When cryptocurrency enthusiast Vincent Uy Nghi learned about Qoin, he knew it would be a good option to take his business into the future.
Vincent is the Director of The Greenery Store and Dining in Williamstown.
For the past five years, the Melbourne man has used digital currency to pay for personal items, services and products such as sports gear. However, he’s also been exploring the potential for digital currency to transform how businesses operate.
“When I got wind of Qoin and how it related back to the Bartercard group, knowing what I know about digital currencies, I just thought it made sense for our businesses,” he said.
“It’s got a good, sound, fundamental structure.”
In November 2020, Vincent bought just over 4,000 Qoin; he estimates the stake is now worth just over $20,000.
COVID-19 a catalyst for change
The Greenery offers a sophisticated breakfast menu, wine and dine brasserie-style lunches and dinners, plus catering for private functions outside the venue. The store also sells gifts and jewellery.
Like many other businesses, The Greenery was hit hard by the fallout of COVID-19.
Ongoing lockdowns not only reduced revenue but also changed consumer behaviour. The normally thriving weekend trade slumped, fewer customers dined in and more opted for takeaway meals. Many overseas students were no longer available for employment, and custom from overseas visitors was curbed.
They took the opportunity to develop sister restaurant Saigon Green at an adjacent site. The Vietnamese soul food restaurant opened in May 2020.
Then Vincent and his partner began to restructure their business plan to operate successfully in the changing hospitality sector.
“All those trends that we knew of in the past changed because of COVID.”
Qoin draws new customers
The introduction of Qoin payment has had a positive impact in drawing customers to The Greenery and Saigon Green. So far, most advertising has been through the Qoin community, with members travelling from further afield in Melbourne.
“We’ve had new customers that came in to use Qoin and they’ve been returning customers—we’ve been able to retain them,” Vincent said.
“So, it has given us growth in customer base, so to speak, but obviously it can do a lot more.”
In the longer-term, Vincent is looking forward to an expanded network of merchants offering the digital currency. This would offer more options for using Qoin to pay for products such as wine and trade services.
Education key to crypto success
Vincent sees digital assets as a big part of commercial life post-COVID.
“For me, things like Qoin are a much better way of transferring value between people,” he said.
“If you’re looking at any cryptocurrency network, the network has to be commercialised, so that’s what Qoin has been able to do for the Australian market.”
While many people don’t understand digital currencies, he said educating merchants and consumers about their potential would encourage their use—much like how computers and mobile phones have been accepted.
Vincent and his partner are considering becoming distributors for technology that would allow people to pay using any cryptocurrency at the point of sale.