1,600+ Pick n Pay Stores Set to Pioneer Mainstream Bitcoin Payments in South Africa

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South Africa’s third largest retail store, Pick n Pay, is on course to commence the acceptance of Bitcoin payment for goods and services across its 1,620 stores. The bid to incorporate crypto successfully underwent a pilot test across 30 select stores last November. The hypermarket store is now set to deploy the Bitcoin payment system across all stores fully.

CryptoQR, an intuitive crypto payment gateway compatible with the Bitcoin lighting network, had partnered with Pick n Pay to facilitate the process. To make Bitcoin transactions, customers only need to download a lightning network-compatible app (e.g. Muun, Strike or Bluu), add their satoshis, download the CryptoQR app and request a QR code payment option at the till. In an earlier tweet today, the company behind CyptoQR and fledgling altcoin, $LUNO, had confirmed that users can “buy airtime, electricity, plane and bus tickets” and “ pay municipal bills” using Bitcoin. Carl Van-Eyck, the company’s CEO, also added that: “transaction fees are as low as 70 cents and take less than a minute to complete.”

It is still unclear, however, whether the retail giant, currently ranked 194th place in the world’s biggest retail store rankings, will expand Bitcoin payment to its mobile feature Pick n Pay ASAP, which grew over 300% last year, to cross a million downloads.

In October, the South African government officially classified crypto assets as financial products, largely taxable and subject to the Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FCSA) regulations. This paves the way for the innovation of crypto-based financial products like CryptoQR.

According to Triple-A, An estimated 7.7 million people, representing 12.5% of the total population, currently own crypto assets in South Africa. The statistics are impressive among adults, where 8 in every 10 adults are believed to own one crypto or another. Bitcoin remains the favourite choice, with over 85% of crypto owners reportedly owning Bitcoin. Pick n Pay looks to capture more customers within the spectrum and possibly leap ahead of its major competitors, Spar and Shoprite.

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Pick n Pay’s adoption of Bitcoin represents a huge leap, especially in its quest to drive financial freedom in low-income countries. The apex coin is holding onto the $23,000 support across global markets. It has continued to weather through external monetary policy pressures in a slow but hopeful return to its ATH position.