Srp 19

P2P Bitcoin And Dash Transactions Soar In Venezuela

Venezuela’s inflation rate topped 130,000% in 2018 as peer-to-peer Bitcoin and Dash transactions reached new all-time highs month after month. 


Bitcoin Thrives in Broken Economies

For the past few years, the Venezuelan economy has been rocked by political and economic instability that has led to shortages of food and medicine, nationwide blackouts, riots and unstoppable hyperinflation that rivals that of the Zimbabwe dollar in the 1990s. 

In fact, Venezuela had the highest inflation rate of 2018 and at its peak, it was 130,060%. Surprisingly, in May 2019 Venezuela’s central bank publicly published economic data for the first time since 2015 and the data shows that Venezuela’s inflation rate in 2016 was 274%, 863% in 2017 and 130,060% in 2018. 

Hyperinflation in Venezuela is so bad that most citizens have to spend all their money immediately because if they hold off for a few days the currency will continue to lose value against the rising price of basic daily staples. 

The majority of Venezuelans do not trust the bolivar, and in the past those who were unable to spend their income on the spot sought to purchase gold or the US dollar as a hedge against inflation.

Both options come with risks as organized crime and price gouges are always prepared to take advantage of those holding physical currency. 

Crypto Finds a Real World Use Case in Latin America

Fortunately, cryptocurrencies are easier to ‘hold’ and have become a safer option embraced by a growing number of Venezuelans. Both Dash and Bitcoin have become popular mediums of exchange and store of value currencies. 

A recent study from the Ledger Journal investigated the role Bitcoin played in countries experiencing economic uncertainty and contributing analyst Jackie Johnson found that: 

In countries where residents are under pressure from economic mismanagement, Bitcoin trading becomes critical. Two factors drive Bitcoin trading: one, there is pressure to purchase Bitcoin using local currency before it loses even more value; and two, there is a need to redeem for the local currency either past purchases or purchases made outside the country by friends/family, enabling residents to cope with rising prices. This results in an increase in Bitcoin trading in the local currency.

Johnson’s findings are supported by data from LocalBitcoins which shows explosive growth in the number of peer-to-peer Bitcoin transactions and all throughout 2018 and 2019 Venezuela and Argentina have continuously notched new all-time highs for peer-to-peer Bitcoin transactions. 

Despite the growth in Bitcoin transactions Venezuelan economist Danial Arraez says that mass adoption is still a distant target. Arraez said: 

In the country there is still not enough adoption of bitcoin, because with few exceptions, cryptocurrencies, including bitcoin and altcoins, are, in most cases, a proxy currency (substitute) to facilitate fiat exchange, with the USD-VES pair being the most traded, but without being able to set aside the VES-CLP (bolivars in Chilean pesos), VES-COP (in Colombian pesos), VES-ARS (in Argentine pesos), VES-BRL (in Brazilian real) and VES-PEN (in Peruvian sol) pairs.

Interestingly, a Rhythm, a popular crypto analyst recently tweeted that if a person held $1 million worth of Venezuelan bolivars since 2013, this amount would now be worth less than $0.37. 

Bitcoin might not have reached the level of mass adoption in Latin America, but if the situation doesn’t change it appears that will only be a matter of time before it does. 

Do you think Bitcoin mass adoption will first occur in Latin America or a different region? Share your thoughts in the comments below! 


Images from Bitcoinist Image Library, Twitter: @RhythmTrader, Shutterstock

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Kvě 28

Bitcoin Officially Mainstream As Microsoft Adds Excel Currency Option

So now it’s official. Bitcoin has finally become truly mainstream. Microsoft has added it as a currency option in Excel.


Bitcoin’s Path To Mainstream Status

There are a number of hurdles one must overcome to become truly mainstream, and Bitcoin just crossed the big one. Microsoft has added the cryptocurrency as a currency option in its Excel spreadsheet program.

