Despite Bitcoin’s amorphous status in Ukraine, local activists are not afraid to bring Bitcoin to the public’s attention. In fact, the “Bitcoin Bonus Program” simply gives bitcoin away to people in the country’s capital of Kiev.
The Bitcoin Bonus Program
On February 10, 2016, Natural Products, a health-food shop in Kiev (Mekhanizatorov St., 2) started a loyalty program called ”The Bitcoin Bonus.”
During checkout, a sales associate gives shop clients symbolical golden coins of different amounts in BTC, with an activation code on them.
A cafe named “Eda” (”Sportlife” Trading Center, Marshala Koneva St., 8) joined ”Natural Products” in giving the coins to the customers as a partner of the loyalty program. Any of the visitors who had a more than 100 UAH check (around 4 dollars), received a 1 dollar bonus coin.
To redeem the coins, customers visit the Bonus Program’s website, listed on the physical coin. There, they receive instructions on what to do to grab their bonuses. Visitors are prompted to download a Blockchain.info wallet onto their PC or Android/iOS devices and contact Bonus Program Support via phone, Telegram or Viber.
They then send their bitcoin address and the activation code (shown on the coin’s reverse) and get bitcoin in return. Support will tell customers how to spend bitcoins locally and globally, how to refill and secure their bitcoin wallets, and why they think their program is better than ordinary bonus systems.
Between February 10 and 15, customers got more than 200 such coins. As a result, up to 50 people created their first Bitcoin wallets (and received bonuses).
By promoting Bitcoin in such a way, the shop owners not only encourage people to try cryptocurrencies. Furthermore, during the campaign, sales at the Eda Cafe increased, demonstrating to other businesses that using bitcoin could be profitable.
The Best Place to Give Away Bitcoin
Natural Products owner Oles Slobodeniuk decided to start the Bitcoin Bonus Program in his shop as a way to spread Bitcoin awareness alongside the growing health-food trend in Ukraine.
In addition to giving the physical coins to his customers, Slobodeniuk also gives bitcoins to his friends and hides them in public places for people to find.
Slobodeniuk is known among Ukranian Bitcoiners for several cryptocurrency-related projects, such as the HOTMINE Miner-Boiler and 2show.mobi, a service where Ukrainians can buy tickets to concerts, masterclasses, plays or movies, and pay in Bitcoin.
He also created the #takemybitcoin social campaign in 2015, in which Bitcoin activists left Bitcoin-related messages in cafe and restaurant guestbooks.
One of these messages reads:
EVERYTHING IS PERFECT, YOUR FOOD IS DELICIOUS AND MUSIC IS RELAXING AND FULFILLING. THE ONLY THING I CAN SUGGEST FOR YOU IS TO ADD BITCOIN PAYMENTS TO CHECKOUT! #TAKEMYBITCOIN
After receiving a message like this, some of the Kiev-based restaurants — such as “Chessnock” — have showed interest in accepting bitcoin payments.
What do you think of Ukrainian activists and their ways of spreading the word about the Internet of Money? Let us know in the comments!
Image courtesy of UkraineTrek.com, Instagram.