In December 2014, another innovative plan to easier acquire bitcoin was launched in Turkey. It’s called Bitupcard and was created by Amsterdam-based company, Bit4coin, and Berlin-based company, MK Payment. Essentially Bitupcard is set up in retail stores throughout Turkey and you can buy bitcoin over-the-counter. It’s the same idea as buying a pre-paid phone card or credit card.
The process is simple. At one of these retail stores, a customer selects a value between 50 and 500 Turkish lira (about $20 to $200) and then pays with cash or another payment method and receives a paper receipt with a printed voucher code. To redeem the bitcoin the buyer types the code along with a bitcoin address at bitupcard.com. Within a matter of hours the bitcoin is in their bitcoin wallet.
The founder and CEO of Bit4coin told CoinDesk this in December:
“One of the most difficult problems of bitcoin is still how to get them. We want to change that by bringing bitcoin to a trusted retail environment. No need to register an account and send money to some unknown website, no hassle with passwords or security, just an easy way to buy some bitcoin.”
Things started small with only 30 retail stores offering this service in December. However, due to its early success, 270 new locations have been added so there are now 300 retail stores offering this service throughout Turkey. It launched in Turkey because regulations wouldn’t allow it in Germany and has proved ideal as a testing ground because it had a small bitcoin following.
Future plans include continuing to expand locations in Turkey; also, the owners have broached Bitupcard to other markets in the Middle East as well as Asia.
This is just another great example of bitcoin presence growing in different ways and to new places.