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Finance, Fintech, News, Retail

Amazon-owned Whole Foods now accepts Stablecoins for daily groceries

Harry Wise

Marco Rossi, Writer
@uxconnections

If there’s one only thing that discourage companies and retailers to implement crypto-based payments for their products is the extreme volatile nature of cryptocurrencies.

Bitcoin, for instance, can fluctuate widely in just one day, making it appealing for investments and speculations, but not feasible for daily transactions of everyday goods.

Indeed, cryptos have always been confined in fintech and crypto-banking sectors. Even before the so-called ‘crypto winter’, virtual currencies and tokens did not provide a valid alternative to a country’s usual, fiat money – although such was the agenda of the very first crypto and its anonymous creator, Satoshi Nakamoto.

However, the entrepreneurial spirit of crypto-investors and speculators has not fainted.

Whole Foods Market, a US organic food supermarket chain, is the brand-new experiment of crypto-based transactions for daily goods, resulting from a partnership between payment start-up Flexa and dollar-pegged stablecoin Gemini (by the so-called ‘Bitcoin twins’ Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss).

The perk of a coin like Gemini is that it is not a ‘proper’ cryptocoin. Rather, it falls in the category of stablecoins, less volatile currency, based on a real asset. In this case, the US dollar.

The way it works is by using an Apple Pay-like app, Spedn. The customer can send money in the form of cryptocurrency, with the merchant choosing whether to accept the payment in the form of cryptos or dollars (while the store cashier is unaware of the form the customer chose to pay with).

According to Tyler Spalding, CEO of Flexa, payments based on cryptos can provide retailers with tools to lower commission fees for existing payment methods and networks. Moreover, it gives space to experiment blockchain-based customer rewards.

In this sense, then, crypto-payments might have a chance to take over, at least – and at first – for a group of pioneering customers willing to experiment new forms of payments.

As stated at the beginning of this article, retailers have been skeptical of payments with cryptos due to their volatility – a wallet of Bitcoin, or Ethereum, might be worth $50 one day and, say, $30 another, harming both the customer and the retailer.

However, with Gemini the story seems to have changed. Combining the stability of the US fiat currency and the perks of blockchain-based transactions seems appealing to some big names, Whole Foods Market being only one.

Is the crypto winter over? Well, yes, if you ask me. But not only because the price of Bitcoin was back at around $8000 in the last days.

It is the implementation of a non-fiat, blockchained-based, non-usual currency in the economic daily life of the individuals to legitimate the power of new forms of money.

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