Crypto goes mainstream: now you can buy almost anything

BLOCKDATA
BLOCKDATA
May 16, 2019 · 2 min read

On Monday, just as New York’s Consensus blockchain conference was getting underway, crypto payments startup Flexa made a huge announcement: people can now spend crypto at 15 major retailers in the US. This means you can now buy anything from a coffee to a coffee machine with crypto.

That’s right: using an iPhone app, you can pay for goods in-store with bitcoin, bitcoin cash, ether, and Gemini dollar.

As we wrote in a recent article, there are two key advantages to crypto payments over traditional fiat transactions: 70% lower fees paid by merchants and settlement time within the hour, rather than several days.

Flexa manages to tackle the primary issues with crypto payments:

  • Making it easy for consumers to pay at the point of sale (POS) through the Spedn iOS app (Android coming soon)
  • Getting retailers onboard by not making them having to deal with crypto (they receive fiat). To make it even easier, the aforementioned POS hardware is something these stores are already equipped with.

While Spedn’s name might induce a healthy dose of cringe, this is no doubt good news for crypto adoption. Flexa, which raised $14 million through a private token sale, claims that over 30,000 stores accept payments through the Spedn wallet, though we tallied closer to 19,000. Perhaps this figure includes Starbucks, which hasn’t yet been announced as an official partner — despite the Winklevoss twins paying for coffee with Spedn at a New York location on Monday.

Looking at the list of launching partners, what’s interesting is the diverse purchases now possible with crypto. Considering that you can now buy fancy furniture, tasteful cast-iron pots, and supplies for home improvement projects, consumers who have been HODLing through the crypto winter now have something a bit more sensible than a Lambo to spend it on.

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