China: Oldest Tech Publication to Accept Bitcoin Payments for Premium Subscriptions

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China’s oldest technology publication, the Beijing SciTech Report (BSTR), will accept Bitcoin payments for its 2019 subscriptions, reported Asia Times on Oct. 1, 2018.

Also called “Technology Life” in the country, BSTR has a readership of millions and publishes both original and permission content on technology, big data, and life sciences. The Beijing-based publication has also educated readers on blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies, detailing potential use cases and possible disruption in the broader economy.

As stated, the move highlights BSTR’s willingness to promote blockchain technology and bitcoin payments in a real-world setting for “practical actions.”

BSTR charges $65, or 450 RMB, for its year-long premium packages. At the time of writing, the cost to cryptocurrency users will be about 0.01BTC for monthly copies starting January 2019. Importantly, the publication has addressed one of the longest-standing issues with cryptocurrency by offering a refund on slippages.

Since Bitcoin’s rise to prominence, industry observers have questioned the practicality of cryptocurrencies as a mode-of-payment due to their wildly unstable prices over short periods. For example, if two customers would pay “x” for services/goods in BTC days apart, it is possible for both to have spent different amounts in fiat value – proving the former as a redundant method.

However, BSTR will provide refunds–in USD or RMB–if the prices of Bitcoin increase significantly by 2020. The move addresses primary concerns and potentially mitigates a customer’s reluctance to pay via bitcoin, with the publication stating it shall “cultivate new readers” by adoption the rising technology.

Despite its commendable move, publications have, in the past, introduced bitcoin payments to entice new customers and capitalize on the payment method.

In 2014,  magazine conglomerate Time Inc. announced it will accept bitcoin for subscriptions to it wholly-owned publications, such as Fortune, Good Health, Travel and Leisure, among others. However, they have since removed the payment option citing lack of traction and other technical issues.

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