Here are just some of the other important steps to mainstream acceptance that Bitcoin has attained:

  • Celebrity endorsements – From dead rappers (a big plus), to Miss Universe, to the latest influx of NFL stars. They all love(d) themselves a bit of Bitcoin.
  • Be more popular than Star Wars, Ed Sheeran, and the British Royal family. And Elon Musk.
  • Be seen in Starbucks – Okay, so we’re still waiting for this one, but we’ve been promised it’s on the way.
  • Feature in a Kurt Russell film – An often overlooked, but nevertheless essential step into the heart of the people. Post-apocalyptic dystopias would be nowhere without Russell.

Microsoft ❤︎ Cryptocurrency

Of course, Microsoft has long had its beady corporate eye on the crypto-space. Back in 2017, it set out an ambitious strategy to jump on the blockchain bandwagon. Most recently, this has seen it become an integral partner in several luxury brands’ move into blockchain authentication.

Secure Boot

On a more Bitcoin-specific note, it is developing a Digital ID system on the Bitcoin blockchain and is a major investor in the Bakkt Bitcoin-futures platform.

Not forgetting that Bing is one of the market leaders when it comes to blocking cryptocurrency ads… no wait, hang on.

Naturally, the cryptocurrency community has shown a healthy amount of skepticism when it comes to Microsoft. After all, the company does have some previous when it comes to adopting popular ‘new’ technologies.

In general, the modus operandi has been:

  • Technology becomes popular
  • Microsoft wishes it had thought of the idea first
  • Microsoft tries to buy the technology, with no success
  • Microsoft creates its own poorly implemented version of the technology
  • Poorly implemented version becomes the industry standard

So you can see why folk are concerned… Still, surely Microsoft can’t mess up the simple addition of a currency symbol?

And this does mean we finally hit the big time, baby!

Have you tried bitcoin in Microsoft Excel? Share your experiences below!


Images via Shutterstock

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Kvě 24

University Students Choose One Dollar Over One Bitcoin

YouTube channel, Capital Creators, performed an experiment offering students the choice of one dollar or one bitcoin. The overwhelming majority chose the dollar.


So this is the part where I mercilessly mock the US education system and berate US students for being so dumb, right? Well actually, no. It would seem far more productive to address why the students valued the dollar more, and help them to make the right choice next time.

Reasons One Might Choose $1 Over 00

Well, actually around $5400 when the video was shot, but you get the idea. Why did the majority of CU Boulder students want a dollar rather than a bitcoin?

One of the most common answers given was that the dollar was there and physical, and the respondent knew the value of it. So did the students think the value of a bitcoin was less than a dollar? Surely the majority must have been aware of bitcoin when it hit $20,000 and mainstream media? Did they really think it had dropped to nothing?

In reality, those asked simply didn’t understand or know enough about Bitcoin to assign it a value. The mainstream media’s generally negative or non-existent coverage meant that Bitcoin just wasn’t on their radar anymore.

Bitcoin Is Risky, But A Dollar Gets Me A Snack

One respondent vaguely knew that bitcoin is password-protected, and forgetting the password would mean losing her bitcoin. However, she reasoned that she wasn’t going to lose a dollar… because of course, nobody’s ever lost a dollar.

Many people reasoned that a dollar could get them immediate gratification in the form of a snack from the vending machine. This point is hard to argue… except of course a bitcoin is worth eight thousand of these dollars!

But aside from this, it does suggest that the micro-payments use-case is an important one when it comes to mainstream adoption. The sooner we can all pay for carbonated sugary beverages and snacks with a user-friendly and stable implementation of Lightning Network payments, the better.

And The Ones Who Chose The Bitcoin

One guy who chose the bitcoin explained that it was because he “followed bitcoin.” However, he had no way of receiving it because “he’d have to set up the app,” and was of the belief that “no-one ever trades it.” So even someone who ‘follows’ bitcoin, one would imagine through specialist media like Bitcoinist, didn’t have a wallet on his phone.

