Our customers are global – they’re entrepreneurs, early adopters, makers and builders. One of them is Crystal Fong, founder of Apostrophe Copywriters, a Melbourne-based copywriting collective now expanding into Japan. The first time she used bitcoin wasn’t for speculative or ideological purposes, but simply because it solved a problem for her.
We caught up with Crystal over a slice of New York style pizza in Daikanyama, Tokyo. Over dinner we chatted about Apostrophe, and how bitcoin has made her journey to becoming a global business easier.
“I was on my last ¥1000 (AUD$10) in a ridiculously expensive city with two cancelled debit cards. Trying bitcoin was far less risky than trying to survive the next seven days.”
Crystal got started with bitcoin when she found herself in Tokyo with limited funds. Not one, but two of her international bankcards had been cancelled after issues at an international ATM. The cards were with different banks, but both gave her the same story – “all we can do is send a new PIN to your address in Australia. It’ll take 5-7 working days.”
Luckily, a friend, also in Tokyo on business, suggested she give CoinJar a try. After all, she was in one of the most expensive cities in the world, with a decreasing cash supply, so figured “why not?”
“It’s a truly global currency. I purchased Bitcoin from my Australian bank account and with CoinJar, withdrew and paid my bills in Yen.”
She set up her CoinJar account, topped it up with BPAY® and bought bitcoin with the funds. From there she found her nearest Bitcoin ATM (in the city within a city, Roppongi) and used her CoinJar app to turn bitcoin into Yen.
For Crystal, the benefits that trump the rest are the low fees and instant accessibility to funds. And the benefits only get bigger. Apostrophe’s expansion model is to have an office in a global capital city for every day of the week (that’s seven offices in seven countries) and as her business grows, international money transfer will become a monthly activity. As a business owner and continuous traveller, Crystal’s case is not unusual, more people have come to expect easier, simpler and faster money, wherever they are. For companies like Apostrophe, Bitcoin presents an attractive and efficient solution because it gives a strong advantage in an already competitive market.
“It gave me instant access to my money. Given the situation I was in, it also meant I could eat that night.”
Bitcoin isn’t mainstream just yet, so while the currency is powerful, it can be hard to understand at first. That’s why we’re adding to our pool of products and services. In time, CoinJar users will be empowered in such a way that transactions for a coffee in the morning will be just as easy as getting funds to start a global business.
While Crystal’s case is unique, her needs are not unusual. She is one of many travelling entrepreneurs who need instant, secure access to their money, wherever they are. At CoinJar, we want to empower people like her. We want to give people the chance to take control of their money; to make it the way it was always meant to be: free-flowing and secure, for the everyday and the extraordinary.