One May afternoon Cameron and his brother Tyler Winklevoss, both well-known bitcoin billionaires, decided to quench their thirst with a tall cold-brewed coffee from Starbucks, and “just a little bit of cream, to round it off,” Cameron said. Sounds mundane, but this may well be the biggest cryptocurrency news this year. All because they paid for this Starbucks coffee in Bitcoin.
“We’re finally realizing the promise of crypto in payments,” said Cameron to Forbes. “It’s taken a long time, but as you’ve seen for yourself, we’re here. It’s a total win for the merchants. That transaction was effectively free.”
New wave of adoption
For over 10 years since bitcoin was invented, user adoption has been one of the most concerning challenges facing the world’s largest cryptocurrency.
May 2019 saw a major step forward for cryptocurrency adoption, when a deal between Flexa and Gemini enabled shoppers at Whole Foods, Nordstrom, Starbucks, Barnes & Noble, and dozens of other companies to make purchases with bitcoin and other currencies like ethereum, bitcoin cash, and the Gemini dollar.
Well-known companies that support Flexa are certainly the largest high-profile group to ever accept cryptocurrency. But this is in reality the third wave of companies to do so. Early in the history of bitcoin a number of high-profile companies including CheapAir, Microsoft, Overstock.com, Reddit, and Expedia started accepting cryptocurrency.
It’s easy to start Spedn’ing
All one needs is to use Spedn. Spedn is the first app powered by the Flexa Network, an ethereum-based payments network similar to Visa or Mastercard, but made for cryptocurrency.
All companies supporting Flexa as a payment provider can now offer their customers a cryptocurrency payment option nearly out of the box. All they need is a little tweak in their backend to add Flexa as a new payment provider in their system.
Stores that you can shop at with crypto right now include Game Stop, Bed Bath & Beyond, Barnes & Noble, Nordstrom, Baskin Robbins, Bed Bath & Beyond, Caribou Coffee, Crate & Barrel, Express, GameStop, Jamba Juice, Lowe’s, Nordstrom, Office Depot & OfficeMax, Petco, Regal Cinemas, Ulta Beauty, Starbucks, and Amazon-owned Whole Foods Market.
By the end of the year, nearly 100 stores are expected to start accepting bitcoin and the other cryptocurrencies via Spedn.
Though none of the companies have officially stepped out and confirmed they are accepting cryptocurrency.
The problem is, Starbucks, along with every other giant enterprises now supporting cryptocurrency, seems to be unwilling to admit that they’re doing so.
Nevertheless, the fact is that you can shop at some of the largest and best-known companies in the world using bitcoin, ether, litecoin, bitcoin cash, zcash, and the Gemini Dollar.
This might bring cryptocurrencies into the mainstream commerce in the coming months.
Flexa’s sincere hope is that this will help realize the full promise of blockchain technologies to people all over the world, the company wrote in a Medium post aptly titled “We’re making cryptocurrency spendable everywhere.”
Image: Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss paying for coffee at Starbucks using cryptocurrency
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