Fresh off the press: several major US retail chains are going to accept payments with crypto currency, including BTC and ETH. It is the result of efforts from Flexa and Gemini. Will crypto currency become mainstream?
Bitcoin was originally intended as a payment method. It appears to be difficult to come to terms with the good municipality, let alone gain a foothold as a (widely accepted) means of payment. But that is slowly changing.
A number of large retail chains in America are going to accept crypto currency. Among the participants we see names such as Crate & Barrel, Nordstrom, and Amazon’s Whole Foods. The new payment options are the fruit of a collaboration between cryptocurrency exchange Gemini and payment processor Flexa.
The Flexa product is taking part in the rise of payments via smartphones. More and more people use their phones to pay, for example via services such as Apple Pay. The equipment used for this by the retailer also works with the Flexa service.
The threshold to participate is therefore very low. Retailers – including Regal Cinemas, Gamestop, and Baskin Robbins – only need to set their scanners to support payments from Flexa’s cryptocurrency app. That app is called Spedn, and is available from today in Apple’s app store .
According to the accompanying press release, Gemini and Flexa have joined forces. It is called an “exclusive collaboration”. In that context, the Gemini dollar, a stablecoin based on the US dollar, appears to play a major role. “Consumers can spend their dollars on the blockchain without the price fluctuations that one associates with traditional crypto currency,” the press release said.
Tyler Winklevoss, CEO of Gemini, is happy with this development. “This technology emphasizes real use, rather than investing and speculating,” says Winklevoss. “You can finally buy a cup of coffee with crypto currency. This brings us closer to achieving the ultimate goal of crypto currency. ”
Starbucks is participating too?
Talking about coffee: allegedly Starbucks is also participating. The author of the above-mentioned Fortune article went to a local Starbucks branch with the app in hand and bought a … banana. “That also worked. Every time the amount of Bitcoin in my wallet was immediately updated,” writes Jeff Roberts. According to him, Starbucks is not an “official partner”.
And there Roberts hits a chord. None of the stores where he could pay with Bitcoin wanted to comment. That is “because payments with crypto currency are still experimental”, according to a source that did not want to be named.
Will this initiative succeed in removing crypto from the experimental sphere?