Hong Kong’s first bitcoin counter is to open on Friday in a money exchange shop, allowing people to buy the virtual currency without going online.
ANX, the operator of an online bitcoin-trading platform, is setting up the counter at a Connaught Road West shop, about 2km from Hong Kong’s central business district.
It would only take minutes to exchange Hong Kong dollars there for the virtual currency, ANX chief executive Ken Lo said.
“People came up to our office asking to deposit cash for bitcoin, so we decided to streamline the process,” Lo said in a telephone interview. “It’s an extension to our online exchange business.”
ANX is to gauge market demand before deciding whether to open more counters in Hong Kong, he said.
The digital currency is trading at US$625 on London-based Bitstamp. Bitcoin holders are offering the virtual money for US$243 on Mt.Gox, down from more than US$800 two weeks ago, after the Tokyo-based online exchange halted withdrawals this month.
India, China and Russia have sought to ban or limit the use of bitcoin, which exists as software and is not controlled by any authority.