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Bitcoin And Ethereum Now Accepted At Whole Foods, Nordstrom And Other Retailers

Wayne Duggan

A brand new payment app called Flexa launched on Monday that will facilitate the use of bitcoin and other popular cryptocurrencies at a wide range of retail locations, including Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN), Nordstrom, Inc. (NYSE: JWN) and GameStop Corp (NYSE: GME).

What To Know

The Flexa app Spedn essentially serves as an intermediary between a user’s cryptocurrency wallet and a retailer like GameStop. When a user makes a purchase at a participating retailer, Spedn generates a QR code that can be scanned at the register. The merchant is then paid in dollars, and the cryptocurrency equivalent is automatically deducted from the user’s digital wallet.

Fortunes said the Spedn app lets users spend four types of cryptocurrency: bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, ethereum and Gemini Dollar.

Why It’s Important

A large part of the long-term bull thesis for bitcoin hinges on the cryptocurrency becoming mainstream, yet only a small fraction of retailers currently accept bitcoin payment directly. Critics have said merchants hesitate to expose themselves to the extremely volatility of the cryptocurrency market, as wild swings in bitcoin prices can quickly wipe out the profit margin of a sale.

In one swoop, Flexa is making a large number of retailers, including Whole Foods, Caribou Coffee, Jamba Juice and Crate and Barrel, accessible to cryptocurrency users for the first time. Flexa has said its ultimate goal is to allow users to use any cryptocurrency to pay any merchant.

"[N]either Gemini...nor Flexa...were able to get any of their own clients to confirm via email, yet alone talk on the record. Nevertheless, all evidence points to the fact that as of today, some of the largest and best known companies in the world are now accepting [these cryptocurrencies]," according to a Forbes report.

What’s Next

Cryptocurrency investors and users alike will be watching closely to see how the Spedn app is received and when Flexa may expand its list of eligible cryptos and retailers.

After a disastrous year in 2018, the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (Btc) (OTC: GBTC) has bounced back by 161.5 percent so far in 2019.

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