It’s a Saturday, early afternoon. You’ve made the decision to head down to your local shopping centre. Picture somewhere like Chadstone in Melbourne — the mecca of suburban excess.
You meander through the winding, confusing maze of retail shops and eateries. You dodge other shoppers. Although sometimes they just walk right into you anyway.
By the time the fourth person who’s looking left and walking right collides into you, you’re about at wits end. You’ve just spend 10 minutes hovering on the precipice of the food court ready to sprint as soon as someone even looks like leaving their table.
You then parted ways with your family as they spread out to buy food from four different outlets. Leaving you to ‘protect the nest’. By the time you get your chance to eat, they’re all done and ready to move on.
You don’t even want to check the bank statement or credit card bill. It’s been a hard enough day as it is. And let’s not forget you’ll have to then drive like World Rally driver Sébastien Loeb to get the car out of the car park.
All in all, a relaxing Saturday afternoon is fast turning into hell at the shopping centre.
Welcome to Coinshop
At one point you find yourself alone. The kids have shot off somewhere and your partner is also deep in retail consumption mode.
You glance around and notice a shop front that actually looks more your style. It’s got big glass doors on it. Inside are an array of white couches facing towards a series of large TV screens.
Towards the back of the shop is a row of three booths. They’re all lined up next to each other, with single space white leather seats at the front of a table at each booth. On the other side of these designer seats and bright, welcoming booths is a friendly face. Someone that looks like they actually want to dispense with proper customer service.
There’s already someone sat at one of the booths getting some assistance from one of these helpers. They’re both having a great chat, a laugh — they seem happy. Happy isn’t a word that you’re familiar with at this point in your Saturday. This looks like a refreshing change of pace.
You open the doors and step inside. It even smells nice in here. There are three pod coffee machines off to one side of the shop as well. There’s a sign, ‘Help Yourself’.
As you walk in another super friendly person says to you,
‘Welcome to Coinshop. Please make yourself at home. If you just want to take a break and watch the TV’s that’s fine. If you’d like to help yourself to a coffee please do — we can also make one for you while you sit.
‘If you’re after more assistance and would like to understand what we do here, please I’d be happy to explain more?’
You’re not sure what to say initially. You can’t remember the last time a shop assistant was helpful. You also can’t remember the last time you felt at home in a store.
You ask what it is they do here.
‘Well we’re Coinshop. We can help you buy cryptocurrency in a safe, friendly and easy way. If you’re new to it all please take a seat with our helpful team at the booths. They can help you set up a wallet, buy some cryptocurrency of your choice and then make sure you know how to look after it properly.
‘If you’re already familiar with crypto you can use our ATMs over there to load up your wallet using your bank card or bank transfer.
‘Finally if you’d like to learn more we run workshops twice a week at lunchtime on Wednesdays and Saturdays to educate you more about this wonderful opportunity.
‘And of course you can always just take a seat watch our in-house CryptoTV and view the various crypto markets and the value movements via the interactive screens.
‘Please just feel free to do as you please and ask at any point if you’re having trouble and want some more assistance.’
Holy beeswax! You’d heard of cryptocurrency before. But you never expected anything like this. You thought it was the realm of internet nerds and criminals buying drugs and guns online.
You didn’t realise that you could get some friendly assistance in a shopfront to help you get into crypto. Wanting to know more, you sit down at a booth and start your journey into crypto…
Sound surreal, or just real?
This kind of access to mainstream people is not some fancy pipedream. This isn’t a (completely) made up story. OK, there’s no retail crypto buying and education outlet in Chaddie. And Coinshop is a name we plucked out of thin air.
But the concept is real. And these kinds of retail outlets for ‘main street’ people to engage with crypto are real.
According to South Korea’s Joongang Daily,
‘Coinone, the company that runs one of the leading digital currency trading platforms in Korea, opened Coinone Blocks, a brick-and-mortar branch that enables offline cryptocurrency exchanges
‘Coinone Blocks offers not only all the services that consumers can expect through the online platform, but other services including face-to-face consulting on cryptocurrency trading
‘Coinone Blocks is intended to fulfill the needs of consumers who want to receive tangible services, explained a Coinone spokesperson.’
This is the pathway to mainstream crypto adoption. Easy user interface. That may have to be face-to-face, physical outlets to start with. But it might be the only way main street people strike up the courage to get involved in the crypto world.
Making crypto easy, accessible, fun and educating people about it is no easy task. We think that soon you’ll start to see physical locations — shop fronts — open up to give the main street people an ‘on ramp’ to crypto.
Imagine being able to walk into a shop at Chaddie and get all your crypto needs looked after? It’s really not that big a stretch. And even if it’s just to get a free coffee and learn a little about this opportunity, then surely that’s not a bad thing.
Editor, Secret Crypto Network