Another guy was aware that the price was going back up, and chose the Bitcoin. He had previously invested when BTC was going up, made $1,000 in a week and then lost it all. But he also had no way to accept bitcoin.

Of course, there may have been others who were more clued up but didn’t make the final edit of the video.

A Different Kind Of Bitcoin Bubble

As Bitcoiners, it’s sometimes easy to forget that outside of our little crypto-bubble is a whole world of no-coiners. If we want Bitcoin to reach mass adoption then we should consider it our duty to spread the word.

Whilst none of the participants in this experiment were ever actually going to get a bitcoin, the host did bring them up to speed. After hearing more about bitcoin’s value, utility, and how it works, the majority changed their choice.

The host also got them to download a wallet app and transferred them a token amount of bitcoin. This is exactly how I was introduced to bitcoin several years ago when our esteemed editor met me at a networking event. 20 minutes later I was the proud owner of $1 worth of bitcoin (worth over 30 dollars today!).

So I encourage you now to do exactly this. Offer everyone you know one dollar (few will refuse it), then help them to install a wallet and send it to them. Explain that they can just keep checking it to see its value, or they can add to and/or use it.

Oh, and tell them that if you’d given it to them six months ago it would be worth over two dollars by now.

What do you think of the students’ responses? Share your thoughts below!


Images via Shutterstock

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Kvě 19

You Can Now Send and Receive Bitcoin on Whats App

Whats App users can now send and receive Bitcoin (BTC) and Litecoin (LTC) via the popular messaging platform thanks to the Lite.Im bot. The announcement is the latest attempt to simplify the cryptocurrency transaction process, bringing virtual currencies closer to the everyday person.


Sending Bitcoin on WhatsApp

In a tweet published by Zulu Republic on Sunday (May 19, 2019), the digital platform announced that its cryptocurrency messaging platform Lite.Im had introduced a simple way to send and receive bitcoin via WhatsApp.

All users have to do is add the Lite.Im WhatsApp bot and follow the on-screen prompts. There are numerous options for users apart from sending and receiving BTC and LTC.

The service also allows people to earn cryptocurrency via a referral program. There are also options that allow users to set their default coin, as well as select their preferred language and password.

Send and Receive Bitcoin via WhatsApp

Presently, the two default languages are English and Spanish. The service also supports sending and receiving Ether (ETH) and ZTX – the native token on the Zulu Republic platform.

Making BTC Transactions Easier

SMS-based cryptocurrency transactions introduce some simplicity into the cryptocurrency transaction paradigm, especially for less tech-savvy individuals. Lite.Im already has similar services for Facebook Messenger, Telegram, and SMS.

According to the company, “social messaging” is an important component of wider cryptocurrency adoption. WhatsApp alone has more than 1.5 billion users in virtually every corner of the globe.

With mobile money transactions becoming easier in places across Southeast Asia and Africa, there is the possibility of more unbanked and underbanked people getting greater access to payment channels.

In 2019 alone, there has been a slew of announcements from different establishments about plans to adopt Bitcoin. From trading desks to acceptance as a medium of exchange, the top-ranked cryptocurrency continues to dominate the news.

Many commentators in the industry say BTC is becoming a more mature asset class and looks well on its way to fulfilling the expectations of many early believers.

Competition for ‘Facebook Coin’

With Facebook having its own cryptocurrency plans, Lite.Im could potentially be seen as competition. There is no official word about the exact nature of the social messaging giant’s virtual currency ambition but rumors persist that it will be a “Bitcoin-like” cryptocurrency token.

Though it’s like FBCoin will be anything but. Luckily, you can already send bitcoin on Whats App.

What do you think about SMS and social media-based Bitcoin transactions? Let us know in the comments below.


