Cardiff-based Watches of Wales has become the first company in the world to use a specific form of payment technology which allows customers to purchase goods with cryptocurrency.
The family-owned business, founded by Paul Hornblow, is a leading name in luxury watches both in Wales and around the globe.
Wales sporting stars Aaron Ramsey, George North and Brett Johns and Hollywood actors are among the famous people to have used Watches of Wales.
Partly in response to the Covid-19 pandemic but also due to a desire to move with the times, Watches of Wales has become the first company on the Shopify platform to use the Utrust payment technology which allows customers to purchase goods with cryptocurrency.
It means Hornblow’s company is leading the way both in Wales and the world by accepting cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum as payment method.
“We are a proud Welsh company and equally proud of the fact we are the first company not only in Wales, but the world, to use this form of cryptocurrency payment,” said Mr Hornblow, 48.
“We have been focused on providing customers with a VIP experience since we started this business over seven years ago.
“What better way to start accepting digital currencies than with a customised experience created by the best in the business?
“As a company we want to move with the times. We have a client base from around the world who are already flocking to digital currencies.
“The price of Bitcoin has risen by 500 per cent in the last year. At the moment, it is trading at roughly £40,000 and you’ve seen huge companies such as Tesla already accept it as payment.
“This is the future for online retailers, especially after a year when many companies have had to close down their high street stores and move online due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“We were already looking into the cryptocurrency market before Covid struck, but it has certainly speeded up our move into this area.
“We have already had customers paying for our products with cryptocurrency which shows we are right to head in this direction. I can only see it growing in the next few years.”
Previous forms of cryptocurrency payment technology have allowed customers to use the likes of Bitcoin, but they have also meant the business has had to convert that to hard cash which can be a timely and costly process. The new Shopify and Utrust partnership instantly converts cryptocurrency into money for the business. Based in Cardiff’s Morgan Arcade, Watches of Wales was founded by Hornblow in 2013 and has an annual turnover of just under £7million.
They are supporters of Welsh rugby and sponsor both the Dragons and Cardiff Blues.
They specialise in the buying and selling of the world's finest watches and stock brands such as Rolex, Patek Philippe, Audemars Piguet, Omega, Panerai and Cartier.
Online payment system Shopify has processed over $100billion worldwide. Now its partnership with Utrust has opened up a new cryptocurrency market.
Watches of Wales is the first company on the planet to benefit.
“Over 100 million people worldwide are using digital currencies. The value of Bitcoin has risen by more than 90 per cent since January alone.
“Our system makes it very, very simple to pay online using cryptocurrency and we are offering anyone who buys one of our products through Utrust a free WOLF cub watch winder.
“We truly believe this is the start of what will be an exciting period for our business and that other companies in Wales will follow us in joining the cryptocurrency market.”
Utrust chief executive Sanja Kon said:
“We are entering a huge market like Shopify and we are doing it with a new programme that adds value for merchants and for customers.
“Our first merchant to deploy this solution, Watches of Wales, is a perfect example of how we can help any kind of business, regardless of their specificity.”