Whole Foods, a company owned by Amazon, and other big name retailers will now accept payment for goods in cryptocurrencies. This latest development was made possible by a collaboration between Gemini, a cryptocurrency company owned by the Winklevoss twins and Flexa, a payments startup.
Gemini Partners With Flexa to Allow Retailers to Accept Crypto
The partnership between Gemini and Flexa will allow some big retailers such as Whole Foods, Nordstrom, Crate and Barrel to accept cryptocurrencies as payment for goods.
The cryptocurrency payment option takes advantage of the digital scanners that the retail outlets use to receive mobile-based payments from apps like Apple Pay.
Flexa, on its part, convinced the retailers listed above and others such as Gamestop, Regal Cinemas, and Baskin Robbins to design their scanning devices to recognize payments made from Spedn, its cryptocurrency app.
The Spedn app allows people to pay for products and services on the retail platform using four cryptocurrencies; Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, and the Gemini dollar (GUSD). The chief executive of Spedn, Tyler Spalding pointed out that the merchants are interested because the payment option gives them the opportunity to reduce the commission rates they pay to the other existing payment platforms. Spalding added that cryptocurrency payments create a chance for stores to test out new kinds of blockchain-based customer benefits.
Crypto Payment in an Experimental Phase
The cryptocurrency payment option is still in its preliminary stage, according to a report by Fortune.
A source close to the project, while speaking anonymously revealed that the retailers didn’t respond to Fortune’s request for comments on the development because the cryptocurrency payments are still an experiment.
The companies don’t want to talk about the crypto payment solution until they increase their understanding of the technology and its customer demand, the source added.
While using the Spedn app to make cryptocurrency payments, the store cashiers are usually unaware that the customer is paying with digital currencies. The merchants’ meanwhile receives a real-time payment for the goods or services in either cryptocurrency or the US Dollar.
The author of Fortunes report, Jeff John Roberts tried out the cryptocurrency payment option via Spedn at Baskin Robbins and Starbucks. In both cases, the app worked as advertised.
Gemini Dollar Eliminates Volatility Concerns
The price volatility of cryptocurrencies remains one of the biggest concerns for merchants and the reason why most of them are not accepting them as payment options. While regular cryptocurrencies are volatile, stablecoins are not.
The Winklevoss twins pointed out that the volatility problem involved in paying for goods via Spedn could be eliminated by using the GUSD stablecoin. The GUSD also called the Gemini dollar is pegged 1:1 to the US Dollar and the Winklevoss twins claim that the stability of their stablecoin and Flexa’s ease-of-use would lead to broader use of the Spedn app. It would become even more appealing to an increasing number of people that appreciate the technology behind digital currencies.
Spalding stated that for companies that wish to integrate the scanner payment technology into their apps, they would be providing them with the developer kits. This latest development is an excellent one for the cryptocurrency sector, with its success likely to see other retailers adopt similar payment options.