Images via Twitter @ztxrepublic and Bitcoinist

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Kvě 01

No Cash For Sale: In World First ‘Bitcoin’ City

The UK’s Sun newspaper is touting the ‘World’s first Bitcoin city’ today, where all cash is banned. Backers of the venture hope that Melaka Straits City in Malaysia will attract 3 million crypto-tourists per year.


Take Me Down To The Bitcoin City…

Visitors will be able to exchange their normal money for digital currency when they arrive.

proclaims The Sun. Or “just use the digital currency they already own,” you might suggest – but you’d be wrong.

Melaka isn’t so much a ‘Bitcoin City’, as a ‘Crypto City’, and a ‘One Horse Crypto City’ at that. The digital currency you will (be forced to) change your ‘normal money’ into, is the DMI coin. Through Android, iOS, and PC apps, tourists will use these to pay for public services with their phones and computers.

DMI is a company that provides mobile enterprise, business intelligence, and cybersecurity services. It collaborated on this project to develop the DMI platform and coin.

…where the Cash is Banned…

The Chinese government-backed development will convert 835 acres of the Malaysian state of Malacca into the ‘tourist blockchain-destination of the future’. As well as the 3 million annual tourists it hopes to attract, Melaka will host businesses and education services.

It is not the only project of this type currently in development, either as a new city or the implementation of a crypto-economy in and existing city. Amongst others, these include so-called libertarian city, Liberstad in southern Norway, although the changes aren’t always for tourism reasons.

…it’s a Bit Like Disney?

While a true ‘Crypto City’ could do wonders to demonstrate the Bitcoin economy working at a holistic level, this does not seem to be it. It is hard to see how this is any different to exchanging your cash for Disney Dollars to spend while in the resort.

It also seems interesting that the Chinese government is backing this venture, as they’ve been coming across as ever-so-slightly anti-crypto. Perhaps it’s just a case of ‘not in their own back yard’?

Will this new crypto city succeed? Share your thoughts below!


Images via Shutterstock

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Dub 27

How Legit Are Bitcoin Lotteries, Really?

Some websites have begun offering Bitcoin lotteries. If you’re thinking about trying your luck with them, here are some things to know first.


The Legality Varies Based on Where You Live

Bitcoin is still largely unregulated. However, many countries started setting rules to regulate Bitcoin gambling, including lotteries. It’s smart to see what the laws in your country are before getting started.

Look for Bitcoin Lotteries Offered By Regulated Gambling Sites

Prior to entering a Bitcoin lottery, read the website’s fine print and determine whether you’re dealing with a regulated provider. If so, that means the site must follow the gambling regulations of the respective company, and it might give you some recourse if something goes wrong when attempting to collect winnings.

One of the questions most often on people’s minds is whether Bitcoin lotteries are legitimate. You’ll have better luck finding a regulated one if you look for regulated providers. Keep in mind, though, that many Bitcoin gambling sites get regulated in Curaçao, a place with looser regulations than many other nations.

A Bitcoin lottery site called Kibo Lotto took that approach in late 2018. Crypto-Games.net also operates a lottery site that appears to have ties to Curaçao based on a logo in the site’s footer, as does Bitplay Club. One potential advantage to Bitplay Club is that it promises “provably fair” games through algorithms that show transparency.

There are also sites, like Yet Another Bitcoin Lottery (YABTCL) with no indication of regulation. Playing there arguably raises the risks.

Most Bitcoin Lotto Games Have Familiar Instructions

In states that have traditional lottery programs, such as Virginia, it’s easy to find databases that give people the information they need to know to start playing.

For example, Virginian adults can play daily lotto games, as well as jackpot games. There are also instant-win games, such as scratcher cards. Most of the Bitcoin lottery sites provide similar offerings. So, you shouldn’t need to spend much time learning how to play.

Lottoland Launches World’s First Regulated Bitcoin Lottery

In 2017, a gambling site called Lottoland attracted attention for creating what it advertised as the first regulated Bitcoin jackpot. When playing the Pick 6 game offered at Lottoland, people have a 1-in-7 chance of winning a prize. The system set up there is a good example of a well-known lottery game structure. People mark their chosen numbers on an electronic ticket.

