Bitcoin SMS Top-ups: Now every Technology is in with BTC
The Asian Bitcoin scene is set to bring BTC closer to the public tomorrow with the launch of prepaid cards purchasable with fiat.
Singaporean outfit 8pip, a subsidiary of Coinpip which introduced QR-less SMS Bitcoin wallets to Asia, will officially launch the innovation tomorrow at Startup Asia Singapore 2014 tomorrow.
“At the moment, Bitcoin or crypto-currency exchanges are the most common ways to get Bitcoin. The problem is, unless you’re a seasoned stock trader, the process to get Bitcoin is still very complicated and intimidating,” says Anson Zeall, co-founder of CoinPip and 8pip.
The concept, much like Prypto’s scratch cards, allows customers to purchase BTC in set denominations of local currency, which can then be redeemed via a dedicated website, CardTOCoin. “With CardToCoin, you can simply buy a card with $20 worth of Bitcoin and then redeem it online with your tablet, phone or PC,” Zeall explained to TechInAsia.com.
Plans are also afoot to allow activation by SMS, allowing non-smartphone users easy access to crypto-currency.
“The mobile market in Southeast Asia is massive but the usage of smartphones is still lagging. So QR code scanning is not that useful,” Zeall adds.
In addition to Startup Asia, the cards will also be on display at Coinpip’s own BOOST:Bitcoin event, designed to be attended by absolute beginners in crypto-currencies and provide information and advice from experts on how best to get involved in the space.
“It’s one thing to read about the potential of Bitcoin online, but for an absolute beginner it can be a little intimidating to get started,” states Coinpip on its website in support of the free event.
Users will be able to open their first wallets at a mini trading desk and seek advice from professionals, who will also debunk crypto-currency myths with ‘Bitcoin 101’ talks. BTC-accepting merchants will also attend to showcase products and services and offer various discounts.
While many readers may not be based in Singapore, or indeed Asia, Coinpip intends to expand its services further afield in time.
The distinct advantage of such a scheme is the inclusion of more conventional technology in the crypto-currency community, as smartphone penetration is by no means ubiquitous in any area. To be able to use a traditional ‘brick’ to deal in Bitcoin could well be what gains many more curious customers in the near future.