Though advocates have sung the praises of cryptocurrency, its entrance into the mainstream has struggled mostly due its volatility and favor with cybercriminals.
Major retailers, including Amazon-owned grocery store, Whole Foods, as well as Crate and Barrel, and Nordstrom, have agreed to accept Bitcoin and three other kinds of digital currency. Regal Cinemas, Gamestop, Lowe’s, Office Depot, and Baskin Robbins have also agreed to accept digital money.
What Triggered Retailers to Accept Digital Money
Thanks to a partnership between Flexa, a payments startup, and the digital currency company, Gemini, a retail initiative was created. It falls back on the digital scanners that many large businesses use to accept smartphone-based payments from apps and digital wallets.
Flexa managed to get retailers to change their scanners to recognize digital currency payments from its app, Spedn. To pay, customers hold up their apps. Store clerks do not know customers are paying with digital money, and retailers real-time payments in their choices of digital currency or dollars.
Spedn users have the options of paying with four types of crypto:
- Bitcoin Cash
- Gemini Dollar
Why This is Major?
This retail initiative is a big deal for cryptocurrency.
Since its introduction, any merchant that ended up accepting digital currency eventually abandoned it because processing times were too slow and its volatility in value. Bitcoin’s worth can swing intensely from worth $200 one day to $160 the next, making it a bit impractical for everyday use.
Some have encouraged shoppers to embrace the Gemini Dollar, which is a stablecoin that keeps value very close to the U.S. dollar value. This type cuts down on volatility, which could be the force that drives more widespread use of cryptocurrency.
Flexa is what makes all of the difference. It not only provides merchants with an easy way to allow for these type of payments but the app clears transactions in real time.
Why More Merchants May Embrace Cryptocurrency
In addition to convenience for shoppers, there are benefits to merchants accepting cryptocurrency. They can save money because they are not hit with the high fees charged to process credit card payments.
Additionally, blockchain currency records transactions across a large volume of computers through its public, decentralized, and distributed digital ledger. The way it works prevents the ledger from being altered retroactively. Also, this may be beneficial in cutting down the number of cases of true fraud because it makes it more difficult to pull data from a blockchain system. Limiting e-commerce fraud could cut down on the number of chargebacks merchants experience.
Though major retailers are embracing this type of payment, many are recognizing that their acceptance is a bit of a test. Consumer demand and the performance of the technology will prove its worthiness in the mainstream.
Though no one can be sure that retailers that accept crypto today will be doing a few months from now, this news is a breakthrough in the digital money sector. As technology advances and use becomes more widespread, its future may be quite promising.
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