Ukrainian business doesn’t miss the growth of cryptocurrency popularity. Some companies in Ukraine, such as gas station company WOG and the electronics store “Citrus” accept payments in Bitcoin. Small businesses also pay attention to the innovative method. In particular, one can purchase a car or real estate in Kyiv for Bitcoin.
Recently, a coworking OKFactory, located in Lviv center, where one can work with other specialists in IT, marketing, design, etc., has started to accept cryptocurrency for payments. We’ve decided to discuss the decision with the co-founder and commercial director of OKFactory Markiian Jurynets.
Why and for how long have you accepted cryptocurrencies as the service fee?
Everything has started long ago, just out of curiosity. Something so anonymous, hacker, obscure as the payment system Bitcoin couldn’t but interest us. I think it was a period when one could mine Bitcoins from the PC. At that time, we weren’t the owners of coworking and didn’t have ways where to use Bitcoins - everything could be bought with traditional money with no problem. Next, I got acquainted with the community of the Ukrainian cryptocurrency Karbovanets. And in summer we’ve decided to become the first physical place where we accept Karbo. We accept Bitcoin as well, not only Karbo ;)
What’s the reason?
First of all, we give a clear signal to our residents that we are the right place. Coworking is the place where people share workspace and work in comfortable conditions. Our audience consists of a big part of foreign clients. These are United States, Europe, even Asia. If the potential resident sees that the place accepts cryptocurrencies, that he can pay with Bitcoin, Karbovanets, Ethereum, etc., he understands that it’s the right place for him. This is just one of the payment possibilities, but it’s the bonus that makes us stand out.
Is such payment possibility for Ukrainian companies a profitable innovation or just fashion?
Ukrainian company should have an understanding how to earn money. It is essential to provide the customer one more possibility to pay, to become more dynamic than others. Is this fashion? Nobody tells you, but if we do it, there is sense in it ;)
How does the payment process go? How do you count the value?
It’s quite simple since we can use ready solutions as, for example, BitPay, which automatically allows paying in euro/dollars. A client pays in cryptocurrency, and we receive the currency that we’ve chosen.
What are the difficulties of such payments?
If we talk about Bitcoin, there are already plenty of solutions that make the process quite simple. At the client’s wish, we can use the VISA-based card which has Bitcoin account (Хapo or others). The card is attached to our Bitcoin account, and afterward, we can withdraw the currency in ATM (UAH/USD/Euro). A bank/financial institution of the card converts everything. This is convenient, and one may not guess what to do with cryptocurrencies if he/she can’t use them.
From the legal point of view, you cannot accept payments in cryptocurrency. How did you solve this problem?
In practice, the situation is not quite clear. The system BitPay, for example, provides us with the possibility to accept and convert cryptocurrency. So it’s like receiving a payment from Privat24. Another question is how they manage to do that, but as far as I know, they are located outside Ukraine.
Did you have clients who paid in cryptocurrency? If yes, is the number of such clients growing with time?
Very often our clients don’t know about such possibility and choose to pay through the traditional system. But after some time the option has become relevant. Sometimes, when the coworking customer is a non-resident (some customers take the workspace for their IT team in Ukraine), he or she pays attention to us directly because of our cryptocurrency option.
There is a tendency among people to get acquainted with cryptocurrencies and use them, and they give a kind of “sign of quality” to the vendor. From the economic point of view, we strive to make our client a resident, so providing more options for payment sounds trite but effective.