Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are now being accepted by big-name retailers like Crate&Barrel, GameStop, Starbucks, and Amazon-owned Whole Foods.
Mainstream retail adoption of Bitcoin and a handful of other cryptocurrencies took a major step forward today.
Flexa payments network has partnered with the Winklevoss-owned Gemini cryptocurrency exchange to create its flagship SPEDN app.
The app will allow users to spend cryptocurrency at tens of thousands of retailers, including big names like Whole Foods, Barnes & Noble, GameStop, Office Depot, Lowes, Starbucks, Baskin Robbins, and more.
The Flexa network is open for business: https://t.co/aieW8ZezmU
— Flexa (@FlexaHQ) May 13, 2019
A watershed moment for cryptocurrency
Flexa has spent the last year forging relationships with thousands of merchant point-of-sale terminals (the scanners used at checkout to complete a transaction) to directly allow crypto-based payment authorizations to merchants and bypassing the existing payments structures in place.
SPEDN has announced partnerships with 15 of the biggest retailers in the United States, with more big-name retail partners to be announced in the coming months.
The app allows users to spend four different cryptocurrencies: Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), and the Gemini Dollar (GUSD).
Ease of use
There are several reasons why retailers are willing to become partners with Flexa in accepting cryptocurrency payments.
One reason is Flexa’s partnership with Gemini, which ensures that each SPEDN wallet is securely custodied and fully insured on Gemini’s NYDFS-regulated infrastructure.
The second reason is ease of use. SPEDN has an intuitive interface that enables the customer to make crypto payments quickly and easily by simply holding up the app on their smartphone at the point of sale.
2009-Yesterday: no one is going to buy coffee w/ bitcoin. Not because u can't, but because it's a bad experience (e.g., dial-up internet)
Today-Future: "spend" experience now 10x better. Spend ur crypto at @BedBathBeyond, @WholeFoods, @GameStop, & more!https://t.co/IfbSI8RyHy
— Cameron Winklevoss (@winklevoss) May 13, 2019
From the merchant’s standpoint, they can use their everyday scanner to accept the payment and process the sale.
Merchants can choose to receive their payment in cryptocurrency or dollars and the transaction costs are lower than those of credit and debit cards.
The inclusion of the Gemini Dollar, a stablecoin pegged to the U.S. dollar, helps mitigate merchant concerns over cryptocurrency volatility, notes Flexa.
“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,” proclaims Tyler Winklevoss.
The payments platform is working to expand the acceptance of SPEDN by eventually releasing Wallet SDK, a simple drop-in developer kit that will allow other companies to incorporate Flexa payments into their own apps with a minimum of effort.
The SPEDN app was released exclusively to Consensus 2019 attendees on Monday, with the company sending out more invites in the coming weeks.
— Gemini (@Gemini) May 13, 2019
The overarching sentiment over SPEDN on social media has been extremely positive, with some people already lobbying for their favorite cryptocurrency to be added.
⚡️ Important Message To @FlexaHQ
It will be extremely wise to add Litecoin support to your #Spedn app. Let us know if you can make it happen.
— Crypto Capital Venture ⚡ (@cryptorecruitr) May 13, 2019
Morgan Creek Digital co-founder Anthony Pimpliano summed up the significance of this latest step forward towards crypto adoption:
BREAKING: Whole Foods, Starbucks, and other retailers are now accepting Bitcoin in stores with @Gemini’s help.
Don’t listen to the trolls. We’re watching a new global currency being built right in front of us.
THE VIRUS IS SPREADING! 🚀
— Pomp 🌪 (@APompliano) May 13, 2019
Currently available for iOS devices only, an Android version of the SPEDN app is in the works and will be available in the near future.