Pointless Bitcoin Store Opens in Hong Kong; Largest Exchange Declares Bankruptcy

By James Griffiths, March 3, 2014

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The world's first brick-and-mortar store to sell the bitcoin virtual currency has opened in Hong Kong

Located in Sai Ying Pun and operated by Asia Nexgen Bitcoin Exchange, the store officially opened for business on February 28, just as the global market was crashing dramatically following the collapse of the Japan-based Mt Gox exchange. 

Mt Gox CEO Mike Karpele announced Friday that the company was filing for bankruptcy after losing nearly half a billion dollars worth of the digital currency in a possible theft. 

Customers in Hong Kong who nonetheless stil want to buy bitcoins must provide an ID card and proof of address, they can then buy bitcoins which will be added to their digital wallet. 

 

"The biggest issue people have right now is buying the bitcoin. People have to put money in, trade it through an exchange online," Ken Lo, co-founder and CEO of Asia Nexgen said.

"Now, you walk into the store, hand over your cash and send the bitcoin to your digital wallet."

Because if there was one thing that bitcoin was missing, it was having to trek out to a specific place and hand over cash to buy the currency. 

In December, the People's Bank of China banned financial institutions and payment services from handling bitcoin-related business, after which hackers – allegedly pissed of bitcoin investors – took down the bank's website

[Image via Flickr]

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