Crypto fever is sweeping the world and this is helping drive adoption faster than ever before. As Visa and MasterCard look to hike their fees, more and more merchants around the globe are starting to look to crypto as an alternative payment method. As part of the latest wave of adoption, Whole Foods – owned by Amazon – announced that it will now be accepting Bitcoin and three other cryptocurrencies in its stores. Whole Foods has teamed up with Flexa and Gemini to implement a brand-new crypto payment system.
How Will the System Work?
Flexa and Gemini have decided to collaborate to develop a system that will utilize the scanners stores are already using to accept payments from mobile apps like Apple Pay. An update has been applied to the scanners that will allow it to produce a QR code that mobile crypto wallets can read and send crypto to. You need to download a special app to take part in the project, but so far there are a number of merchants already accepting Bitcoin and other cryptos through this partnership.
Crypto Adoption is Booming
As 2019 rolls on, crypto adoption across North America continues to grow. This is largely down to the fact that Visa and MasterCard are ramping up their fees. While these fee increases are currently only for banks, banks aren’t known for their generosity – meaning they will more than likely pass the charges on to consumers. This means that merchants will either have to accept making a fraction less on each product sold, or increase prices. All in all, it could potentially force merchants to ditch Visa and MasterCard in favor of cryptocurrencies and the Lightning Network.
PayPal Avoiding Crypto… For Now
The day that PayPal allows users to deposit and purchase in crypto is the day we see markets go wild. However, according to John Rainey – PayPal CFO – PayPal is still a long way off integrating crypto into its platform. Rainey admitted that PayPal has a blockchain research team looking into a variety of projects to develop a good system for when PayPal does decide to implement cryptos.
This is huge news, and could be a signal that Amazon is close to integrating crypto payments itself. While Amazon doesn’t have scanners in the same way a bricks and mortar business like Whole Foods does, it’s still an encouraging sign for the health of mass adoption. For now, crypto fans will have to stick to the stores that are working with Flexa and Gemini for crypto payments in North America.