South African retail chain Pick n Pay expands bitcoin payments to 39 stores

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South Africa-based grocery retail chain Pick n Pay has announced that it will begin accepting cryptocurrency payments at all of its stores within months of a successful initial phase, Reuters reported. The move follows the recent decision by South Africa’s financial regulator to declare crypto assets as financial products, paving the way for their mainstream adoption in the country.

Choose n payment plans to accept cryptocurrencies powered by the Lightning Network

Pick n Pay, one of South Africa’s largest grocery retailers, said it will expand cryptocurrency payments to more stores following a successful pilot phase, according to Reuters. Over the past five months, the retail chain first started accepting cryptocurrency payments at 10 of its stores in the Western Cape.

Now, the company is looking to expand the pilot in another 29 stores before adding it to all of its stores in the coming months. This means that Pick n Pay currently accepts cryptocurrency payments in a total of 39 stores.

The expansion comes just weeks after South Africa’s financial watchdog, the Financial Sector Conduct Authority, declared cryptocurrencies a financial product. The decision enabled regulation of crypto assets and set the stage for them to become mainstream payment methods in the country. In June 2021, South Africa’s financial regulator called for a “phased and structured” cryptocurrency regulation in the country.

“Crypto is increasingly being used by people who are underserved by the traditional banking system or who want a cheaper and truly convenient way to pay and exchange money. Many companies are responding to this by accepting bitcoin.”

Grocery retailer Pick n Pay starts accepting cryptocurrency payments

Pick n Pay’s cryptocurrency payments are powered by LN

Pick n Pay has launched a new cryptocurrency pilot thanks to a partnership with the Electrum and CryptoConvert platforms. Electrum’s platform connects Pick n Pay and CryptoConvert, allowing customers to make payments at checkout points using Bitcoin Lightning technology.

“Cryptocurrency payments are still in their infancy in South Africa, but we are already seeing parts of our society adopt ways that were previously unavailable to the traditional financial system.”

– Carel van Wyk, Founder of CryptoConvert

One of the main drivers of Bitcoin adoption is the Lightning Network, a layer 2 protocol designed to improve the scalability of the cryptocurrency. Because it sits on the “top” of Bitcoin, it reduces the load on the blockchain, enabling faster and cheaper transactions. Last week, Cash App said that users can now receive instant BTC payments using a QR code or link.

Do you think mass adoption of Bitcoin and cryptocurrency payments is inevitable? Let us know in the comments below.

About the author

Tim Fries is the co-founder of The Tokenist. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Michigan and an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. Tim was a senior associate on the investment team in RW Baird’s US private equity division and was also a co-founder of Protective Technologies Capital, an investment firm specializing in sensing, protection and control solutions.

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