More S’pore businesses accept virtual currencies but usage still low
A company got one bitcoin as part payment for a project last year when the virtual currency was worth about $350.
Yesterday, it was worth almost $24,000.
But Mr Alan Fan, the principal and design director of architectural design firm Topos Design Studio, has no plans to cash in on it.
"If we need to grow the company, we can cash out the bitcoin instead of borrowing from a bank,"said Mr Fan, who is not worried about the cryptocurrency bubble bursting soon.
Whilemore businesses here are accepting virtual currencies, usage is still low.
"It is a challenge (to use bitcoin) because it is not a mainstream mode of payment in Singapore," Mr Fan said.
The Skyline Club & Lounge at Singapore Land Tower holds "Crypto Thursday" every week to encourage patrons to pay with ethereum.
But no oneused the virtual currency when The New Paper was there this week.
Mr Subaish Rajamanickam, 33, a shareholder of Skyline, said the "take-up rate" is "not large but consistent", making up 10 per cent of total payments at the lounge.
Mr Shannon Lim, 31, who runs seafood business OnHand Agrarian and OnHand Industrial, a building maintenance contractor, said he has been paid $300 worth of bitcoin so far.
"We expected people to spend bitcoins with us, but as the virtual currency started growing, it made no sense for people to spend until it starts stabilising," he said.
He has cashed out a small sum of bitcoin but kept 1.4milli-bitcoin (about a thousandth of a bitcoin) expecting it to appreciate.
"It seems nonsensical to pay 8milli-bitcoin for 10kg of seafood when the same amount could get you 50kg in the future," he added.
Some companies have taken precautions against the volatility of the currencies.
Topos caps bitcoin payments at 20 per cent of the total bill for projects. Skyline tags on 10 per cent to prices for customers paying in ethereum and cashes out within days to "minimise risk exposure".
It will start accepting bitcoin at its New Year's Eve bash.
There are more than 140 individuals and businesses registered as members of the Association of Cryptocurrency Enterprises and Startups, Singapore (Access), said its chairman Anson Zeall .