Cardiff Blues sponsor Watches of Wales is taking their services to the world by giving customers the chance to purchase goods using cryptocurrency.
A digital asset not typically issued by a central authority, cryptocurrency is relatively new to the world of shopping.
Paul Hornblow, founder of the family-owned Watches of Wales business that has become a leading name in luxury watches, is delighted to be the first to offer a new form of cryptocurrency payment technology service to their growing global customer base.
“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, who is accepting Bitcoin and Ethereum payment.
“We have been focused on providing customers with a VIP experience since we started this business more than seven years ago. What better way to start accepting digital currencies than with a customised experience created by the best in the business?”
Partly in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, but also due to a desire to move with the times, Hornblow has become the first company on the Shopify platform to use the Utrust payment technology which allows customers to purchase goods with cryptocurrency.
Reach Studios were instrumental in helping to provide the solution to integrating the new currency exchange with Watches of Wales’ systems.
“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,” said Hornblow.
“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 like 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.”
Based in Cardiff’s Morgan Arcade, Watches of Wales was founded by the 48-year-old Hornblow in 2013. It has an annual turnover of almost £7million.
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 more than $100billion worldwide. Now its partnership with Utrust has opened up a whole new cryptocurrency market, with Watches of Wales being 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,” added Hornblow.
“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.”
The cryptocurrency markets has reacted positively to Hornblow’s step into the future, with Utrust chief executive Sanja Kon added her approval.
“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,” said Kon.
“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.”
Supporters of Welsh rugby and sponsors of Cardiff Blues, Watches of Wales can also include Welsh sporting stars Aaron Ramsey, George North and Brett Johns, as well as some Hollywood actors, among the famous faces to have used the company’s services.