Play the World’s Biggest Lotteries with Bitcoin at LottoPark

Few Long Established Sites

While researching Bitcoin lottery sites, it becomes clear they often don’t have staying power. Three sites mentioned in media sources (BTCFreeLotto.com, 10XBTC and World Super Lotto) have since stopped operating. Similarly, Kibo Lotto, the site mentioned earlier, is still in the coming-soon stage according to its website.

There’s also a mobile lottery ticket app site called Jackpocket that reportedly started offering Bitcoin as a method of paying for lottery tickets in 2016. However, there are no newer mentions of that option in the media or within the Jackpocket homepage or help database. In that case, Jackpocket itself is more established but seems to have moved away from dealing with Bitcoin.

Play With Caution

The information here emphasizes why you should be exceptionally careful when playing Bitcoin lotteries. Plus, watch out for related social media posts. In one recent incident, hackers took over the official Twitter feed of the South African cricket board and used it to try and interest people in a Bitcoin lottery.

Lotteries require people to weigh the risks with the possible rewards, and doing that is especially necessary with the Bitcoin varieties.

Have you tried any of the Bitcoin lotteries or is simply holding BTC the best strategy? Let us know below!


Images via Shutterstock

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Dub 11

IMF Poll: Cryptocurrency Payments Will Be Mainstream By 2024

An ongoing poll by the IMF shows that more people believe that cryptocurrency will be the most popular payment means for lunch by 2024.


More People Prefer Crypto

As at press time, more than half of the respondents say they would use cryptocurrency to pay for lunch in five-years’ time. Of the almost 26,000 votes cast, 56 percent chose cryptocurrency, while another 29 percent selected mobile phone payment.

With the continued integration of cryptocurrency payments onto mobile platforms, perhaps some of those 29 percent could pivot to the crypto side. Meanwhile, cash and bank card payments so far have a combined total of 15 percent on the poll.

However, ongoing developments in the virtual currency payment arena mean that the options provided by the IMF aren’t necessarily mutually exclusive.

Case in point, Coinbase on Wednesday (April 10, 2019) announced the launch of their cryptocurrency Visa card. The card allows UK customers to spend Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, and other cryptocurrencies instantly at every Visa-accepting merchant, i.e. everywhere.

A portion of the company’s blog post announcing the launch reads:

Coinbase Card supports all crypto assets available to buy and sell on the Coinbase platform, meaning they can pay for a meal with bitcoin, or use ethereum to fund their train ticket home.

Bitcoin Accepting Merchants Increasing Globally

Cryptocurrency in many ways is an extension of the cashless trend that continues to take root across the world as consumers aim for greater retail payment convenience.

As previously reported by Bitcoinist, a Kaspersky Labs research showed that 13 percent of people across 22 countries have used Bitcoin (BTC) to make purchases.

There are already restaurants in different parts of the world that accept cryptocurrency as payment for meals. More than 1,500 restaurants in Denmark alone accept Bitcoin. There are also establishments in New Jersey and Nyeri, just outside of Nairobi, Kenya that take crypto as payment for meals.

According to Coinmap, there are more than 14,600 establishments that accept Bitcoin across the world. This figure takes into account cafes and restaurants.

Issues with Cryptocurrency Micropayments

According to a recently published research by DataLight, Bitcoin is already the preferred choice for large value cross-border transfer due to the fee structure. However, the report goes further to predict that Bitcoin will surpass Visa and Mastercard for micropayments within the next decade.

There are a few issues that could potentially emerge in the wake of such a trend. The first is the tax implications attached to making retail payments via Bitcoin given the spotty cryptocurrency taxation in many jurisdictions.

The revelation that the Bakkt lunch could see the arrival of “Bitcoin for Starbucks coffee” did bring up this particular consideration. If laws aren’t created write-off cryptocurrency microtransactions, then tax filing might become onerous for those who pay for lunch with BTC.

