Supermarket chain Pick n Pay accepts Bitcoin in all stores

Supermarket chain Pick n Pay is expanding its Bitcoin (BTC) coverage to all of its 1,628 stores in the country after a 3-month testing phase at 39 locations.

Pick n pay enables Bitcoin payments

As part of the nationwide rollout, it is possible for customers to pay for items with cryptocurrency via smartphone apps or by scanning a QR code. The transaction is carried out at the exchange rate of the South African rand at the time of payment.

To pay with Bitcoin, customers need a Bitcoin Lightning Wallet linked to CryptoConvert’s CryptoQR scanner app. Users must first scan an item’s QR code through the CryptoQR app and then proceed to the Lightning Wallet to confirm the rate and complete the transaction.

In October 2022, the Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) amended the financial advisory law to classify cryptocurrencies as financial products. This brought cryptocurrencies under regulation for the first time in South Africa and allowed financial services firms, both domestic and international, to offer crypto assets. This move made financial services possible.

Start of a new era in South Africa

The retail chain has announced that it will start accepting crypto payments nationwide in November. This after years of testing the service in a select number of stores. In 2017, the company conducted its first experiment to accept Bitcoin as a means of payment in Cape Town. However, transaction costs and long waiting times hampered the process

During the pilot program, Pick n Pay partnered with Electrum and CryptoConvert to give customers the ability to make payments through the Bitcoin Lightning Network. The Bitcoin Lightning Network is a 2nd layer built on top of the Bitcoin blockchain. This makes off-chain transactions possible.

In South Africa, cryptocurrency has become increasingly popular in recent years. According to Chainalysis’s 2022 Global Crypto Adoption Index, South Africa ranks 30th globally in terms of cryptocurrency adoption. It is estimated that about 10% to 13% of the South African population owns cryptocurrency assets.

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