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Whole Foods, Starbucks, And Other Major Retailers Now Accept Bitcoin

More Major Retailers Are Starting To Accept Payment In Bitcoin Many major retailers, including Starbucks, Whole Foods, and Nordstrom, are accepting bitcoin–but they appear to be keeping quiet about...

(Photo Credit: Gillian Flaccus | AP)

More Major Retailers Are Starting To Accept Payment In Bitcoin

Many major retailers, including Starbucks, Whole Foods, and Nordstrom, are accepting bitcoin–but they appear to be keeping quiet about the shift to cryptocurrency. The change in policy is part of an initiative by the company Flexa, a payments startup, Fortune.com reports.

“Since its arrival ten years ago, cryptocurrency has struggled to enter mainstream commerce. This could soon change thanks to a new initiative, announced on Monday, that will reportedly see big-name retailers including – Crate and Barrel, Nordstrom, and Amazon-owned Whole Foods—now accept Bitcoin and three other types of digital money,” Fortune reports. Fortune goes into further detail saying the retail initiative comes via a partnership between Flexa, a payments startup, and Gemini, the Winklevoss-owned digital currency company.

It works by piggy-backing on the digital scanners that many big retailers use to accept phone-based payments from their apps and from digital wallets like Apple Pay. What Flexa has done is persuade the retailers—which also include Regal Cinemas, Gamestop and Baskin Robbins—to configure their scanners to recognize payments from its cryptocurrency app, which is called Spend.

All customers need to do in order to pay with cryptocurrency is download an app. The merchant then receives the payment in the form of their choosing – bitcoin or dollars.

In the past, both retailers and consumers have been reluctant to use Bitcoin because of slow processing times on cryptocurrency networks, as well as cryptocurrency’s volatility, Fortune says. But that’s changing, as the use of cryptocurrency becomes more mainstream.

“The first widespread, low-friction opportunity for consumers to shop with cryptocurrency, this is potentially a big deal,” Fortune reports. “The Spend app lets users spend four types of crypto: Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum and a so-called stable coin called a Gemini Dollar, which is pegged to the value of one U.S. dollar and backed by banking giant State Street.”

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