China-Based ‘Beijing Sci-Tech Report’ To Begin Accepting Bitcoin (BTC) Payments
Technology Life, one of China's oldest publications, has announced that it will accept Bitcoin (BTC) payments for its subscription service beginning 2019.
BSTR tests crypto payments
The Beijing Science and Technology Report (BSTR), through its Technology Life publication, has become the first firm to accept cryptocurrency in the country publicly.
A report published by local media states that Technology Life will allow subscribers to pay for a one-year subscription using Bitcoin at a rate of 0.01 BTC.
The BSTR ranks as the oldest science and technology publication in China with a reputation as a top media organization.
Technology Life publishes editorials from a team of top authors. It also has been known to publish scientific news and articles sourced from Popular Science, a U.S.-based science journal.
The move should not come as a surprise, as the magazine has written favorably about cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology on multiple occasions in the past.
The publication’s explicit endorsement of cryptocurrency payments comes as a result of its decision to promote the use of cryptocurrency in the real world and for “practical reasons.”
Beijing Science and Technology Report and its Technology Life publication have also been actively involved with giving in-depth tracking news and insights into blockchain technology, adds the press release.
Bitcoin to help bring in new readers
The media giant has targeted new readers who may find paying with bitcoin convenient, but there is one exciting aspect of the subscription that could see it become popular with BTC users.
In accepting Bitcoin, the publication announced a new policy applicable to crypto-paying subscriptions to help shield customers against extreme volatility in prices.
It could turn out to be a novel way to “cultivate new readers,” in addition to promoting the use of emerging payment technology.
It is going to be interesting to see how Technology Life handles this move, given that China has, over the years, discouraged cryptocurrency transactions. The government cracked down on cryptocurrency trading and Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs), imposing a total ban in 2017.
Despite this blanket ban, the Chinese crypto community has found ways to beat the system. It has emerged that traders have been using Tether and Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) to continue in trading in defiance of the ban.
Although Beijing Sci-Tech Report has become the first publisher in China to accept Bitcoin, it indeed isn’t the first one in the world.
A few other publications have tried moving towards crypto as a way of enticing new readers. For instance, Time Incorporated announced in 2014 that it would be accepting BTC payments through Coinbase.
Time allowed for the payment of subscriptions in crypto for its magazine collection that included Fortune, Travel and Leisure, Good Health, and This Old House.
Another publisher, the Chicago Sun-Times, followed suit in April that year. Both have since failed to make it a long-term project, eventually abandoning the payment initiative.
Time will tell if the BSTR, especially with the supposed hostile crypto environment in the Asian country, will fare better than Western publishers.