Cryptocurrency boutiques, or exchanges, like one you would use to change U.S. dollars into a different denomination or currency, are popping up on Main Street, right alongside Bitcoin ATMs, The Wall Street Journal reports.
Some cryptocurrency boutiques have tasteful waiting areas, but others look more like austere local banks or check-cashing outlets, with tellers behind bulletproof glass, according to the WSJ.
Such crypto exchanges have, in fact, been in existence since 2018. The so-called noble aim of the entrepeneurs opening these crypto outlets is to bring the lucrative opportunity to invest in Bitcoin (now trading near $60,000) to the average Joe -- "without the hurdles ot attempting to onboard with self-service online exchanges, not to mention the technological barriers that people of a certain age might perceive," Adam Heck, CEO and founder of Coin Nerds tells the WSJ.
Clerks at the Ready
While these cryptocurrency boutiques vary in their tone and decor, they all accept cash, credit cards or electronic bank transfers to purchase a cryptocurrency of your choice. Clerks are at the ready to explain how cryptocurrencies work via digital wallets you can control with an app on your smartphone. Some are versed in the differences between the various cryptos on the market.
Fees per transaction range from 0.99% to 5% of the assets being exchanged. While this is along the lines of what online cryptocurrency exchanges like Coinbase Global Inc. and Binance Holdings Ltd. charge, they are on the high end.
Hack says that the point of a cryptocurrency exchange is all about the customer experience. Being able to enter a physical store where you can see a Bitcoin with your own eyes and speak with a salesperson, makes the experience more real and tangible, he says:
"We noticed there's an attrition ratio with crypto, where people will onboard $500 or $1,000 into an [online] exchange -- but they don't know what to do with it, or they'll just simply say, 'You know, this is too complicated for me. I'm out.'"
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