Berlin-based MK Payment and Dutch bit4coin partner up to bring Bitcoin to the masses, as the two companies launch eVoucher program Bitupcard to enable locals to purchase Bitcoin at retail stores in Turkey.
The pilot program will start with 30 participating locations in Istanbul and major regions, but Bitupcard has already signed up 5,000 retail locations throughout Turkey, the company stated in an announcement.
Founded in 2013 in Amsterdam, bit4coin is a Bitcoin gift-voucher company that focuses on providing simple solutions to buy bitcoins. These solutions include gift cards and SMS vouchers, as well as enterprise offerings such as branded and white-label Bitcoin voucher solutions. Founder and CEO Dolf Diederichsen stated:
"One of the most difficult problems in Bitcoin is still how to get them. Enabling Turkish consumers to buy bitcoins in stores provides a simple, convenient and trustworthy solution."
Similar to prepaid mobile phone cards, the Bitupcard eVoucher allows users to credit their Bitcoin wallets with relevant fiat values varying between 50 and 500 Turkish lira (~US$20–200). Customers can purchase eVouchers in any of the participating retail stores. After having received a paper receipt with the voucher code, users are asked to enter the code at www.bitupcard.com, along with their Bitcoin wallet addresses. The company charges a 6% fee, which is said to be a very competitive option to purchase bitcoins in Turkey.
Bit4coin and the e-payment-technology company MK Payment joined forces and expertise to build this product, according to the two companies.
MK Payment is a Berlin-based online payment and technology company operating an electronic voucher network across Europe and the Middle East North Africa (MENA). CEO Ibrahim Tarlig shared his excitement in helping to bring Bitcoin to the masses:
"With Bitupcard, MK Payment and bit4coin are able to deliver a great product that will allow even consumers with little prior experience to buy their first bitcoins."
The two companies said they plan to expand their Bitcoin eVoucher program to other markets.
In other parts of the world, similar initiatives have been undertaken to provide easier methods to acquire bitcoins. In early September, Indonesia's leading Bitcoin exchange Bitcoin Indonesia announced it had partnered with payment processor iPaymu. They said their collaboration enables locals to purchase bitcoins over the counter at over 10,000 Indomaret stores. Indomaret is the largest chain of convenience stores in the country.
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