Another issue is the incentive for people to spend what is essentially a valuable investment for lunch and other micropayments. In Arnhem, for example, the place dubbed “world’s most Bitcoin-friendly city” has seen a gradual drop in the use of BTC for payments.

Will everyone be paying for lunch with cryptocurrency in 5 years? Share your thoughts below!


Images via Twitter (@IMFNews) and Coinmap.org, Shutterstock

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Dub 01

Ukraine’s Capital Kiev May Soon Accept Bitcoin for Public Transport

Authorities at the Kiev City State Administration (KCSA) are reportedly re-examining the merits of adopting Bitcoin (BTC) payments in the city’s public transport system. The move is part of efforts to upgrade Kiev’s public transport infrastructure to meet up with the standards seen in other major cities across the globe.


Accepting Bitcoin on Kiev’s Public Transport System

According to iaftnews, the KCSA is going back to its previous plan of adopting BTC payment in the city’s public transportation network. Inside sources with knowledge of plan revealed:

The question has already been raised in 2018, but this idea had to be temporarily abandoned, given the cost of bitcoin at that time. Now, as you know, bitcoin has fallen heavily in price, which opens up new opportunities.

Back in August 2018, reports emerged that the KCSA planned to launch BTC payments for bus fares within the city. However, the plan failed to materialize but it appears that the city is trying a second time to implement the process.

The introduction of BTC payments in Kiev’s public transport system is part of the city’s drive to revamp its public transportation sector. In February 2019, the Kyiv Smart Cards – a prepaid card that provides access to all forms of public transport in the city went on sale.

Bitcoin payment for bus

Bitcoin as Part of Vision 2024

Kiev plans to make its entire public transport system utilizing only e-ticketing infrastructure by 2024. Like Dubai’s NOL card and Argentina’s SUBE travelcard, the Kyiv Smart Card can be used on the subway, buses, trams, route taxi, electric trains, etc.

Mega cities around the world are pivoting towards the system as a way of simplifying the process of commuting within a metropolis for locals and tourists alike. A

s reported by Bitcoinist, cities in Argentina already allow Bitcoin as a means of payment for topping up the credit balance on SUBE travelcards.

For KCSA officials, the hope is that the developments in e-ticketing made thus far will aid the BTC adoption process. There are also future plans to introduce a single Bitcoin ticket for all modes of public transportation in Kiev.

If approved, the move will significantly enhance the reputation of BTC and cryptocurrencies in Ukraine. In mid-2018, Ukraine’s securities chairman called for the legalization of many cryptocurrencies, saying the world has crossed the “point of no return” as concerning cryptos.

Do you think that Bitcoin is an efficient payment method for municipal public transportation system? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.


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Bře 12

Paul Brody: Bitcoin Has No Practical Use

Paul R. Brody, the Global Blockchain Innovation Chief at Ernst and Young (EY), says he sees no practical application for Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. This statement comes amid a growing rate of adoption of virtual currencies in both developed and developing nations. 


Tokenized Fiat (Not Bitcoin) is The Future of Money

Speaking to Forbes India, Brody opined that he hardly sees any practical application for Bitcoin (BTC) or any of the other over 2,000 cryptocurrencies currently in existence. According to the EY executive, crypto-fiat and not Bitcoin is the future of money.

Commenting on the matter, Brody declared:

Most people and companies earn their revenue and spend their money in local currency; we believe the future of business transactions on the blockchain are tokenized fiat currencies-basically blockchain-linked dollars, euros, yen, rupees and so on. Transacting on a day-to-day business in a foreign currency just adds foreign exchange risk to all your transactions.

For Brody, Bitcoin’s deflationary currency model makes it a poor form of money for widespread global adoption. Instead, Brody maintains that the modern-day fiat model is still the best bet, claiming that hyperinflation is at best a minute probability.

