Without a doubt, cryptocurrency is one of the hottest topics out there right now as it is revolutionizing the way monetary transactions are handled around the world.
Due to the coworking industry being filled with innovators, visionaries, early adopters and risk takers it is no surprise that cryptocurrency is now catching on as a form of payment between coworking spaces and their members.
As of July, Hub Hoi An, a coworking space in Hoi An, Vietnam started accepting cryptocurrency from their members. Here, Sarah Kuhlemann, founder of Hub Hoi An in Hoi An will share what inspired her to accept cryptocurrency and how she successfully introduced and integrated it into her day to day coworking space operations.
How were you introduced to cryptocurrency?
One of our members, Jonathan, is developing his own blockchain named “Mix”. He introduced me to the topic of cryptocurrency back in March 2017. As I opened the Hub Hoi An in April 2017, I kept it simple at first with payments in cash, however, as of July 2017 we started accepting cryptocurrency as a form of payment.
You can visit Jonathan’s website here.
Which forms of cryptocurrency does Hub Hoi An Accept?
We accept all kinds of cryptocurrencies in the Jaxx Wallet. At the moment we accept:
- REP (Augur)
As soon as Mix is apart of the wallet, we will accept Mix as well.
What inspired you to start taking cryptocurrency as a payment method?
Hub Hoi An is an innovative, inspirational coworking space where people meet each other and share the newest Apps, Software, Gadgets and digital products. I am very curious about how our societies will change in the near future. When Digital Nomads started to modernize our stereotyped 9-6 workdays into a more flexible and remote work life, to me it was a matter of time until we will improve and modernize our tax systems, payment methods or insurances.
Personally, our member Jonathan who is also a close friend of mine here in Hoi An inspired me on the whole topic.
What are the benefits for coworking spaces to accept cryptocurrency?
The great advantage is that people can pay in advance through my wallet address via email. That means I can use it as an online payment method like PayPal.
What are your members saying?
Vietnam is becoming a hub for cryptocurrency. The community in Saigon is increasing month by month and with Jonathan, we have one of the most specialized experts about cryptocurrency in the house. My members are super open to the topic and around 50% are using cryptocurrency as a payment method.
Do you ever feel skeptical about accepting cryptocurrency?
I started using cryptocurrency a few months ago and I am not an expert. To me, it feels like playing on a stock market and I keep an eye on the conversion rates. I wouldn’t accept 100% cryptocurrency payment at the Hub as there is always the risk of a crash. But I think using cryptocurrency with other payment methods like PayPal and cash is great — it is a very exciting technology with a rising attention.
I want to make the payment process as easy as possible for my members. As cryptocurrencies are getting more and more attention in the digital nomad and remote worker world, I am very happy to offer this service to my members.
Are there any challenges associated with accepting cryptocurrency?
Cryptocurrency is becoming more and more famous and there is a real hype about this topic. It is exciting to refresh your balance and to check how much the value has increased. Or decreased. And this is the challenge: to me, cryptocurrency is like trading on a stock market. I am very careful and would never recommend putting all of your savings or profits on just one currency. Not even only into cryptocurrency. I am a bit security aware and like to have my money split into different payment methods. The old-fashioned bank account or our cash box is still in full usage ☺
How do you think cryptocurrency will impact the coworking world?
Cryptocurrency is a payment solution, perfect for digital nomads and coworking spaces. As we all try to digitize as much as possible, why not change from cash to crypto? The only challenge I face in Vietnam is that is always good to have cash in the cash box. It will take some time until other suppliers accept cryptocurrency as most of my suppliers don’t even accept bank transfers or credit card payments. In a country like Vietnam, the payment methods vary greatly between purchasing goods, food, paying salaries and the payment methods I offer my members. I don’t see myself buying local food at the market paying the farmers in LiteCoin. But for my members, Cryptocurrency is an attractive way to pay. And I can offer payments in advance which makes it easier for me to get an idea of the capacity in my place.
Do you have any tips or suggestions for spaces interested in adopting cryptocurrency as a method of payment?
The wallet you can use is either web-based or a mobile app. Depending on your phone you can choose different wallets that accept different cryptocurrencies. I am using an iPhone and therefore I have chosen the Jaxx Wallet as it accepts a decent amount of different currencies. You can just download Jaxx Wallet from the App Store and follow the instruction guide. This mobile wallet is a good starter to enter the crypto-world.
We have also installed a web-based wallet on our desktop in the Hub to enable members to pay their membership directly with our staff. Before the payment was dependent on my presence as we used my Jaxx wallet on my iPhone. The web-based wallet we use in the Hub is Exodus which got very good reviews and was recommended by Jonathan, our in-house cryptocurrency specialist.