By PHILIP CHANDLER
A Queenstown brother and sister are agents for a new digital currency they believe local businesses can only benefit from.
Qoin, which started in Australia early last year, allows buyers and sellers to interact without any fees.
For businesses to join it’s also free, and they receive 50 Qoin which, since it’s currently valued at just over $9, is worth about $400.
Would-be customers down load a Qoin app on their phone which has a directory of Qoin
merchants to choose from.
To make a payment, you put in an amount and swipe the QR code.
In addition, customers can buy and sell items on the app.
Mark Wikstrom says with Australians owning about 50,000 Qoin ‘wallets’, many will be travelling to New Zealand, now the trans-Tasman bubble’s open, so that’s another source of custom for Qoin businesses.
Another local Qoin agent, Russ Johnston, who owns Adventure Junkies, says ‘‘Qoin provides an opportunity for locally-owned small- and medium-sized businesses to gain a competitive advantage at no cost which, understandably, is pretty exciting for many in the
Agent Ingrid Thomas believes Qoin is ‘‘financial evolution — it’s the next form of payment’’.
Wikstrom says having his sister join him in business is a case of going back 360.
‘‘When I started my events company for special needs children I rang my sister to come and help which she did, and off we went.
‘‘Now Ingrid is helping get this off the ground some 22 years later.
‘‘Also, the appointment maker going back in the day, Jane Sutherland, who now runs the successful Jane Sutherland Design from her garage in Kingston, is coming back on board to make appointments again.’’
Local business owners who want to learn about Qoin are invited to a free info session at
Queenstown’s Little Blackwood at 5.30pm on Wednesday.