Some major retailers like Whole Foods and Baskin Robins are now accepting cryptocurrencies in-store.
The Winklevoss Touch
This is possible thanks to the Winklevoss Twins, owners of the Gemini cryptocurrency exchange platform. The two, in tandem with Flexa, a “global cryptocurrency payment network,” have found an easy way for investors to spend Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ether, and Gemini Dollars in-store. It’s all done via the SPEDN mobile application.
Not only this, but all assets kept within SPEDN see backing by the Gemini exchange. That way, assets are kept safe in case of a break-in or other emergency.
“The Flexa cryptocurrency payments network has the potential to transform the payments industry,” reads a Medium post from Tyler Winklevoss. It continues, saying that the new system provides “everyday use cases for spending your crypto, which hasn’t been a practical reality until now. The majority of cryptocurrency activity to date has been comprised of the “buy,” “sell,” and “store use case — investors looking to purchase a piece of the networks and protocols of the future. This has helped bootstrap crypto networks and create liquidity and price discovery (i.e., helping foster efficient and healthy markets), however, tangible use cases are the next step in the story of crypto’s promise.”
Moreover, the Gemini dollar is just a stablecoin, meaning investors can safely convert their fiat over knowing that the value will stay 1:1. Users with Bitcoin and the others will still have to keep an eye on that, however.
Incentivizing the rest
Mr. Winklevoss continues the post with ways that cryptocurrencies are better than fiat:
“In fact, major retailers pay billions of dollars each year in processing costs (costs that are often borne at least in part by the consumer). With Flexa, merchants (i) get significantly less expensive and fraud-resistant transactions, (ii) can use the same payment hardware they currently use, and (iii) receive payment in fiat currency, not crypto. We believe that not only will this result in cost-savings to the merchant, but to the consumer in the long-term as well.”
This project is similar to BitPay, a crypto payment processor that allows you to buy things with Bitcoin via its Visa debit card. However, the Gemini solution works in-stores and supports other assets than Bitcoin. At the end of the day, the merchant isn’t sure if you’re paying with crypto or fiat. They’ll receive the payment in whatever way they’d like.
We already know that Amazon is looking into blockchain technology. Remember, they own Whole Foods. This could be yet another step on its path towards adoption. Meanwhile, those hearing about this in the mainstream may want to learn how to buy Bitcoin soon.