Amazon-owned Whole Foods, thousands more could start accepting crypto

It’s no secret that cryptocurrency has not turned into a global overnight success as an alternative to fiat. However, it’s important to remember two things. Prior to the meteoric rise of Bitcoin Core (BTC) in 2017, virtually no one had heard of crypto, making the advances seen in the past year and a half substantially more important. Additionally, it took the U.S. dollar 100 years to be accepted. Crypto as a currency is expected to be mainstream within the next five year. A new platform is available that might possible reduce that time to less than a year.

Payments startup Flexa has teamed up with Gemini to bring crypto capabilities to thousands of retailers instantly. The system works by integrating with the digital scanners used by retailers for phone-based payments—such as Apple Pay and Samsung Pay—to facilitate crypto payments.

Flexa’s solution is called Spedn and a consumer simply holds his or her crypto wallet to the scanner—the cashier doesn’t even notice how the payment is being sent. The merchant, however, has the ability to configure the system to either keep the crypto or convert it to cash. Based on reports by a number of beta testers, the payments are instantaneous.

Flexa is able to offer a real-time network to clear the transactions, which means merchants won’t have to worry about fluctuations in crypto prices. Gemini is involved by helping to facilitate those backend operations.

The devices are already being rolled out. They are find in Amazon-owned Whole Foods, Crate and Barrel and Nordstrom. They are also being installed in some GameStop and Baskin Robbins locations, as well as in Regal Cinemas.

Tyler Spalding, the CEO of Flexa, emphasizes how crypto is going to help merchants avoid the high costs associated with credit cards. A grocery store chain owned by Kroger has already dropped Visa because of the fees and there will be more merchants that consider the same as Visa and MasterCard prepare to increase their fees

The Spedn app is not limited to just the Gemini stablecoin—BTC, Bitcoin Cash (BCH) and Ether (ETH) are supported, as well. Tyler Winklevoss of Gemini states, “The idea of living on crypto is now a reality. You can now do it. For the consumer, it amounts to being crypto conscious. It’s like being green.”

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