Thailand’s Major Cineplex mines crypto craze by taking Bitcoin for tix

Photo: Major Group
Photo: Major Group

Crypto burning a hole in your pocket?

The nation’s largest cinema chain announced yesterday that it is accepting Bitcoin as payment for movie tickets at one Bangkok location, making it the first theater operator in Thailand to accept cryptocurrency.

Major Cineplex Group on Thursday announced the launch of its cryptocurrency pilot program, initially only accepting Bitcoin, at one of its most popular chains in Bangkok – Major Ratchayothin.

In partnership with digital asset exchanges Zipmex and Rapidz, the cinema now accepts Bitcoin payments from customers to purchase movie tickets and other products and services.

To redeem movie tickets with Bitcoin, customers must have the Rapidzpay application before proceeding to a kiosk machine. For example, a THB250 movie ticket adds up to BTC0.00017, as of publication time. 

The terms of the deal were undisclosed.

Not just a marketing move, Major Cineplex Group spokesperson Narut Jiansanong said the service is meant to draw in crypto-using audiences. There are approximately 100,000 Zipmex users and 5,000 have downloaded the Rapidzpay application.

Thai regulators recently backed off a plan that would have shut most of the public out of crypto trading in the kingdom. Last month, the tourism authority said it wanted to target high-rolling Japanese cryptocurrency users by rolling out cryptocurrency services at major tourist attractions.

Major’s system is only available at Major Ratchayothin. Narut said it would be expanded to more branches in the future. Over the years, a number of businesses from cafes to bars have experimented with accepting cryptocurrency, but it’s yet to take off in wide use.

Narut said Thailand has up to an estimated 1 million Bitcoin holders, which at 2% of the adult population, sounds wildly optimistic.

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