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American Grocery Chain Safeway Launches Bitcoin Rewards Program

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Safeway, a subsidiary of Albertsons Companies and one of the most popular grocery chains in the United States, is doing its bit to make cryptocurrencies more available to Americans.

Just yesterday, a press release was published, which revealed that Safeway would be partnering with Lolli, a Bitcoin rewards shopping app, to provide its customers with 3.5 percent of their purchases in Bitcoin. Per the post, the rewards program will be open to all online Safeway shoppers, and it will also be instituted at all 894 Safeway locations, which span 17 states in the country.

However, instead of getting Bitcoins in rewards, users will be getting satoshis instead—cents on the dollar. In addition to that, customers who would like to be eligible for the rewards program will need to set up accounts with Lolli.

Speaking on the partnership, Lolli CEO and Founder Alex Adelman stated his belief that by working with Safeway, they will be able to ride on the retailer’s popularity to get Bitcoin adoption into the hands of many people. He added that while the goal has always been the transformation of Bitcoin into a major payment vehicle, it is essential to get the asset into the hands of people. This move, in his opinion, is a great way to cross over that hurdle.

Adelman also asserted that customers would be able to benefit from the companies Bitcoin-based rewards program, claiming that cryptocurrencies provide much more value than fiat currencies. According to him, crypto assets have proven to be a better store of value, and they would primarily benefit the needs of long-term holders.

In part, he said, “Points, as you know, are deflationary, and Bitcoin is non-deflationary, so I think it’s a better store of value than an arbitrary points system.”
As expected, the move is no more than a campaign that is aimed at improving the adoption that cryptocurrencies have. More people are looking into using crypto assets as an integral part of e-commerce and payments, and with a Bitcoin-based rewards program, it would now be possible for crypto enthusiasts to earn the asset from shopping online.

However, there are still many questions left unanswered, including whether the Bitcoins earned can be sent to cryptocurrency exchanges or other asset custodians.

While they anticipate that long-term Bitcoin holders will be the primary people to benefit from this, it isn’t impossible for Bitcoin trading enthusiasts to want to move these rewards into their portfolios and engage them in some crypto-based financial activity.

Still, as regards the general objective of increasing public access to crypto and boosting adoption, this is definitely not a bad way to start. It also signals the latest efforts of Albertsons Companies to integrate blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies into its operations. Back in April, the food and drug retail giant joined the blockchain-based IBM Food Trust network. The network utilizes blockchain technology to improve accountability and transparency in food supply chains by creating real-time records of records and interactions at every phase of the chain. Albertsons is expected to pilot the technology for end-to-end food traceability.

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