Ask anyone in Silicon Valley about which technologies are white hot with innovation, and they’ll tell you that blockchain and cryptocurrency are at the very top of the list. It’s no longer a “promising technology,” it’s a booming field with startups that are already disrupting the entire payments industry. At the same time, most major retailers have been extremely reluctant to adopt cryptocurrency payments. Thanks in no small part to constantly fluctuating price of tokens like bitcoin, cryptocurrency payments are still seen as highly risky.
That may be about to change. Major cryptocurrency exchanges like Coinbase and Gemini are working more closely with traditional banks and financial institutions, taking the risk out of day-to-day transactions. Thanks to projects like Flexa’s SPEDN app — which brings crypto payments to standard point-of-sale terminals — it’s already possible to spend BTC, ETH, BCH, and other tokens at many major retailers.
In this post, we’ll take a look at five major retailers who now accept cryptocurrency payments through as easily as they accept debit and credit cards.
1. Whole Foods: It might seem strange that the Amazon-owned Whole Foods now accepts cryptocurrency payments in their brick-and-mortar locations, even though Amazon itself has staunchly refused to consider online crypto payments. And yet, Whole Foods was one of SPEDN’s official launch partners, allowing iPhone users (and Android users later this year) to purchase fancy groceries right from their crypto wallet.
2. Microsoft: It’s no secret that Microsoft has several blockchain-related business projects in the works, but their history with bitcoin actually goes all the way back to 2014. The software giant briefly halted their crypto payment options a few years later, only to reverse that decision in 2018. Today, Microsoft is happy to earn crypto for itself through its Xbox Live and Windows online stores.
3. Barnes & Noble: Retail bookstores have been decimated by the digital age, losing an almost unimaginable amount of business to online stores, ebooks, and audiobooks. While there are still a handful of smaller bookstore chains out there, there’s no question that Barnes & Noble is the last brand standing when it comes to major retail booksellers. One reason for their success is that they’ve adapted with the times, and it should be no surprise that B&N was one of SPEDN’s crypto-accepting launch partners.
4. Lowe’s: Another one of SPEDN’s launch partners, the home-improvement superstore now happily accepts BTC for bath fixtures, ETH for lawn and garden tools, and BCH for house paint. When everyday hardware retailers like Lowe’s start to accept blockchain-backed payments, it helps to free crypto from the reputation of being solely for technology geeks. That’s an important step towards mainstream adoption.
5. Overstock: Long before most retailers had even heard of cryptocurrency, Overstock.com was evangelizing about bitcoin’s potential to free online businesses from the shackles of financial middlemen. Since 2014, the company has gladly accepted cryptocurrency payments, and they’re still at it today. If you’re thinking about cashing out a few BTC to buy a new lamp, Overstock is a great place to start your search.