Hong Kong Restaurant Starts Accepting Bitcoin, Ether & other Cryptos as Payment

The growing crypto adoption has been following China calling BTC and stablecoins “investment alternatives” and the local publication talking about the warnings of a dangerous bitcoin bubble being misleading.

A restaurant in Hong Kong is now accepting cryptocurrencies as a form of payment.

This move has been made by Max Levy’s Japanese fusion restaurant Okra Hong Kong because of poor business during the coronavirus pandemic and exorbitant bank fees in the city.

On Wednesday, the restaurant started accepting payments in Bitcoin (BTC), Ether (ETH), Ripple (XRP), BNB, and BUSD stablecoin, reported South China Morning Post, an English-language newspaper owned by Alibaba Group. The move away from cash is expected to improve the balance sheet. He said,

“If we were keeping just a small amount of our revenue, even if it’s just 1% of our monthly revenue, in some form of crypto, then yes, it’s a risk that the cryptocurrency could go down, but it’s also a possible high reward even if those currencies go up just 3 or 4%.”

It was on losing the electronic access to the restaurant's bank account for 10 days because the security token device the bank had issued him ran out, and the bank did not rectify the problem that Levy decided to accept crypto.

Making the transactions over the counter, which the bank suggested, incurs a fee of HK$50 (US$6) each time, and the restaurant does over 60 transactions on the account every month. He said,

“Here in Hong Kong, I think anyone that’s lived here and has owned and operated a business has definitely had to deal with more than one currency on a regular basis, whether it’s just Hong Kong dollars to US dollars or whether it’s Hong Kong dollars to yuan. So, I mean, there’s always a risk involved.”

Levy expects at least 25% of his customers, up to 1,000 people every month, to pay with cryptos by the end of the year.

This crypto-forwardness came right on the heels of SCMP reporting on the warnings of a dangerous bitcoin bubble being misleading. The opinion piece says not only the unique sector bounced back from a series of crashes and continues to set new highs, but there is also increasing institutional interest in bitcoin despite the intense volatility.

Interestingly, last week in a rare and progressive move, the deputy governor of the PBOC called bitcoin and stablecoins “investment alternatives.”

“They are not currency per se. And so the main role we see for crypto assets going forward, the main role is investment alternative,” said Li Bo, a first from the Chinese government recognizing the asset value of cryptocurrencies.

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