Netflix CFO David Wells discussed the topic of bitcoin as a potential global currency during a Q&A session recently. He expressed reasonable doubts that people will be satisfied with a 20-step transaction process anymore. There are still central banks and governments holding onto their monetary policy. But at the same time there is a game-changing way to transform financial systems – bitcoin.
Wells says: “It sure would be nice to have bitcoin in terms of a global currency that you could use globally. As things stand, Bitcoin isn’t devised for recurring payments. Nor is it refundable. However, it may still prove to be the key to signing up more subscribers. In their millions. Just like Bitcoin would gain, if millions from around the world adopted it.”
Remarkably, Netflix, a huge multinational provider of streaming media, has just expanded its services to over 130 new countries around the world. Thus Netflix is now available in 190 countries. Wells underlines that besides credit cards and PayPal the streaming service will accept payments in some local currencies.
Netflix services cost minimum of $8 per month for the USA and the company will strive to keep the prices in other countries “comparable”. The streaming giant isn’t planning to stop its worldwide expansion. It also sets a goal to facilitate its log-in procedure and payment systems.
Reed Hastings, Netflix Co-founder and Chief Executive, says: “Today you are witnessing the birth of a new global Internet TV network. With this expanded launch, consumers around the world – from Singapore to St. Petersburg, from San Francisco to Sao Paulo – will be able to enjoy TV shows and movies simultaneously – no more waiting. With the help of the Internet, we are putting power in consumers’ hands to watch whenever, wherever and on whatever device.”
As we already know Netflix is traditionally used to accepting two types of payment – credit cards and PayPal. However this presents particular difficulties in countries like India where credit cards haven’t been adopted yet.
Local regulators put restrictions preventing the use of debit cards for international transactions. This is done mostly for security reasons while it considerably limits the number of available services. India is the country with the largest youth population in the world – it has 356 million young people between the ages of 10-24. The market for Netflix is great here, as you understand.
And despite its readiness to accept payments in local currencies, such countries as India are likely to face problems from regional regulators or its own investors, when subscriber numbers aren’t growing quite as expected. This is where bitcoin can serve as a possible solution. Netflix hasn’t so far expressed intention to adopt bitcoin, but at least it is considering the potential of the cryptocurrency.