Mobile Commerce Insider Featured Article

February 12, 2014

2Talk - NZ Company Accepts Virtual Currency Bitcoin

IP-based solutions provider 2talk, an independent company founded in 2006 that offers services for real-time voice and video traffic with a presence in New Zealand, Australia, USA and the UK, has made “a clever marketing move in being the first New Zealand telecommunications [VoIP service provider] to accept Bitcoin,” according to Josh Moore, the owner of online marketing agency Duoplus.

A bitcoin is a cyptocurrency that is being used as a virtual/digital currency. It is a type of payment, first developed in 2009 that involves the use of an open-source software that allows users to exchange virtual coins. There are no fees for transferring the currency. The relatively new phenomenon has a chance at revolutionizing commerce, predicts PayPal President David Marcus. He adds that “bitcoins aren't widely enough accepted by merchants yet.” But the “bitcoin is a whole new way of thinking about currency,” says Mr. Moore, who is himself a 2Talk customer.

At this point in time, however, bitcoins are gaining in popularity and media attention. Some customers are keen to try the system out, while others have yet to do so as they don’t embrace the all concept of virtual currency. Mr. Moore like many others is, at the moment, holding off from using it to first understand more about it. Yet, there are several reasons why the use of this currency is increasing and some go as far as saying it is better than gold.

Bitcoins are commonly used by businesses and individuals alike to carry out peer-to-peer transactions, protected by digital signatures; it is a way to make payments (and get paid) offline and online. The money is transferred to whomever electronically with ease and allows for anonymous transactions.

According to a post this week about “Bitcoin Payments …” that can be read on the Scoop.co.nz website, a New Zealand's news source. Josh Moore compares the novelty of the bitcoin currency to that of VOIP when it was first introduced. VOIP gave a whole new outlook about phone lines; Bitcoin can potentially bring the same revolution in the field of online payments. He believes that it is clever of  2Talk to introduce Bitcoin, to capitalize on all the media attention currently given to this system and, at the same time, earn a reputation for “being an innovative company for early adapters.”

Bitcoin was recently in the news and making headlines for a drop in value of 21 percent as of last week as per the Scoop Business report; this is similar to when its value had dropped by 20 percent last October. Despite the recent drop, “2Talk made the announcement it was accepting the currency. However 2Talk General Manager, Jude Flood, says customers will be protected from volatility in the transactions with 2Talk taking the risk.” She adds that “the currency is converted to NZ currency at the time of payment, so any currency variation risk is absorbed by 2Talk.”

Mr. Moore believes this is actually a very clever move by 2Talk to build the trust of its customers. He explains that “they’re taking the risk themselves, while proving that they’re an innovative company, and are getting good publicity at the same time. That’s clever marketing,”

Only time will tell if the 2Talk move will pay off. Judging from the media buzz, bitcoin payments are really exciting the interest of many; whether the interest will result in a future widespread use, it’s all to be proved.




Edited by Ryan Sartor




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