Bitcoin Accepted Here

Global BTC acceptance is up by more than 700 percent in the last six years. More than 140,000 retail avenues across the world now accept Bitcoin as a means of payment.

The top-ranked cryptocurrency continues to see increased usage — from remittance payments in Africa and Southeast Asia to public transportation in Argentina.

As a store of value and an investment asset, BTC continues to outshine mainstream markets despite going through multiple high percentage price plummets. Bitcoin (BTC) has outperformed the S&P, DOW, and NASDAQ over the last ten years.

Saying cryptos, in general, have no practical use would be akin to calling the attention generated by the industry as little more than a fad. Such a characterization seems at odds with the increasing level of institutional adoption of cryptocurrency-based investments. Public pension funds, stock market operators, and other multi-billion-dollar corporations are investing in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. That hardly seems like an asset class with “no practical use.”

Blockchain is Boring

While declaring Bitcoin’s supposed lack of real-world utility, Brody believes that Blockchain, despite being the “most boring revolution in technology,” has the potential to affect many aspects of the global business process. However, the EY exec says that blockchain isn’t a one-stop shop solution for every type of business. Elaborating further, Brody declared:

One must carefully choose the kinds of business applications to run on the blockchain. Even though blockchains are getting faster, they are never going to be cheaper or faster than existing banking payment systems or stock exchange platforms.

Speaking during the interview, Brody predicted that blockchain would eventually become like the Internet but with a visible lack of centralization. In the end, Brody believes that the different approaches in the industry will condense into a uniform set of principles that would drive the technology moving forward.

What are the other practical Bitcoin cases that you know? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below. 


Image courtesy of Bitcoinist archives.

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Bře 03

Major US Retailer Ditches Visa – Now Considering Bitcoin’s Lightning Network

US retail giant, Kroger, is no longer accepting Visa credit cards at its chain of Smith’s food and drug stores. So Anthony Pompliano tweeted an offer to hook them up with Bitcoin’s Lightning Network nationwide.


Fees-a Not Accepted Here

It all started on Friday when Kroger announced the move to no longer accept Visa credit cards, citing excessive fees. The Smith’s chain comprises 134 food and drug stores across 7 states, employing 20,000 staff.

Card fees charged by Visa are higher at Smith’s than any other credit card brand, explained Kroger CFO, Mike Schlotman:

Visa has been misusing its position and charging retailers excessive fees for a long time.

Visa is actually due to increase fees for the banks processing card payments on behalf of merchants in April.

Pomp And Circumstance

In the circumstances, it seemed only natural for somebody to suggest a crypto alternative, and Pompliano rose to the occasion. “Who knows someone on the leadership team there?” he tweeted.

The Morgan Creek Digital team will fly to meet them and get them hooked up with the Lightning Network nationwide.

A couple of hours later a product manager from Kroger Digital tweeted a response and set up a conversation.

Obviously, the Ripple army dove right onto this, questioning Lightning Network’s readiness, and suggesting XRP as a better alternative. More interestingly, someone suggested selling Smith’s gift-cards on BitRefill, which would certainly make a zero effort stop-gap solution.

The Tip Of The Iceberg

But this is a very big deal. Smith’s is the second Kroger brand to stop accepting Visa credit cards, after Foods Co. supermarkets in California. Successful implementation of a Lightning Network payment solution at the retailer could lead to a wider roll-out across Kroger brands.

kroger

Kroger is the largest supermarket chain by revenue and the third largest employer in the United States, along with the third largest retailer in the world. As of December 2018, it operated 2,765 supermarkets and multi-department stores, either directly or through subsidiaries.

Ripple army excepted, I’m sure there is a high level of confidence in Pompliano and Morgan Creek Digital to make this work.

And Visa… you only have yourself to blame!

Will major retailers like Kroger accept Bitcoin and Lightning Network payments? Share your thoughts! 


Images courtesy of Shutterstock

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