Much like your average person, we like to talk about ourselves. A lot. “On average, people spend 60% of conversations talking about themselves – and this figure jumps to 80% when communicating via social media platforms” This quote from Scientific American (unfortunately) rings true on our communication channels. We’re looking to shake things up a bit – after all, OKLink’s biggest successes are closely tied with customer successes.
Which is why we’re excited to introduce our Customer Spotlight series, purely focused on introducing our customers and the hard work they do to excel in their business. This week, we put the spotlight on Coinplug, a South Korean startup founded in 2013 as a bitcoin exchange network. We spoke with Evelyn Chung, Director of Marketing & Business Development, for more insight on Coinplug:
OKLink: Thanks for spending the time to tell us about Coinplug, Evelyn. Let’s just right into it by talking about yourself – how did you hear about Coinplug in the first place?
Evelyn: My former boss is also the founder of Coinplug – he told me about the business and asked me to join.
OKLink: Got it. Let’s actually talk about Coinplug – it gained a lot of publicity when it opened Korea’s first bitcoin ATM, can you tell me about that event?
Evelyn: Coinplug first started as a bitcoin exchange platform. The consumer penetration was low as not many people knew about bitcoin, or understood it. We decided to open the first bitcoin ATM in 2014 to make bitcoin accessible to Koreans, which would also be a way to educate them on the technology.
OKLink: Sounds like it was a big mission from the start. How were you able to do it?
Evelyn: There are a lot of independent ATMs in Korea – these ATMs can help you withdraw/deposit funds into your bank accounts, but are not actually products of any banks. We partnered with these companies to create the bitcoin ATM.
OKLink: And now how many bitcoin ATMs are there around Korea?
Evelyn: There are now around 20,000 all around Korea.
(All the dots represent where a bitcoin ATM can be found throughout Korea)
OKLink: That’s amazing.
From my understanding there is a shift in focus on using the bitcoin technology to enter the remittance industry. Can you tell me about that?
Evelyn: There is a large amount of migrant workers in South Korea, with the numbers totaling close to 1 million. Most overseas remittances are done via SWIFT network like they are in many other countries, which means they take longer and have a high fee. By using our bitcoin ATMs, we are able to use the blockchain technology and bypass the third party, lowering time and cost.
(A Bitcoin ATM in Korea. Photo credit: Coindesk)
OKLink: Sounds like a much more efficient way to receive money from different countries. With the ATMs, what’s the easiest way for a user to pick up cash?
Evelyn: As ATMs are located mostly in convenience stores such as 7-11 and CU, it is very easy for people to access the ATMs and pick up their cash there. People can also send directly to our mobile wallet, speeding up the process even more.
OKLink: Great, that actually leads us to the last and most exciting thing about Coinplug, your newest product which is the Coinplug Bitcoin Wallet. Since there are so many different types of mobile wallets out there, what makes Coinplug’s different from the crowd?
(Coinplug’s Bitcoin Mobile Wallet in the iOS App Store.)
Evelyn: In terms of bitcoin, we offer real-time bitcoin trading. Users can set if they want to buy/sell their bitcoin at “market price”, where they can set the price, or they can “instant buy/sell”, where we set the price for them and they go by these prices.
What’s also great is because we work with OKLink, any global company can send money to the Coinplug wallet directly, as well as withdraw through a linked ATM in Korea.
OKLink: Yes, we are excited about that development as well. So how do people actually send to the Coinplug wallet?
Evelyn: The sender wires local currency to their local company; provided this company is also partners with OKLink, we can then receive the funds and send to the recipient’s mobile wallet for them to receive in Korean Won.
OKLink: What kinds of people are you seeing using the send service the most?
Evelyn: There are about 100,000 foreign students studying in Korea, who are all receiving monthly allowances from their home countries. We are seeing a growth in, and looking to target, the parents of the foreign students, who find this product to be very useful.
OKLink: What are the long-term plans for the Coinplug mobile wallet?
Evelyn: We hope to soon be able to have multiple wallets that are feature-specific for different demographics, for example, a different wallet for foreign migrant workers in Korea.
OKLink: Thank you so much for your time Evelyn, we look forward to seeing the Coinplug mobile wallet and the business grow!
Partners of OKLink can now send directly in real-time to Korea through Coinplug’s mobile wallet. For more information on Coinplug and their products, please visit their website.