South Korea's Largest Underground Mall Adds Bitcoin Payments to 620 Stores

The largest underground shopping mall in South Korea, Goto Mall, has partnered with a local cryptocurrency exchange to enable its 620 stores to accept bitcoin. Spanning 880 meters long, about half a million people walk through the mall each day.

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Goto Mall, a Bitcoin Mecca?

South Korea's Largest Underground Shopping Mall Adds Bitcoin Payments to 620 StoresThe largest underground shopping center in South Korea called Goto Mall recently announced that it will start accepting bitcoin. Beginning mid-December, shoppers can pay with bitcoin at the mall’s 620 stores, according to local publications.

Travel guide website Travel Vui describes:

Goto Mall is Seoul’s largest underground mall. This hidden gem markets everything from clothing to flowers and home decor at mind-blowingly cheap prices.

Goto Mall is also known as Gangnam Terminal Underground Shopping Center. It is connected to one of the major subway transfer stations at which Seoul subway lines 3, 7, and 9 operate. It “currently has an estimated 500,000 visitors per day and is rated as the largest underground shopping mall,” Kyeonggi news outlet reported.

South Korea's Largest Underground Shopping Mall Adds Bitcoin Payments to 620 Stores
A sample of stores in Goto Mall.

The mall’s foot traffic is expected to increase significantly due to its surrounding area being renovated to increase customer base. For example, “when the reconstruction of the nearby apartment complex is completed, the [number of] visitors is expected to increase further,” the publication added.

Furthermore, “about 30 bus routes including ordinary buses and airport buses,” pass through the area, reported the Bridge Economy newspaper. “When the new influential World Duty-Free opens in Gangnam Central City next year, it is expected to further increase foreign customers,” the publication elaborated, adding that:

Goto Mall is expected to turn into a bitcoin mecca.

Partnership with HTS Coin

In order to accept bitcoin, Goto Mall has partnered with a local cryptocurrency exchange HTS Coin. The exchange, which opened last month, has developed a smart payment system using cryptocurrencies and has recently launched a mobile app.

South Korea's Largest Underground Shopping Mall Adds Bitcoin Payments to 620 Stores
The partnership signing event between Goto Mall and HTS Coin.

According to Kyeonggi, the mall had previously tested bitcoin as a payment option where shop owners accepted bitcoin directly. However, it was terminated since store owners “often lost their passwords and could not use the coins,” the publication detailed, noting that this cannot happen with the HTS Coin system installed.

Bitcoin will be offered alongside other payment methods accepted by the mall such as cash, credit card, and Alipay. Goto Mall CEO Chung Gwi Yeon commented:

I think it is very meaningful to be able to settle the bitcoin used by foreigners and young people at Goto Mall.

What do you think of Goto Mall accepting bitcoin? Do you think many shoppers will use bitcoin at Goto Mall? Let us know in the comments section below.

Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Goto Mall, and HTS Coin.

Tags in this story
adoption, Alipay, Bitcoin exchange, bitcoin payment, Cryptocurrency, Discount, hts coin, korea, korean exchange, Merchants, N-Featured, shop, Shopping, shopping center, South Korea, store, terminal, Underground

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Kevin Helms

A student of Austrian Economics, Kevin found Bitcoin in 2011 and has been an evangelist ever since. His interests lie in Bitcoin security, open-source systems, network effects and the intersection between economics and cryptography.

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