As mentioned in our previous post, BitCandy will be covering the past, present, and future of in-store cryptocurrency payments in Seoul, Korea. For our first installment in the series, we explored the first brick-and-mortar shop in Itaewon to accept cryptocurrency as a form of payment for in-store purchases.
One of the most notable crypto establishments in Seoul is Hans Lee Jae-chin’s “The Jell”, a combination wine shop/Italian restaurant/lounge. The Jell was one the first entrants into the Seoul wine scene in the early 90s, a time when wine was hardly ever seen at bars throughout the city, which mostly served beer and soju.
The shop has undergone multiple extensions and renovations since, and now carries over 1,500 types of wine, methodically organized and stored between multiple brick wine cellars and display shelves found throughout the multi-level shop. We can certainly consider founder Hans Lee an influential sommelier, even knighted in France in 2002 for his contributions to the wine industry.
“My store is a shrine for the wine industry in Seoul, and being the first store to accept crypto payments, I believe that it will become a shrine for cryptocurrencies in the future.”
Hans Lee was not only a pioneer in the Korean wine industry, his shop was the first brick-and-mortar shop in Itaewon to accept cryptocurrency as a form of payment for in-store purchases. He started accepting Bitcoin in January of 2017, and now also accepts Ethereum and Ripple for in-store payments.
In 2017, the store was seeing crypto-paying customers walk through the doors about every other week. Today, a customer comes in paying with crypto approximately once a month. In early 2018, Hans Lee listed his shop on Coin Map which led to a notable bump up in customers who were willing to seek out the shop, just to try out a transaction in crypto.
Hans advice to other store owners on the verge of accepting crypto is to hop on the bandwagon right away. Hans holds on to all of the payments he has received in Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Ripple for he believes that the coins will be worth multiple times their current price point in the future.
If you find yourself in Itaewon you should definitely check out The Jell. Not only will you have the opportunity to enjoy the scenic views of Seoul tower from the rooftop lounge and indulge in crisp, homemade onion focaccia bread, but you can also open your crypto wallet to purchase that 1986 Chateau Mouton Rothschild you’ve been eyeing for so long.