcode (the shopkeeper will scan it) and pay the required amount. The order will be executed upon completion of transaction and the customer will receive the respective amount of Bitcoin in their MaiCoin wallet. Those with a bank account can also make a direct fund transfer through ATMs as well.
MaiCoin has also entered into a partnership with Coins.ph, a Philippines based bitcoin exchange, enabling close to 80,000 Filipino workers in Taiwan to send their money home as Bitcoin.
Paying for different services through a shop keeper is not something new in the region, as lot of them regularly pay their utility bills and e-commerce store invoices at shops. The shops will then transfer it to the concerned parties.
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