Whole Foods and Other Major Retailers Now Accept Bitcoin — Whether Anyone Notices or Not
Cryptocurrency can be confusing, so let's put this in more personal terms. I live in the United Kingdom, and I still have American credit cards. But thanks to companies like Visa, it's not a big deal. I can buy an item in British pounds, and when I look at my statement, my bank has converted that charge into dollars. In the end, the cashier doesn't know, or care, what currency I'm paying in — pounds or dollars —and it doesn't matter because the conversion is happening behind the scenes.
That concept has now, essentially, come to Bitcoin. Spedn is a new mobile wallet app — similar to systems like Apple Pay — but this app's killer app is that it's supported by the Flexa network. Flexa promises that it "converts a consumer's cryptocurrency to U.S. dollars in real time for payment to the merchant, enabling a simple exchange process and practical use of cryptocurrencies for real-world payments."
Additionally, Flexa boasts that its system "requires no point-of-sale upgrades for merchants." As a result, Flexa has successfully recruited a lot of big brands as official partners for its launch this week including food and beverage brands like Baskin Robbins, Caribou Coffee, Jamba Juice, and Whole Foods. It's also been revealed that Flexa has some "unofficial," unannounced partners as well — including Starbucks. On its website, Flexa boasts that it's currently accepted at 30,475 locations — and is actively recruiting more big national brands.
"This technology shifts cryptocurrency from investment and speculation toward real usability," explained Tyler Winklevoss (yes, one of the Facebook twins) who is CEO of Gemini, the company behind the Gemini dollar, which along with Bitcoin, Ether, and Bitcoin Cash is one of the four cryptocurrencies Flexa uses. "You can finally buy a cup of coffee with cryptocurrency and a tap of your phone."
So yes, you can now pay at Starbucks or Whole Foods using Bitcoin and it won't even feel like a bit deal… which is exactly why this is such a big deal.