The PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics has become undeniable must-see TV. Providing us all with awe-inspiring sporting action, from the high-speed skeleton run to the death-defying snowboarding on the slopes, PyeongChang 2018 has had it all so far. South Korea has proven to be extremely warm hosts since the start of the event, as it’s not just welcomed athletes from all over the world, it’s also opened the door to Ethereum (ETH) – in a roundabout way at least.
Ethereum makes a splash
South Korea has recently taken huge steps in resolving its Bitcoin (BTC) legality issues, so to hear of a cryptocurrency being accepted at the Winter Olympics makes for great news. But even so, it’s still a case of baby steps for cryptocurrency acceptance in South Korea. Located just a few steps from the PyeongChang Olympic Plaza, a single shop has taken a stand for ETH, with Yongpyong Ski Zone being the only store within the Olympic venue vicinity to accept cryptocurrency payments.
Yongpyong Ski Zone might look like unassuming skill rental store, but it stands for something so much more in South Korea’s step towards cryptocurrency legalisation. Selling high-end ski gear, the shop is small in size – with staff only able to speak Korean – but through Google translate and the global scope of ETH, this hasn’t stopped it from accepting customers from around the world during the games.
A step in the right direction
As most already know, ETH doesn’t quite stand on the same pedestal as BTC, but it’s still one of the world’s most widely trades cryptos. ETH been one of the many cryptos feverishly traded in South Korea specifically, so it was only a matter of time before a shop took the step to accept it as a payment method. Yongpyong Ski Zone is breaking new ground for ETH in South Korea, with store manager Jaewon Choi hoping that the digital currency will help her store appeal to international customers. Ideally, by offering ETH, it’ll mean that foreign tourists won’t need to exchange cash in order to make purchases.
Coinduck comes up good
Standing behind the payment process is Coinduck, a Chain Partners platform that allows stores to accept Ethereum, without there ever being a need for the shop to hold the cryptocurrency directly. With the debates surrounding cryptocurrency causing a split within government, Choi has said that she doesn’t concern herself with the debates in parliament. As a former small-scale cryptocurrency trader herself, she also said that the store owner didn’t take much convincing, as ETH offers cheap transaction fees when compared to credit card payments.
Speaking on how Yongpyong Ski Zone has gone about working with Coinduck during PyeongChang 2018, Choi said, “Coinduck told us that it can be helpful with marketing, since there will be a lot of people from abroad. Plus, we thought having more payment options would never hurt.” The store already accepts all international credit cards, with the store also offering Alipay due to the influx of Chinese tourists.
Not going unnoticed
Official Olympic stores only accept Visa-backed Korean won payments, with several smaller stores approving US dollar payments and Japanese yen as well. It’s clear that the nervousness surrounding cryptocurrency in South Korea has held many stores back from going full-steam ahead with cryptos during PyeongChang 2018, but Yongpyong Ski Zone’s success with ETH hasn’t gone unnoticed. According to Yonghyun Cho (Chain Partners’ Marketing Manager) has revealed that no less than five outlets – including hotels, shops, cafes, and restaurants – are all moving forward to install Coinduck this week, just in time for the close of the games.
PyeongChang 2018 and beyond!
Seeing the value in ETH – much like BitStarz recently did – Yongpyong Ski Zone has made its own little piece of history. Starting a trend that could go on to mean bigger and better things for cryptocurrency in South Korea, our hats are off to Jaewon Choi and Yongpyong Ski Zone, as they’ve made sure that ETH has had a part to play at PyeongChang 2018!